Archive for September, 2011

Handmade Jewelry

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

Handmade Jewelry

Handmade Jewelry from Durango Silver Company

We have created a great new informational page on Handmade Jewelry that we think you will enjoy and gain some useful knowledge from.  This pages has many great photos with descriptions of what the photo represents, you can view this page at Handmade Jewelry.

Durango Silver Company has been in business making handmade jewelry for nearly forty years now. We built our  historic Trading Post that sells our Jewelry as well as handmade Jewelry from different artisans from the Southwest in 1976. We specialize in high quality Sterling Silver Jewelry in contemporary and Southwest design with exceptional authentic gemstones, most of which we cut in our lapidary shop.  

Handmade Jewelry by Durango Silver Company

Handmade Jewelry

 Handmade Jewelry offered by Durango Silver Company is many levels above the general Silver Jewelry that is seen in department stores or typically for sale online. We produce and handle authentic handmade Jewelry this is unique and for the most part one-of-a-kind pieces of Artisan Handmade Jewelry.

We specialize in Turquoise authentic and natural American Turquoise. We have collected American Turquoise from historic American Mines, mined with the old Turquoise miners and have mined Turquoise  in our own mines for over 40 years. We hand cut most all of our own Turquoise that is used in the handmade Jewelry that we offer and we only use the finest quality Turquoise gemstones in our Jewelry. We also use many other quality gemstones such as  Coral, Lapis, Sugilite, Opal, Gaspeite, Spiny Oyster and other bold colored stones that gives our Jewelry a festive, lively and organic appearance.

Handmade Jewelry from the Southwest

Navajo Handmade Silver Bracelets

 Handmade Jewelry from the American Southwest in unique from any other Jewelry that is or has been produced worldwide. Southwestern Silver Jewelry has an organic appearance like no other and individuals who appreciate a natural lifestyle tend to migrate towards Southwestern Silver Jewelry designs as they are vibrant in color, handcrafted, made in USA and are artistic pieces of Handmade Jewelry.

The Navajo’s began making Southwestern styled Jewelry around 1865 when a Navajo Blacksmith named Atsidi Sani learned how to work with Silver from the Spaniards who were in this are in search of Gold and Silver. Atsidi Sani’s Silver Jewelry was an immediate hit with the Navajo people and soon people from the western United States began to appreciate it as well. Today, Southwestern Silver Jewelry is collected by individuals throughout the world and it has also become a national treasure on the United States.

Be sure to check out our new informational presentation on Handmade Jewelry, we are certain you will enjoy and get a lot of useful information from it. You might also like to view Handmade Silver Jewelry and Handcrafted Turquoise Jewelry.

Handmade Jewelry is our specialty, we hope you will visit Durango Silver Company online often.


Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

Turquoise, Gemstone of the Centuries

TurquoiseTurquoise has been one of the most desirable and popular gemstones since the times of the Egyptian pharaohs and Anasazi Indians. Turquoise is an opaque, blue-to-green mineral that is a hydrous phosphate of copper and aluminium, with the chemical formula CuAl6(PO4)4(OH)8·4H2O. It is rare and valuable in finer grades and has been prized as a gem and ornamental stone for thousands of years owing to its unique hue. In recent times, turquoise, like most other opaque gems, has been devalued by the introduction of treatments, imitations, and synthetics onto the market.

The substance has been known by many names, but the word turquoise, which dates to the 16th century, is derived from an Old French word for “Turkish”, because the mineral was first brought to Europe from Turkey, from the mines in historical Khorasan Province of Persia. Pliny referred to the mineral as callais, the Iranians named it “firouzeh” and the Aztecs knew it as chalchihuitl.


Natural Bisbee Turquoise Nugget

The pastel shades of turquoise have endeared it to many great cultures of antiquity: it has adorned the rulers of Ancient Egypt, the Aztecs (and possibly other Pre-Columbian Mesoamericans), Persia, Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley, and to some extent in ancient China since at least the Shang Dynasty.[9] Despite being one of the oldest gems, probably first introduced to Europe (through Turkey) with other Silk Road novelties, turquoise did not become important as an ornamental stone in the West until the 14th century, following a decline in the Roman Catholic Church’s influence which allowed the use of turquoise in secular jewellery. It was apparently unknown in India until the Mughal period, and unknown in Japan until the 18th century. A common belief shared by many of these civilizations held that turquoise possessed certain prophylactic qualities; it was thought to change colour with the wearer’s health and protect him or her from untoward forces.

The Aztecs inlaid turquoise, together with gold, quartz, malachite, jet, jade, coral, and shells, into provocative (and presumably ceremonial) mosaic objects such as masks (some with a human skull as their base), knives, and shields. Natural resins, bitumen and wax were used to bond the turquoise to the objects’ base material; this was usually wood, but bone and shell were also used. Like the Aztecs, the Pueblo, Navajo and Apache tribes cherished turquoise for its amuletic use; the latter tribe believe the stone to afford the archer dead aim. Among these peoples turquoise was used in mosaic inlay, in sculptural works, and was fashioned into toroidal beads and freeform pendants. The Ancestral Puebloans (Anasazi) of the Chaco Canyon and surrounding region are believed to have prospered greatly from their production and trading of turquoise objects. The distinctive silver jewelry produced by the Navajo and other Southwestern Native American tribes today is a rather modern development, thought to date from circa 1880 as a result of European influences.


Lander Blue Turquoise

In Persia, turquoise was the de facto national stone for millennia, extensively used to decorate objects (from turbans to bridles), mosques, and other important buildings both inside and out, such as the Medresseh-I Shah Husein Mosque of Isfahan. The Persian style and use of turquoise was later brought to India following the establishment of the Mughal Empire there, its influence seen in high purity gold jewellery (together with ruby and diamond) and in such buildings as the Taj Mahal.

Turquoise Lore and Spiritual Beliefs

Modern Spiritualists consider Turquoise to be a stone of spiritual attunement, cleansing, protection and prosperity and a symbol of the Earth and sky, good fortune and success. The Turquoise Spiritual powers aid in some of the most common needs us humans have.

Most ancient cultures believed some form of the following about Turquoise:

Protection – Spiritualists say its change of color from dark to light to its ability to detect poisons, danger, infidelity or sickness. This myth has survived to modern times. It is an excellent token of protection for physical and astral travel and vision quests, during which it acts as a grounding force, strengthening the user against fear of the unknown by enhancing one’s feelings of trust, kindness, wisdom and understanding. It can ward off strong negativity and protect from the evil eye, reptile bites and diseases of the eye. Further, Shamans extend its protective powers to one’s property.

Superstitions – Some believe you should avoid wearing turquoise that belongs to a deceased person or that it takes on characteristics of the wearer.

Gender of the Stone – Turquoise is androgynous with a good balance of yin and yang.

Attunement – New Age followers believe Turquoise attunes the physical to the higher realms, balances the mind and soul and connects with all life. Some cultures consider it a bridge between heaven and Earth.

Good Luck – Having seen the reflection of the new moon in a stone of Turquoise, a person was believed to encounter good luck soon, according to Persian lore. Arabian superstition said it was a lucky stone and that it had good powers of benevolence. They also attributed the accumulation of wealth and prosperity with the stone.

For more information visit’s page on Turquoise Spiritual Beliefs

Learn about Turquoise Jewelry

Visit Durango Silver’s Turquoise Jewelry Facts Page | Learn more about Turquoise

Beaded Bracelets

Saturday, September 10th, 2011

Beaded Bracelets

Beaded Bracelets

We have just finished a very nice Beaded Bracelets  informational page, come and check it out!

Durango Silver Company specializes in Beaded Bracelets, we use authentic gemstones to make our special pieces such as this Beaded Bracelet in the photo to the left. If you would like to see more information and additional photos of this Beaded Bracelet, follow this link.

We have had our Jewelry Gallery here in Durango, Colorado USA since 1976 and have been collecting gemstone beads since that time. Turquoise Beads have changed, however, the Turquoise Beads used to come from the Santo Domingo Indians and they were substantially more expensive.  We still use old Santo Domingo Beads in our Beaded Bracelets.

Beaded Bracelets

Turquoise Beaded Bracelet

 Durango Silver Company specializes in authentic Turquoise Beaded Bracelets such as this Beaded Bracelet to the right. Nattarika Hartman hand beaded this amazing five strand blue Kingman Turquoise Beaded Bracelet and she always uses 925 Sterling Silver findings to complete her Beaded Jewelry.

Nattarika selects her gemstone beads from our 40 year collection of authentic and natural gemstone beads. Naturally, Turquoise is her favorite and we have a large stock of rare Turquoise Beads that we have collected throughout the years of being in the Southwestern Silver Jewelry Business, however, we have a vast amount of  the gemstone beads that she uses to make her one of a kind Beaded Jewelry.

Beaded Bracelets

Beaded BraceletDurango Silver Company produces a wide variety of Beaded Bracelets. This Beaded Bracelet to the left has a Australian Bolder Opal center stones and is beaded with awesome filigree Silver Beads from Bali. We always have many different and unusual Beaded Bracelets with many different types of gemstones and many with Silver Beads as well.

Also, check out some of our informational presentation pages on Turquoise Beads,  Turquoise Beaded Jewelry, Turquoise Beaded Earrings, Turquoise Bead Necklaces and our Turquoise Beads Video.   We invite you to view the different Beaded Jewelry we have on hand now by typing in beaded Jewelry or even Beaded Bracelets.