Since the dawn of time human beings have handmade crafts of all kinds including jewelry and other bodily adornments. Up until the Industrial Revolution in the United States, all jewelry was handmade. During the Industrial Revolution, machines were developed to help humans manufacture and mass produce many things. Manufactured jewelry is now the most common and available form of jewelry on the market. Through the years and technological advancements, handmade jewelry has become a rare and cherished art. Handmade Turquoise Jewelry is no exception. Because of this, there is a large group of studied collectors seeking out handmade silver jewelry -Gemstone Silver Jewelry and Handmade Turquoise Jewelry. Here at Durango Silver Company we focus on creating for these individuals, whether collectors, or people new to Turquoise Jewelry, we cater to jewelry lovers looking for something truly unique, high-quality, with real gemstones, and that is handmade.
Today only a handful of artisans make genuine Handmade Turquoise Jewelry. The majority of these makers are located in the Southwestern United States of America and are of all ethnic backgrounds. Most commonly associated with Turquoise Jewelry are the Native American or American Indian Jewelry makers; although, they are not the largest group of Turquoise Jewelry manufactures. Southwestern Jewelry is blessed to retain a fair amount of jewelers that are handmaking each piece. Durango Silver Company and the Hartman family is proud to be amongst this select group of jewelers. In the southwest, we are lucky to have this craft which is daily becoming more and more appreciated. With global ecomnomies allowing mass production and cheap items more readily available, handmade crafts become harder and harder to find, and always more respected.
There are several reasons why handmade jewelry, handmade anything, is becoming so scarce. One of the main reasons is our changing ways and the current "throw away" culture... many people simply do not understand why a handmade item or heirloom quality item, whether it is a coffee table, clothing, or handmade jewelry, is worth what it is worth. Our society today is geared towards wasting money on technology and other items that are out dated almost as soon as we buy them. This causes people to buy items on sale or at knock-off prices so that they can simply through the old away and buy the latest versions. This helps major company rack in the profits without concern for environmental or social damage. Many big chain stores buy merchandise in bulk from manufactures in 3rd world and/or developing countries at prices that have become the staple of contemporary lifestyle. These stores only carry this type of merchandise.
Another reason for the decline in availability of Handmade Turquoise Jewelry is the price of supplies and labor. The rising costs of precious metals, gemstones and tools, along with the rising cost of living around the world have greatly hampered the artists' ability to make a piece of handmade jewelry at a price that is competitive with mass produced jewelry. Companies mass producing jewelry create low price points that tourist shops, and chain jewelry stores demand in order to sell high volume to customers who want "the look" and are not concerned with the craftsmanship, ethics or originality of quality Turquoise jewelry or quality silver jewelry.
Finally we must mention the age of Technology...today's children are growing up with computers and technology, and finding that most modern jobs are desk-based. The teaching of skills required for a technological age has taken the place of many arts and music classes in public school. The next generations are growing up with very few individuals understanding craftsmanship and knowing how to work with their hands, most of them not even being able to do simple things like changing the oil in a car. With this in mind, it is easy to realize why not many of these children would persue becoming jewelers, wood-workers, glass artists, etc. As you can imagine, this effects the amount of handmade products that will be made today and in the future.
With all of this in mind, there is still hope for the artisans of today and tomorrow!, A niche market with collectors, connoisseurs, artists and hipster keeps a small and happy handful of artisans alive. These folks simply will not accept manufactured products and a lot of times become makers themselves.
Above you see two heirloom quality pieces of Handmade Turquoise Jewelry. The gold and Turquoise ring to the left is a gorgeous piece made in 14k yellow gold and featuring the rarest of rare natural Bisbee Turquoise from Bisbee, Arizona. To the right is a fabulous handmade Sterling Silver pendant with VERY RARE natural, lime green Tibetan Turquoise and (natural) Candelaria Turquoise from Nevada. These pieces are just a couple of examples of investment level (heirloom quality) handmade Turquoise jewelry. These are also good examples of how unique and wonderful handmade jewelry can be!
Handmade Turquoise Jewelry is a great investment for many reasons. Handmade jewelry is collected by enthusiast around the world as an investment in adornment and art. There are many ways to invest in your future... Handmade Turquoise Jewelry is a wonderful one as it is not only rare and valuable, but it is also wearable, conversational and fun to learn about with a history that reaches back as far as we can imagine! You can enjoy this investment while it grows in value. Precious metals and gemstones have an equal value world wide; and in some cases, a greater value in certain circles. Turquoise is one of the most sought after gemstones world-wide and is highly collectible due to its rarity and the different finger prints that each Turquoise mine produce. American Turquoise is especially valuable and collectible. Handmade Turquoise Jewelry is very valuable for it has the hand of its maker in each detail and often these artisans reach some level of fame in their lifetime... of course, that exponentially grows once they have passed.
For many years now American and Japanese jewelry enthusiasts have been savvy to the investment value of Handmade Turquoise Jewelry. They have studied all the different Turquoise mines and know the specific finger prints from each mine that produces Turquoise. They know many of the best artists and the look of their work. These collectors and investors know that most of the Turquoise mines around the world are closed, and they also know that even when they were open, there was a very limited amount of top gem grade Turquoise produced. They know that silver and gold are material assets that are traded world wide as a form of currency. In fact, most of the world's top end Turquoise Jewelry goes to a handful of wealthy collectors and investors mainly in Japan and the USA, though as of late much of this high-end, Handmade Turquoise Jewelry is going to China where private collectors know that natural Turquoise may soon be a thing of the past. Natural high grade Turquoise prices soared to all time highs in 2013 due to the closing of the Sleeping Beauty Turquoise Mine and the major Chinese mines, leaving only the Kingman Turquoise mine that is producing any volume of Turquoise and a few Mexican mines that produce Chalk Turquoise which must be stabilized and color enhanced to sell. Sleeping Beauty Turquoise, in one year went from $75.00/lbs wholesale to $1200.00/lbs wholesale, if you can even find it to buy!!! Silver has gone up, gold has gone up. And lastly, labor of the few who know this dying art has gone up in value. Collectors know there is great value in artists and their unique styles.
The more we study this art form, the makers, and most importantly the gemstone Turquoise, we find mountains of reasons to invest in and to collect Turquoise and Turquoise Jewelry. Most people that begin collecting Turquoise and Turquoise Jewelry become wildly obsessed with the gemstone, the makers, the stories and the art. Once you become one of these enthusiasts you will learn as much as you can as fast as you can. You will begin by loving the aesthetic of a piece of Handmade Turquoise Jewelry, and you will go on in your studies and enthusiasm... you may berome crazy about the craftsmen, the makers and their art, or you may find your heart in the Turquoise stones, their unique colors, patterns and provenance. In the end you will love all kinds of Turquoise and Turquoise Jewelry as men and women have since the begining of civilization..
One of the things that makes people so crazy about this form of handmade art is that each piece is a unique, one-of-a-kind, work of art. When a piece or jewelry is handmade you can never duplicate it exactly, even if you have the same tools, maker and similar stones, the design always turns out a little bit different. And on that note, Turquoise Jewelry is nearly imposible to duplicate for you rarely find an exact match in a Turquoise stone. Even Sleeping Beauty Turquoise which most people think to be plain blue, pure Turquoise, the perfect color of Turquoise, has hundreds of shades of blue and even green. When you think about this, buying a piece of handmade jewelry is a fun and educational experience if you are dealing with the right people.
Here at Durango Silver Company we take pride in our knowledge of Turquoise and in the fact that most of our jewelry is made in house by members of the Hartman Family. We cut our own stones from raw Turquoise; we even mine, with picks and shovels, a good deal of these stones! When you are buying a piece of Handmade Turquoise Jewelry from us, you are not only getting a piece of high quality heirloom jewelry that you can pass down and share with your family, you are getting the story of your stone and learning a small piece of the massive Turquoise history.
If you are interested in delving deeper, we have an extensive Turquoise Learning Center! Take a look and learn more then you can remember!
We invite you to take a look at a couple of our other presentations... Handcrafted Turquoise Jewelry, Handmade Jewelry, Handmade Silver Jewelry, Handmade Silver Rings Jewelry, Handmade Jewelry and Handmade Silver
We invite you to learn more about Handmade Turquoise Jewelry and American Turquoise Jewelry by following the links in our Learning Center, we have written on different topics directly related to American Handmade Turquoise Jewelry. In addition, we would like to invite you to join our E-mail Newsletter - about once every other month we send out a Newsletter to inform our members of what's happening with Durango Silver Company, new products, specials for our members and more. We also have a monthly drawing from our member base to give away free Turquoise Jewelry from our company. Please take a moment to become one of our friends by signing in below. We hope you have enjoyed our presentation on Handmade Turquoise Jewelry and have gained some useful knowledge from it.