If you are interested in authentic Turquoise and/or Turquoise Jewelry from the Southwestern United States, there are many factors you might want to consider.
The Turquoise industry in the Southwestern United States has been like a gold rush many times over in the last 80 years. Turquoise Jewelry had been recognized as Indian Jewelry in America and marketed as such since the Traders started marketing it heavily in the 1930’s.
The biggest changes to the Turquoise Market have come in recent years as global trade and the information age has arrived. Today, we realize more Turquoise and Turquoise Jewelry is made, by far, elsewhere in the world then in the United States. The facts are not certain, but, my guess is that less then 1% of the Turquoise Jewelry being sold in the world is Hand Made by Native American Indians. Turquoise and Turquoise Jewelry is very popular worldwide by many peoples of many nations. If you are interested in the history of Turquoise, follow our links as we have spent most of our lives involved in this industry. I have listed some of our Internet resources below.
When I was growing up as a kid, my best friend was a Taos Indian, Steve Minken, Steve’s forefathers were silversmiths way back to the turn of the century about 1900. From the age of 13 years old, Turquoise was my medicine and it made me feel good to always wear it and cherish it.
I really knew it as an American tradition and never realized the influence it has had for thousands of year on people around the world. Most Americans think of Native American Jewelry when they think of Turquoise. Did you know, it has been found in the tombs of pharaohs and the Cairo Museum dates it’s use as human adornment before 5500 B.C.? It’s True!
Well, my wife and I met when she was 13 and I was 15 years old, we will have been married 37 years March 3rd 2009. We have been heavily involved in the Turquoise and Gemstone Jewelry world since. We know American Turquoise like the back or our hands. We’ve mined it, cut it, made it into jewelry, traded directly with the Navajos and have been heavily evolved in the international trade of Turquoise, Native American Jewelry and Turquoise Jewelry for most of our lives.
Estell and I became Silver and Goldsmiths when we were in our early 20’s and have been making jewelry since. We really took a liking to Southwestern Jewelry and Victorian Jewelry. We moved to Durango from Albuquerque in 1973 and built our own Trading Post just west of Durango in 1975. We have been at the same location since.
We have been trading in many things from our Jewelry, Native American Indian Jewelry, pre-1900 Plains Indian Beadwork, Baskets, Pottery, old Navajo Rugs, and western frontier memorabilia since we opened our Trading Post. We have purchased the remains of several old Trading posts such as Fort Defiance, Tsegi, Chilchimbito and others and have run a brisk business here in Durango.
As well as making Jewelry, I got involved in designing and developing Jewelry for many other entities such as the Fred Harvey Co, Coldwater Creek Co, The Sundance Company, Ford Motor Co, Zippo Lighter Co of Tokyo and many others. At one time John’s company produced over 23,000 pieces of southwest silver Jewelry per month, which was shipped to Tokyo for the Japanese market. I have sold my jewelry to many very famous people such as Bing Crosby, Waylon Jennings, Ralph Lauren, George Carlin, The Buffalo Bill Historical Center, The Cowboy Hall of Fame and many other great people, museums and highly creditable entities.
Over the course of our lives we have steadily collected American Turquoise, Gemstones and Native American Jewelry. It is most likely that our family will continue down the Turquoise Trail for generations to come.
Today, our son Dillon, (28 years old), and his wife Jom have become deeply involved in the Turquoise world. Jom was born and raised in Chiangmai, Thailand, which is the Silver Jewelry capitol of Thailand. Dillon and Jom are learning everything they can from me and they also own several Turquoise mines in Nevada. They are both deeply involved in mining, making Jewelry, trading with native americans and carrying on the gem and jewelry business.
Our life is evolved around Turquoise – our true love is natural American Turquoise, but, we love all Turquoise and Turquoise Jewelry, old and new from around the globe.
We deal in all types of Turquoise – American, Chinese, Tibetan, Persian, Mexican and whatever crosses our paths. We love all rare natural gemstones from Agates to Rubies to Sugilite.
We primarily deal in Antique American Indian Jewelry, our Silver and Gold Jewelry made here in Durango and Native American Indian Jewelry. We are open other Turquoise Jewelry, old or new, as we appreciate the stone as well as the art. We do sincerely believe that natural Turquoise holds great medicinal values.
When you purchase Turquoise or Turquoise Jewelry from our family you can be certain you are getting what you paid for and you are getting the real thing! You can also be assured you are buying a piece of American History.