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Custom jewelery from natural materials by Ann Carroll Designs

An Introduction to Turquoise

A Bit o’History

The tradition of using turquoise in jewelry is ancient and found around the world. The Mesopotamians used turquoise beads as early as 5000BC. The Egyptians used it to adorn Tutankhamen’s golden throne. Empress Maria Louise of France replaced the emeralds in a diadem, set with 1006 diamond, with turquoise. The Mesoamericans used turquoise to adorn their ceremonial masks from the fourth to the seventh centuries AD. The Pueblo Indians have used turquoise beads since 1000AD. They also introduced the Navajo to silver smithing in 1853, then the Zuni learned silver smithing in turn from the Navajo.

What does it look like?

Turquoise comes in shades of blue and green often with a black or brown matrix running through it and is usually found as a byproduct of copper mining. The finest blue turquoise is believed to come from Persia (Iran) and before World War I it was Persia’s number one export.  It is so lovely, I have never seen Persian turquoise set in anything but gold.

I am most familiar with the turquoise that comes from the American Southwest, Arizona and New Mexico. Most of these stones are set by the Native American artisans, whose silversmith work I have admired for years. When I visit Santa Fe and Tucson I always try to bring home a small piece and take inspiration from their work.

The blue turquoise used in many of the Native American jewelery designs is hard to get since a large copper strip mine near Tucson closed in 1974. Many of the turquoise I use are from China. Using Chinese stones helps me to keep my turquoise pieces in a price range that many women can afford.

Care and Handling of Turquoise

Turquoise is only a 5-6 on the Mohs’ Harness Scale. For this reason, with few exceptions, all of the turquoise I use are stabilized to harden the stone and make it more wearable. In my shop I make it a practice to indicate where treatment has been used and where the stone is natural.

When cleaning your turquoise you should avoid steam, ultra sound, hot water and household cleansers.


I have been looking for a way to introduce a line of gem necklaces to my shop that are a bit less expensive than my usual work. I’m excited to tell you about my new collars line. Each collar is one of a kind using the same types of “from the earth and sea” gem stones I use for my premier collection.

The collars are in a choker style and the gemstones sit in the hollow of your throat. Each necklace is 16 to 17 inches long so one size fits most. They are great alone or layered with other necklaces. The fine wire I have used is sterling silver over stainless steel giving you the look of silver and the strength of stainless steel.

Do you like them? Not? Let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear what you think!

Welcome to My Site

Rocks, rocks, and more rocks. I have always loved rocks. In the past I bought traditional faceted gems, diamonds, rubies and sapphires, emeralds and amethyst. Eventually though I found them boring in their sameness of cut and setting and I began looking for different kinds of stones. Stones with their own character, color and cut. My search revealed a bounty of material provided by our earth and seas. Delighted with the new materials, I crafted an entirely new wardrobe of accessories to match my own personal wardrobe and Treasures was born.

Until now most of my public work was custom jewelry to match a client’s taste and wardrobe. Thank you to all of you - you know who you are. Are you also looking for a way to purchase one of a kind pieces for your family and friends?

Each piece on my site is one-of-a-kind and will add a new dimension to your accessory collection. My jewelery is priced between $15.00 to $200.00 based on the cost of the stones, the length of the piece and the amount of sterling silver used. Each piece of custom jewelery I make for you will be priced accordingly.

Welcome and I hope you’ll take your time browsing through my shop to find the perfect addition to your favorite wardrobe pieces.