Turquoise with black and white in it……..is it valuable?

Is turquoise with black and white in it valuable? Any information would be appreciated. John


Hi John,

The black is matrix which is striking and somewhat common in certain mines such as Kingman, Sleeping Beauty, and other mines.

Most rough blocks of turquoise contain splotches or veins of the mother rock in which it formed.  This can include white kaolinite which is a clay mineral. Both matrix and clay deposits can affect the color and toughness of the turquoise stone and its workability for the Native American jeweler.

In general, I would say dark matrix (black, chocolate brown, rust, gold etc.) is desirable and white inclusions, not so much because the white is associated with a more chalky consistency, therefore less tough. I’d be happy to hear the opinion of others. Paula

Navajo Tommy Singer Bamboo Coral and Treasure Necklaces

Hi Paula,

I am interested in some of Tommy Singer’s work which is displayed on your website.

Items NHS828, NH878, NH827, and the multi-strand bamboo coral.

Tommy Singer 3 Strand Gemstone Necklace
Tommy Singer Turquoise Gemstone Necklace
Tommy Singer Purple Spiny Oyster Gemstone Necklace
Tommy Singer 7 Strand Bamboo Coral Gemstone Necklace

I am wondering what percentage of the beads he uses are actually handmade/handformed by him or his family. My wife and I are building a collection, trying to stick to sole-authorship pieces.

Any information you can give me on these pieces, or any others you might have by Tommy and others would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks and best regards,


Hi Charlie,

Thanks for your inquiry.

The 12K gold filled barrel beads that are decorated, gold, black silver are made by Tommy Singer. Also the solid sterling silver barrel beads are made by him. They are on most of his necklaces. They are his signature treasure necklace beads.

The purple and orange spiny oyster and turquoise heishi style disc beads are made by him. Also the other gemstone beads that are disc style.

The long narrow bamboo coral – I am not sure but I think not made by him.

The little sterling silver decorative spacers – I think not made by him.

The sterling silver cone ends are not made by him.

So a high percentage of what goes into his necklace is hand made by Tommy Singer or his family.

Doris and James Coriz make all the component of their necklaces, for example

Spirit Necklace made by Doris and James Coriz, Santo Domingo
Olive Shell Fish Necklace by James and Doris Coriz, Santo Domingo
Close up of fish

These artists also make ALL of the heishi right on the “string” so to speak.

10 Strand Heishi Necklace by Janice Tenorio, Santo Domingo
Close up of Tenorio heishi

Enjoy browsing and let me know if I can help further.


Boulder Turquoise – Native American Jewelry Materials

Boulder turquoise has a warm earthy look to it because it is Mother Earth with a ribbon of bright turquoise running through it – thus it is also sometimes called Ribbon Turquoise. The ribbon can appear and disappear in the mother rock.


Pilot Mountain Boulder Turquoise Pendant by Tony Garcia, Laguna Pueblo


Boulder Turquoise can be found in any mine, but often the rock surrounding the turquoise is too brittle or soft to polish into a cabochon or a stone for a setting.

Therefore, a few mines are noted for their production of usable Boulder Turquoise for jewelry: Pilot Mountain and Royston. Read More about US Turquoise Mines here.


Pilot Mountain Boulder Turquoise Pendant