Albuquerque buying trip report (Sept. 30-Oct. 2, 2018):
I flew out to Albuquerque, NM to visit with 4 of my American turquoise bead suppliers ... it was a quick trip but I netted some wonderful finds.
COMPLETELY NEW ITEMS:
Blue turquoise from the Sinai in Egypt that has matrixing of deep red iron, much like American turquoise from the Red Mountain mine. There appears to be quite a bit of the rough turquoise nuggets (still in buckets) with only a limited supply already cut into cabochons and drilled for beads. I was able to get 3 strands of graduating stacked nuggets and a handful of rounded potato nugget bead strands. One of my most exciting finds was some large freeform teardrop pendants from the Kingman turquoise mine, I spent some time digging through them and was able to pick out about a dozen really beautiful focal beads.
AMERICAN TURQUOISE AND MORE TURQUOISE:
I met with my now retired friends who sell Morenci turquoise beads and was able to some long drilled potato nuggets in three different sizes, the larger ones will be sold by the bead. I spend quite a bit of time digging through turquoise cabochon cards and selected some high quality calibrated cabs in various shapes and some wonderful 30x40mm Kingman turquoise oval cabs. I stocked up on Sleeping Beauty nugget strands, Kingman nuggets and a few shapes and some nuggets from various Mexico mines. I hand selected the most amazing big designer nugget strands from Campitos Mexico turquoise, Number 8 turquoise and Kingman Arizona mines.
ALL THOSE OTHER RARE STONES:
Additional finds include Natural Red Mediterranean Coral shaped beads, Sugilite large rice beads and Peruvian Pink Opal focal pendant beads. I was also able to dig out a few nice strands of White Buffalo in barrels and mixed shapes.
Did I mention I was able to get some Stichtite (aka Purpurite or Lavenderite) in round as well as some big focal size beads ... and some Angelite beads. I was able to restock a few things including some Australian Opal chips, Mexican Fire Opal chips and Varisite nuggets. My very special supplier who recently cut the Arizona Wild Horse has gotten in some strands of giant graduating wheel beads so I picked up half a dozen of them.
SWEET …. Although the trip was short, it was really sweet … I was so thankful to drag my girlfriend Shawn along with me and we enjoyed a lovely drive up to Sandia Peak mountain top for a beautiful sunset. Needless to say, I think she might be suffering from turquoise overload right now!