Turquoise ornaments wrists, fingers, and earlobes all across New Mexico and the Southwest. As early as AD 900, American Indians were mining the sky-colored stones and donning them as sacred tokens thought to bring health and protection.
Once tourists discovered the area in the early 1880s, artisans quickly found that silver and turquoise could generate gold. In 1889, a noted Tiffany and Company gemologist named George F. Kunz discovered a light-blue variety from a mine that perfectly matched the company’s trademark hue. Tiffany’s jewelry made with Cerrillos turquoise garnered the stone international attention.