The Waiting Game

Apr 21, 2017

I became a seller of turquoise because I am a collector of turquoise. One of my favorite things to do is shop at outdoor antique markets. Years ago I was still working on growing my turquoise collection. I enjoyed searching through cases of vintage jewelry for the rare and natural American turquoise stones. I still love to do this today. It's how I fill my website. I always look for the unusual stones.  

I like natural stones set in examples of early silversmithing or very unusual artistic piece, still with a rustic feel. I was shopping at an outdoor market and came across a vendor that I had never seen there before. He was a Navajo man and had only a couple of jewelry cases. I kind of noticed that he had some wooden things on the table but when I saw this piece in his case my heart skipped a beat and I could see nothing else. It was a large but simple pendant in the shape of a human hand. At the heart of the hand was a long and narrow turquoise stone. It was almost black with small nodules of turquoise. I knew instantly want it was and I wanted it.

I asked this rather gruff and pretty much unfriendly man how much this piece was. He said it's a necklace and it's mine. It's not for sale. It's a good luck charm. Sadly, I had to leave without the pendant. A few months later, I saw him again. I asked about the pendant and once again he told me that it was not for sale and challenged me that I did not know what he had there. I felt like a student being called on by a teacher. I crossed my fingers and answered "Might be Godber, but it might be Lander Blue" much to his surprise. He told me "Yeah, It's Lander Blue and I will never sell it." I told him, "Someday, you will need some fast money and when that day comes, I will be there to buy this piece from you".

Here are some Lander Blue Cabochons:

For about 2 years I would see him every few months and I would ask him " Are you ready to sell the pendant?" His answer was always, "No, It's Lander Blue. It's my good luck charm." And that's how it went for a long time.

You see Lander blue is the rarest of all turquoise. Now, I'm talking about old Lander Blue, not new Lander Blue. It was discovered in 1973 in Nevada and it is said that only about 110 pounds of turquoise was taken from that mine. It is so highly collected and valued that it is sold by the carat.

It was early spring one year and I decided to travel to North to attend an antique event that I had never been to before. I had heard that there were good turquoise dealers there to meet.

I got up at 4 AM to head to the show grounds and... RAIN! It was an outdoor show and it was raining heavily. I had driven 8 hours to attend this event for the first time, so I went anyway. By the time I got to the event the rain had slowed down enough that some of the vendors were setting up. There were not many buyers in attendance so I was able to buy and buy and buy. It did not take long to exhaust my budget.

I was getting ready to leave and realized that I had missed a side row that was tucked over into a corner area. I headed over for a quick look and who was there but my Indian from down South!

I looked into the case and there was the hand pendant waiting for me. As I looked at it I could feel the man staring at me. I looked at him and he had almost a shocked look on his face.

He said "My van broke down. This show is a rained out bust. I need to fix my van. I'll sell you the pendant." I could not pay him fast enough. I finally had it! This great looking piece with Lander Blue!

I saw that man about a year later and he asked me "Hey, you want to sell that piece back to me?" I told him, "No, It's not for sale. It's Lander Blue. It's my good luck charm".

He said to me, "Someday, you'll need some fast money...and I'll be there...

Do I have any Old Lander Blue for sale on my website you ask? I am sorry to say that right now, I do not. But if I ever do, I will be sure that the world knows about my great find. 

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