Seeking advice, professional opinion, recommended appraiser

Hello all. I am in search of some advice. I inherited. 300 - 400 maybe 500 cut stones and some torquoise rock from my father about 8 years ago. He lived in New Mexico. He was a stone cutter and silversmith. Unfortunatly my knowledge is limited on grading/valuing them. I am finally getting around to doing something with some of his stuff although on the stones I don’t know how best to determine value. My father mentioned prior to his passing that he had some torquoise that was valuable that he had acquired many years ago. I am not a jeweler/silversmith therefore I have no need for the stones. I posted some pictures for viewing. Thank you very much for any advice / direction you may have.God Bless



Wow that is a lot of stones. I am no professional but you appear to have not only Turquoise but Lapis,
Malachite and what looks like Larimar and probably others I do not recognize. Very nice!


That is crazy!!! I would get in the bathtub and bury myself in them!!! :rofl:
Sorry I’m not more help. Take your time and figure out what you’ve got. They’re valuable.


Hah! Hadn’t thought of the bathtub thing. Anyway, as you-all can see I have some stones that I need to do something with. I have recently semi-retired and have a little more time, not much but a little, to figure out what the heck to do with some of the things. Additionally, I have some raw rock and many tools all sitting in a storage unit in NM that I have been paying on for many years now. I had originally thought I might get into some part of the silversmithing/artisan thing just never has panned out. I appreciate any advice on possible getting opinions or possibly a reputable person for an appraisal. I will be going back to New Mexico soon and would like to do something at that time. Cheers, thanks again and God Bless.


I wish I had the funds to tell you to just send them to me. There are some beautiful stones in those pictures.

1 Like

Perhaps denim Lapis too. Sensory overload…

1 Like

Well, first, but not always, the nicer the matrix the higher the price. I personally like larger stones.

Here are my thoughts:
1 keep the stones as your father grouped them. Most collectors keep like stones together
2 see if any of groups are marked. Anything helps. It may not look important but it might be.
3 the turquoise museum in abq can help but they will charge you. It is pretty expensive, but they will certainly do a thorough job.
4. Putting it out in chunks on an auction site might work. Trust that the market will find the value.
5. For a collection that large finding a single buyer can be tough. It is also a bit one sided, as you don’t know the value but they do.
6. Try to find a lapidary club nearby and maybe one member is a turquoise guy. We do exist :slight_smile:

My guess is that you will get between $.50 and $7 per carat, depending on the stones.

A cursory look and most of the cabs appear to be royston, kingman. There is a bit of sleeping beauty, some morenci, a few from NM (hachita?) and a bit of Bisbee. I didn’t see any of the classic lone mountain or hat mines.

The deeper blues with matrix might be worth taking another look or posting pics of that group.
Hope this helps


Do you have any photos of your father’s work? I’d love to see how he used the material he chose to put into his work. I can’t tell you how much this part of his legacy that he left to you is worth but I can tell you that this kind of inheritance would be a dream for me and I can’t tell you how exciting finding and getting to use tools that have been weathered and loved and used are to work with…they are the best! The best advice for pricing I can give is to go to some lapidary club/gem and jewelry shows and seek out similar type items and what they are selling for…typically you get the whole scale of cheap bargains to really expensive top of the line dealers in all of the items you have including shop tools…and then come back here and I’m sure there are some quick buyers…lol thank you for sharing your dad’s passion with us :heart:


Wow great advice/information. What a wonderful group. Thank you Currada, AC, Islandmomma, karne, Michael-CA and koliopee. I posted a few photos of some of my fathers work. He enjoyed his silversmithing and his work cutting and preparing the stones very much. He sold some of his art although I think he gave away more than he sold. I have distributed much of what he had when he passed to family and close friends so it could be enjoyed. Not sure at this time what I will do with his tools/bench etc. Hadn’t really thought that through. Anyway, as for the stones I will do additional research and eventually try and market at least some of them. Seems better to get them in the hands of an artist as they were intended to be. God Bless and any additional advice will be sincerely appreciated.


Thanks for sharing your Fathers passion. He was very talented they are beautiful works of art.

1 Like

If i were you, i would take up turquoise identification as a hobby… it is a fascinating pasttime. You might try joining a mineral club in your area or try linking up with other collectors. Good turquoise is getting rarer everyday. If you have children you might try getting one of them to take up turquoise collecting.
It would be a shame to break up this collection without knowing better what is in it.


Very beautiful and desirable style…do you have a bio and makers mark of his so we can learn more about his pieces. I love them all but I think my favorite is his necklace using that half-round wire bale and then he twists it ever so slightly and then I really love the color of turquoise :heart_eyes: too! Soo many outstanding pieces!
There are many teaching sites where you can learn basic metalsmithing and cold connections and thus utilize those tools and stones you’ve been gifted. In addition to that once your comfortable with those basic techniques you can then learn the art of silver soldering the same way or at a local workshop or University that has a metalsmithing art program (that’s how I learned; I have a Bachelor’s of Art in Studio Art and Metalsmithing…on top of being partially self taught on making jewelry since about 8yrs old) but the Ganoksin website, Rio Grande, Instructables and YouTube have a lot of very good lessens on the art of metalsmithing. You probably have everything you would need to get started and keep going with only a few things you have to restock which you can fund though the sale of some :carrot: Carrots :wink: if you know what I mean…just some thoughts!


His makers mark was/is a rafter G (his horse brand on the jaw was a rafter G). See image. Bio would be extensive. Professional rodeo cowboy in his young life and blacksmith/horse shoeing. Lived in Las Vegas for a period and dealt blackjack and was somewhat of a gambler. Moved back to NM and continued welding/farriering but mostly worked in the movie business for probably 20 years. During this time he dabbled in silver work and stone cutting. When his health limited him and he could not work in the movie business any longer he pretty much did his jewlery fulltime. He was self taught for the most part but was close to some Native American artists that he often learned from. Like I mentioned previously he sold some of his art although I would say he gifted as much, if not more, then he sold. His last few years his work was very nice as he was dedicating almost all his available time to silver work and the stones. Also, started to develop a certain style to his work. Thanks again to all for the advice, suggestions and information. I will digest it as best, time permitting, as I can. God Bless



What beautiful stones! I would suggest that you join a Facebook group or two. There is one on All Kinds of Turquoise. Some people are extremely knowledgeable in the group. In the past I’ve seen comments by the Hartman’s (google that name with Bisbee turquoise), a father a son. Some I don’t think know what they’re talking about, but you could figure that out by hanging out in the group for awhile. Another would be the FB group on Native American jewelry, The Native American Jewelry Forum. There are a number of experts and Native American silversmiths in that group.