American Gemstone Spoons

gem stone spoons american

Conventional American silver manufacture made spoons with gemstones are rare. Most of the examples are either hobbiest made which would put them in the arts and crafts category or indian made which would put them in that category.

But, as luck would have it, I do have a few pieces to share with you.

This white stone appears to be a miners cut diamond. The bowl is engraved "Nannie". I suspect that the diamond was removed from another piece of jewelry and mounted in this spoon as a present.

S. Kirk and Son is the manufacturer of this beautifully engraved handle with a nice oval shaped piece of emerald-green jadeite mounted on it.

These two pieces feature round pieces of turquoise  (synthetic?) mounted on conventional looking spoons

Natural placer gold nuggets from Alaska are mounted on these spoons

More gold nugget spoons may be seen in the Yukon exhibit

artificial gold nugget spoon

Spoon handle made to look like gold nuggets

These are NOT gold nuggets --it is just a simulation made with silver (sometimes they may be plated)

A set of 12 spoons featuring the gemstone for each month was made. The stones in this set are very tiny. Be careful when buying these spoons as the stones sometimes fall off. The bowls are embossed with a verse about the month. The pearl is the birthstone for June.

A new exhibit shows all of the month spoons --click here

Another style of birthstone spoon (June) which is advertising the stone "alexandrite". This stone, however, is a similar looking stone, not a true alexandrite which is rather expensive.

Left: This hand made spoon features a nicely faceted red stone which I suspect is a garnet. The bowl is engraved "Trenton Mo". Right. Basically the same spoon, but there is a pretty green stone mounted in the finial and the ribbon is engraved "May". I suspect that the stone is a peridot, although Emerald is the birthstone.

This cute sterling spoon from Isle Royale, Houghton, Michigan (a wilderness national park island in Lake Superior) features a very unusual round cabachon greenish /black stone with an intricate green matrix. This stone has now been identified as pumpelleyite, a rare variety of greenstone which is only found in Michigan and it is also the official state gemstone. The multi-color "blotch" on the top is from the scanner.

silver and copper amalgamate spoon

This is a standard Lunt pattern spoon which has been engraved "Houghton , Mich" in the bowl

At the top a very unusual copper and silver amalgamate stone has been mounted

silver and copper amalgamate spoon

You can see the copper on the right and the silver on the left. 

The area around Houghton is noted for its copper mines and silver is usually a byproduct of copper production

however, seeing a large matrix deposit of silver on the copper is relatively rare and makes for interesting spoons or jewelry

copper/silver nugget spooncopper/silver nugget spoon

This is another example of a copper nugget with silver matrix. You can see the  copper on the top left and the silver on the right.

This is a hand made spoon that is only marked 'sterling'

This spoon came from the Prescott, Arizona area (there was a lot of copper/gold/silver mining in that area in the first third of the 20th century)

jade handle spoon alaska

Hand made spoon with a jade handle from Alaska. Unknown metal content as it is marked "ss" which may be sterling silver --but I am not sure.

A hand made heart finial and bowl "love spoon" sporting a deep blue stone which I think is a sapphire.

Soldered to the top of this conventionally produced spoon is a natural placer gold nugget. The bowl is engraved "Denver" and the back is engraved "M.B.". Colorado produced a lot of gold and silver, but most of the gold nugget spoons are from Alaska. You can see the Alaska nugget spoons under the Yukon exhibit from the gemstone index. The style of engraving in the bowl of this spoon is also different and somewhat unusual. The engraver used a 3-D style font and produced half of each letter in a conventional manner and half using a roulette tool.

gold nugget spoon denver holy cross

An unusual large placer silver/gold tinged  nugget is soldered at the finial of this spoon. The partially gold washed bowl has an embossed picture of the "Mt. of the Holy Cross"

The back of the bowl is an engraved 'love' message

holy cross mountain spoon

engraved "Addie from Jim Aug 31st (18) 94" and a roulette engraved "Denver"

The mountain of the holy cross is an optical illusion that became very popular during the era of  'manifest destiny'.

On this high stone faced mountain in the Colorado Rockies, a patter of cracks and fissures creates this illusion . The human mind which tries to create patterns

from random objects often sees a cross when snow covers the mountain.

Longfellow wrote in his poem "The Cross of Snow"

"There is a mountain in the distant West

That, sun-defying, in its deep ravines

Displays a cross of snow upon its side."

Petrified Wood

In my first book, I showed a picture of a spoon with petrified wood and engraved "California" on the handle. I had borrowed this spoon for the picture. Now I have acquired my own version of this spoon.

This spoon is engraved "petrified forest" in the bowl, but there is no mention of the location on the handle. There are several of these forests in the western United States. The biggest and best known one is in Arizona, and there is a smaller one in Utah. There is also a small one in California. This spoon is marked with the Tammen Co. mark (Denver, Colorado), as was the other spoon. I suspect that the wood in both cases came from the Arizona forest.

gem stone spoon leaves turquoise

Interesting spoon with three folded leaves each with tiny turquoise (synthetic) stones mounted

Canadian Gem Stone Spoons

Uranium City, Saskatchewan (Lake Athabasca)

A very unusual spoon featuring a natural piece of raw cobalt at the finial. The Sudbury District of Ontario, Canada is one of the few commercial sources of this rare element which is used to make permanent magnets for electronic applications. It can also be made into a nuclear bomb and has various other uses in industry.

A very nice large cabachon cut amethyst stone mounted on a spoon made by BM Co. of Canada. Until about the turn of the century, amethyst was a valuable gemstone and because of its "passionate" color it was very popular in "love" jewelry. Shortly before 1900 huge deposits of it were found in Brazil and Uruguay and today it is quite inexpensive.

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