Marcus & Company (American, 1892–ca. 1962)
Arizona turquoise, demantoid garnets, gold; 3/4 x 1 1/4 in. (1.9 x 3.2 cm)
Purchase, Susan and Jon Rotenstreich Gift, 2000 (2001.239)
Although diamond jewelry was especially revered, late nineteenth-century Americans became increasingly interested in colored stones, both precious and semiprecious. The publication in 1890 of George Kunz's Gems and Precious Stones of North America heightened interest in such native American gems as tourmaline, opal, moonstone, and turquoise. By mounting an oval cabochon turquoise in a cage of yellow gold, Marcus & Company transformed a gemstone mined in Arizona into an imitation scarab, set with fiery demantoid garnet eyes. A gold loop at one end enabled the stone to be worn as a pendant.