Friday, September 18, 2020

Petrified Wood

Ironstone Vineyard's Heritage Museum now features and outstanding collection of petrified wood.

Visit free of charge, the collection is located just outside the Heritage Museum & Gift Shoppe.


M.P. Hunerlach, 2016

Which minerals produce the colors found in the petrified wood?

Red and Pink colors are produced by the presence of hematite, a form of oxidized iron - Fe2O3. The intensity of the color depends on the quantity of hematite present in the petrified wood.

Ø  Process: Iron dissolves in ground water when no oxygen is present. The ground water becomes re-oxygenated as it moves though the tree trunks causing oxygen to bond with the iron. The iron then precipitates to produce a solid form of iron called hematite. This hematite is incorporated into the log's cell walls. The same process occurs when iron stains porcelain sinks. The soluble iron in ground water becomes oxidized into a solid form when it comes in contact with air, causing a reddish stain.

Yellow, Brown and Orange colors are produced by the presence of goethite - HFeO2 and Fe2O3. Goethite is a hydrated iron oxide that is derived by weathering from iron bearing minerals. It crystallizes into tablets, scales, needles, radial and concentric aggregates.

Green colored petrified wood is produced by pure reduced iron that is a magnetic, malleable mineral. The chemical composition is Fe. Referred to as native iron, it is quite rare in terrestrial rocks but common in meteorites. Native iron combines with chlorophyll to give tree leaves and plants their green colors but rarely attaches to wood cells.

White is produced by pure silica - SiO2. Since silicon, Si, and oxygen, O, are the two most abundant elements in the earth's crust. Silica group minerals are common worldwide. Free silica, SiO2, referred to scientifically as silicon dioxide, occurs most commonly as quartz. Quartz is the principal element of glass. In many respects quartz is the most interesting of all minerals. It has a larger number of distinct varieties with wider differences than any other mineral. Petrified wood, also referred to as silicified wood, is a common illustration of a quartz pseudomorph - wood is slowly replaced, cell by cell, by silica, until not a trace of the original material remains.

Ø  Process: The structural arrangement of silicon and oxygen creates an open bonding structure that permits other ions such as various forms of iron to occupy interstitial positions in the molecule and bond to it, thus producing variations in color.

Organic carbon or pyrite - FeS2 (iron sulfide), the most abundant and widespread sulfide mineral, produces Black. Because it was mistaken for gold it is often called "fool's gold." Pyrite, translated freely, means "fire mineral", a reference to the sparks given off when struck.

Ø  Process: The wood was affected as hydrogen sulfide from decaying organic matter interacted with iron forming pyrite.

Purple and Blue are produced by manganese dioxide - MnO2. This is a secondary material formed when water leaches manganese from igneous rock and re-deposits it as a concentration of manganese dioxide. As a result, it occurs more often as coatings on other minerals than as large crystals. Manganese is very important in the manufacture of steel.

Tan indicates silica dioxide is the predominate replacement mineral. This color is most often seen in permineralized wood. In permineralization, the wood's cell structure is better preserved, giving it the appearance of real wood. It should be noted that not all petrified wood is permineralized. Permineralization also transpires when wood is preserved with calcite rather than silica.  

Ø  How the very fine detail of the cell structure is preserved is not well understood. It would appear that less than cell sized gradients in acidity created very small re-precipitation gradients, replacing the wood on almost an atom by atom basis.

Good Information on the Formation of petrified Wood:



Monday, September 14, 2020

Cuff Links for the Sportsman

Crafted for the avid Sportsman, Designer Chris Chaney has created the Winchester line of fine jewelry.  Officially Licensed by Winchester, an icon of the Gold Rush Era, each of these pieces speaks fine craftsmanship and an eye to detail.
This particular pair of cuff links is cast from a 12 guage bullet end in 14k yellow gold fitted with a genuine diamond center. Total weight of the 2 diamonds is 0.40 cttw.  We only have one pair available originally offered at $2995.00. Now through November, we are marking this piece 25% off. There is only one left, so do call soon to make it yours.

For those of you who prefer Sterling Silver, we do have this same style available cast in Sterling Silver with no diamonds listed at $199.00. Stop by and check them out.

In addition to the cuff links, the Winchester line features pendants and earrings. Stay tuned for more on these fun pieces.

Moving into the holidays, put your best foot forward with these eye catching pieces.  

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Vintage Coins now available

Ironstone Heritage Jewelry Shoppe now has a nice collection of vintage coins available for sale.  Stashed away for several years this collection originally came in as part of an auction lot that Mr. Kautz, Ironstone owner, purchased.  He had his eye on a few vintage tokens for the Museum section which were immediately put on display.  The rest of the lot has remained boxed up and stashed in a corner till #CoronaCleaning brought it back to the surface.  If you are looking for anything specific, drop us an email here at Ironstone and we will get back to you.   In the meantime, enjoy.

Most of the coins are US coins, some quite old and many more recent.  All in very good condition. 

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Meet Australian Gold Nugget "Fair Dinkum"

"Fair Dinkum" is a nugget found in Australia in 2014. As the story goes, seasoned prospector Mick Brown was a couple of weeks into giving up smoking and was getting grumpy so his wife told him to leave the house for some fresh air.

Six inches beneath the surface, Mr. Brown hit the top of a gold nugget with his detector. "I thought bugger me, it is, it's bloody gold", Mr. Brown said. "I just dug it up, 87 ounces of the good stuff".

The name "Fair dinkum" came about as people left its weight and said, "fair dinkum this is huge".

Mr. Brown finds his nugget quite attractive and says it has "good grooves and moves".  He thought is was silly to be secretive about his nugget and thought it better to let people have a hold. "What am I supposed to do, 'yeah I've found a nugget but you can't look at it'", he said. "It's cool and it's given everyone a good little rev up."

As a result, many replicas have been created to give everyone a chance to see what a great nugget it is.

Come out to Ironstone's Heritage Jewelry Shoppe and take a look at one of Mr. Brown's exact replicas.

Truly as beautiful as Mr. Brown declares.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Missed it!

Ended! Missed this one. Keep an eye out for our next daily special....
Today Ironstone Heritage Jewelry Shoppe is featuring a Hand Crafted piece created by Pottery Artist June Vaughn.

Vaughn #310063 345  $100

This fun piece is a very stylistic turtle. Fired ceramic, this creative piece is hand painted set with tiny beads.  The necklace is adjustable to fit between 15" - 25".  If you are interested in this piece, you may purchase from Ironstone Vineyard's website or give us a call today from now till 3:30pm.  We will offer free shipping if you call today for this piece.

209-728-1251 extension 47

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

We are Back!

Ironstone Heritage Jewelry Shoppe is open!  Although we are open this holiday weekend, our regular hours are 10am-4pm Wednesday through Saturday.  Check out our Ironstone facebook page for all the safety steps we are taking for the protection of our guests and staff.  We do ask that you refrain from handling merchandise unless you intend to purchase.  We are required to follow all the guidelines so that we can remain open for you. Help us stay that way! 

We are offering a 25% discount on our fun Winchester 14k Gold jewelry. Cast in 14k Yellow and White Gold from actual bullet ends, these pieces also feature genuine diamonds.  Perfect for the Sports Women in your life.  Come in to see our full line, or go to to shop on line.

Take care, stay safe and come see us soon!

Friday, April 24, 2020

Meet Artist Lynne Sutton

Lynne Sutton
6857 Hwy 26 * P.O. Box 153Mokelumne Hill, CA 9545

O-093 Spring Bloom by Lynne Sutton wc 16x20 $175 SOLD

Lynne Sutton Bio
I have lived in Calaveras County, in the Mokelumne Hill area; for the last 49 years.

I always painted and did other Artistic things while growing up. Things went on hold for a time during child rearing. Later, I took classes in Oil Painting and Pottery at Delta College in Stockton, CA.

Since my retirement from retail; I have more time and am back to painting and mixed media Art. I took lessons for several years from Deborah Marlene, of Mokelumne Hill, and learned the basics of my new medium of Watercolor. 

Painting Removed by Artist. No longer available for sale at Ironstone.

I get a lot of my inspiration from looking at Art Galleries and while traveling.   In April-May of 2019, I joined Deborah Marlene on a two week painting trip to the South of France. 

I often have dreams about my next project,
and can hardly wait to see what happens when implemented. Sometimes I feel they turn out good, and sometimes, not. But, I am still doing what I love to do...ART!

Meet Artist Deborah Marlene

Deborah Marlene

P. O. Box 207

Painting Removed by Artist. No longer available for sale at Ironstone.
Mokelumne Hill, CA 95245


Deborah has been painting since the late 1960’s. Beginning with Acrylics, on to Oils, in the 1970’s, taking several Community College courses in Oils, while raising her family.

In 1996, she found her chosen medium of Watercolors. Deborah studied Watercolors with Lura Francis, of Murphys, for several years. She also attended workshops by many locally known artists, including Martha Wallace, Dale Latenin, and Carolyn McPherson.

Deborah loves bright colors and works to get the most vivid colors that she can achieve in Watercolor. Yupo paper is becoming a favorite of hers due to its ability to show the colors in the purest form. It handles a lot like Alcohol Inks on Tile, which she also enjoys.


Painting Removed by Artist. No longer available for sale at Ironstone
Deborah’s Studio is open one a year for the Calaveras County Artist’s Studio Tour, which runs the last weekend in September. She is a member of the Arts of Bear Valley and CCAC, and shows in many of their events.

Devorah teaches Watercolors and Acrylics in her home Studio. I really enjoy introducing my joy and knowledge of these mediums, to eager to learn students. Classes are tailored to the individual.

To contact Deborah Marlene for classes, you may email: