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Worleys enjoy 'serene' turquoise

Photo by Ethelyn Pearson Stanley and Wilma Worley

Stanley and Wilma Worley's home in Wadena is thousands of miles away from that Tibetan valley where turquoise was hung around the necks of ponies to ward off evil, and placed in bridles to prevent missteps on high treacherous mountain paths. However, turquoise is still revered and given a place of honor in the Worleys' attractive home.

You will not find treasures to be enjoyed tucked away behind closet doors and in drawers. Stan said: " I want to see what we have, give it a chance to produce the serene atmosphere it is noted for promoting. It can't help but brighten a day, it is so like a cloudless sunny sky, like taking a peek into Heaven."

Ribbons of turquoise are found in copper mines in thin veins, at other mines they appear in wide strips. It can be many shades of pure blues, jet black or have a greenish tinge. It even comes in white. Turquoise is a heavy stone, extremely collectible.

Mention of turquoise goes back to the fourth century. The Taj Mahal, built in 1634, sports pieces of turquoise. Marco Polo wrote about a mountain "whence turquoise came with abundance." Turquoise is currently this year's fashion choice with designers, incorporating it in the Queen of England's closet.

Mining turquoise in the southwest United States was not new for Native Americans. In New Mexico it was the major export to other markets from the Cerrillos Hills mine. Pueblo culture was interrupted in the Spanish conquests. The American Indian has always respected and felt especially close to turquoise.

To step inside the Worleys' home is uplifting. Dark corners of depression and despair somehow don't thrive well in the same room with their collection of turquoise displayed everywhere.

Stanley designed each piece of intricate turquoise jewelry in his collection.