Pure Texan Pride
We pride ourselves, in our craftsmanship, in our selection of products, our love for what we do and our commitment to you.

Take a look around these pages, we offer some of the best, most unique and well made items for the Southwest Lifestyle.

Your Ranch Brand as Jewelry

New Product - We can create your Ranch or Cattle Brand into a cherished jewelry item! Rings, Cufflinks, Pendants and Earrings, anything you would like.

Texas Triva

29 December 1845 -- U. S. President James Polk followed through on a campaign platform promising to annex Texas, and signed legislation making Texas the 28th state of the United States.

Most PureTexan.com Jewelry is available online here or at Legend Jewelers San Angelo Texas

18 E. Concho Ave
San Angelo TX 76093

Concho Pearls of West Texas

Spanish explorer Francisco Vasquez de Coronado was convinced that somewhere in the American Southwest the Seven Cities of Gold existed.

Years of searching cost the lives of hundreds of Indian guides and soldiers, who found little gold and lots of hardship along the way.

Fast forward about 430 years to 1969, and you'll find Bart Mann and Jack Morgan sloshing through Fisher Lake in West Texas, spending their days prying stunningly colored pearls from thousands of native shells.

''There's a pearl here that for all the world looks like a child's top. It absolutely looks like it's been turned on a lathe,'' said Mark Priest, who joined Morgan in 1976. ''That pearl's loose, and it's not for sale. Someone would have to want it really bad.''

Priest left Morgan to open rival Legend Jewelers on San Angelo's oldest block in 1994. Recently, the men have reunited at a larger store space on the first floor of Miss Hattie's Bordello Museum, a 100-year old former house of ill repute.

We are fortunate in that Mark Priest, one of the partners of puretexan.com, and owner of Legend Jewelers, worked for many years with Jack until he retired and closed Bart Mann Originals. Mark and Jack still speak at least once a week and remain friends today.

From this friendship, Mark has one of the finest collections of natural, freshwater Concho pearls in the world. The Concho pearls are found in the Concho rivers and lakes around San Angelo, Texas.

One of the things that brought puretexan.com partners Randy and Mark together was the display of Concho pearls Mark had set up at a Gemologist workshop in the mid 1980's.

Randy was held spellbound by the beauty of the Native Texas Pearls and the tales Mark weaved of fending off Water Moccasins while mining pearls from the West Texas Lakes and Rivers. The state requires a $35 permit for pearl hunters. Priest said the ones who do it regularly have to be dedicated to the sometimes slimy job.

''They have good days and bad days,'' Priest said. ''In a full day they might find three to four pearls, or sometimes they'll come in with three to four big ones and a half dozen small ones.

Shell collectors often venture far and wide in pursuit of unique mollusks. Yet travelers to the other side of the planet after that special shell may be overlooking an especially unique species right at home. Long before Lyndon Johnson carried his dog around by its ears, before Davy Crockett ever fired Old Betsy at the Alamo, and before the Yellow Rose of Texas first rolled in the hay with Santa Ana, early Spanish explorers ventured into western Texas in search of the Tampico pearlymussel (Cyrtonaias tampicoensis; family Unionidae) and the gem-quality freshwater pearls it frequently produces. Clemmens (1981) reported how Hernan Martin and Diego del Castillo arrived in 1650 near what is now the city of San Angelo on the Concho River (river of shells) in western Texas.

Pearls they obtained there were sent back to Sante Fe and caused enough excitement that in 1654, Diego de Guadalajara was also sent into the area to locate as many pearls as possible. Some reports suggest excessive harvest of mussels and others mention enlisting the local Indians in the pearl- harvest efforts. Most agree the number of pearls obtained were apparently well below Spanish expectations.

For at least 400 years the waterways of West Texas have produced the coveted pink to purple colored Concho Pearls. The pearls are found in freshwater mussel shells which live in the area lakes and rivers.

The name "Concho" (meaning "shell" in Spanish) comes from the plentiful freshwater mussels that inhabit the area's rivers and streams and produce the beautiful iridescent gems of all sizes and colors - but especially the big purple ones - called "Concho pearls" by the early Spanish explorers.

The lavender and pink pearls were no secret to folks around the Concho River, which runs from the west through San Angelo before flowing into the Colorado River. Area ranchers and others had noted the pearls for years.

The mystery shrouding a pearl's birth has intrigued civilizations for millennia, fortifying its reputation as the sovereign emblem of beauty, purity and wealth.


In nature, a pearl is formed when a foreign object enters the mussel shell and cannot be expelled. As protection against the irritant, the mussel coats the object with layers of a fine crystalline substance called "nacre".

Legend has it that several items from the Spanish crown jewels contain some of the earliest known examples of the beautifully colored Concho Pearls.

The West Texas area is one of the few places in the world that produces natural pearls... much less in pink, peach, and purple hues. Varying in color from light pinks to dark purple and lavender, these unique pearls also vary in size, and shapes from spherical to baroque.

To see our Selection of Concho Pearl Jewelry Click Here

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