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  • Mining Turquoise, the Sky Stone

    “Blue of Sky. Green of Water.” Crouched in dark tunnels, toiling while mining turquoise in sun scorched open pits or laboring in 100 foot shafts, prehistoric miners of the southwest swung heavy stone hammers into rock walls. They pried with picks made from antler and hefted shovels of bone and tortoise shell. They crushed and chiseled, extracting seams of turquoise from hard, country rock. Living in primitive shelters and cave recesses, often far from the security of Great House communities or Ancestral Pueblo villages, the men worked at sites such as Cerrillos Hills, NM, Mineral Park, AZ, Montezuma, NV, or ... [Read More]

  • Bisbee Turquoise

    Rough Bisbee Turquoise Bisbee turquoise it is a by-product of a large copper mine located near Bisbee, Arizona owned by Phelps Dodge Mining Company with some of the finest turquoise coming from the section of the copper mine known as the "Lavender Pit, " where for years copper miners would bring out fine turquoise in their lunch boxes. In March of 1972 a miner named Bob Matthews was given the only lease ever granted for rights to mine Bisbee turquoise. He was said to have recovered more than 2, 000 pounds of good to excellent turquoise by 1974. The ... [Read More]

  • Orvil Jack Turquoise - Blue Ridge Mine

    The Blue Ridge mine, in Lander County, Nevada, is in the rich Bullion Mining district and consists of nine mining claims. Orvil and Bessie Jack who had just moved to Nevada from Colorado filed the claim in 1956. The first turquoise to come out of the Blue Ridge was some of the finest blue spider web found in Nevada. This material is rarely seen today. In the beginning of the 1980's Orvil Jack came upon veins of what is now called Orvil Jack turquoise, though little was sold during that period due to the beauty of his Blue Ridge nuggets ... [Read More]

  • Candelaria Turquoise

    Candelaria turquoise was mined in an area not too far from Tonopah, Nevada in the Candelaria Hills. There is little reference to Candelaria turquoise in the mining literature. The turquoise in this area was usually found in thin veins and is known for its beautiful almost electric blues sometimes with a light matrix. Some of the material rivaled the bright Blue Gem turquoise that was used in inlay and Navajo jewelry. Turquoise has been produced in the Candelaria area very sporadically over the years. It was mined along with the silver and gold ore that made Candelaria mining famous at ... [Read More]

  • Carico Lake Turquoise

    Carico Lake Turquoise in Terry Martinez Bracelet The Carico Lake mine is in Lander County, Nevada. The name comes from its location a few miles west of the dried up Carico Lake bed. Turquoise coming from the mine ranges from light green to a medium blue with a matrix of mostly limonite. Turquoise from this district has earlier been sold as Aurora and Stone Cabin turquoise. These mines had been run by August Stenich and later by J.W. Edgar, both legends in Nevada turquoise mining. Although today the Carico Lake mine is one of the larger producing mines in ... [Read More]

  • Carlin Turquoise

    In its high-grade form Carlin turquoise is a very beautiful medium to dark blue turquoise with a hard black chert matrix.  The Carlin or Carlin Black Matrix mine was located North of Carlin in Elko County, Nevada. The mine has not operated in a number of years and today is in a large gold producing area. The Carlin was a low production mine. Because of Carlin's hardness and intense blue color it was at one time highly prized by some of the finer southwestern Native American jewelers. It is rarely seen today. ... [Read More]

  • Castle Dome Turquoise (Pinto Valley Mine)

    Castle Dome Turquoise Beads by Wanita Skeets Castle Dome turquoise, which has also been known as Pinto Valley, is a by-product of a copper mine located five miles west of Miami, Arizona. Much of Arizona turquoise comes from the copper mining operations, which are often continuations of old turquoise mines. The Castle Dome mine was originally opened in 1943 and developed by the owners as a war project. With the end of War World II and a low demand for copper the mine closed in 1953. Later the area was re-opened as the Pinto Valley Mine. Turquoise was widespread ... [Read More]

  • Cerrillos Turquoise

    Cerrillos Turquoise in 1920s Navajo Cuff The Cerrillos Turquoise mining district has been called the earliest and the most important turquoise mining area in the country. It is located in Santa Fe County in north central New Mexico between the towns of Santa Fe and Albuquerque. Turquoise there has been found in most every color, it is hard and can be of very good quality. Today Cerrillos turquoise is considered rare and little is seen. It can still be found in jewelry where small claim owners and rockhounds have supplied the turquoise. Pueblo miners had worked the area for ... [Read More]

  • Chinese Turquoise

    Turquoise has been mined in China for over two thousand years, which is evident by carvings from the earliest dynasties. Turquoise was never as popular in China as Jade. But here in the United States some of the finest turquoise sold over the last 25 years has come from China. Chinese turquoise ranges in color from a full spectrum of greens and light blues to a beautiful dark blue. Much of the material has a dark brown or black matrix and may also have a beautiful spider webbing. Some of the high-grade Chinese turquoise resembles and is thought to be ... [Read More]

  • Cripple Creek Turquoise

    Cripple Creek Turquoise In Greg Pat Cuff The Cripple Creek turquoise mine is located in Teller County, Colorado near the town of Cripple Creek. Miners searching for gold in the area discovered turquoise. Cripple Creek  turquoise is a very hard material, running to over 7 on the Moh’s scale, with a color varying from blue green to a true turquoise blue color. Sometimes found with a golden limonite matrix. It is seen as vein material and in nodules. There are two mines in the area but very little high-grade turquoise is being mined today. © Copyright 2004 Nevada Gem. ... [Read More]

  • Damele Turquoise

    Damele Turquoise In Carol and Wilson Begay Cuff The Damele is a small mine about 30 miles northeast of Austin, Nevada. It sits adjacent to the Godber-Burnham claim. Very little Damele turquoise is being produced today and presently much is cut from older rough that can still be found from various turquoise dealers and collectors. Most of the material found today is a variscite, although some turquoise is still available. Damele turquoise is extremely hard, takes a nice polish and comes in a variety of colors from yellow, gold, greens and grays with a fine spider webbing. At its ... [Read More]

  • Darling Darlene Turquoise

    The Darling Darlene Turquoise mine was a small mine in Northern Nevada which produced a beautiful turquoise. Colors from the mine ranged from green to blue green and from a light blue to a deep blue. Discovered by Joe Barredo in 1972 and named for a daughter, the mine was never more than a few man operation and production was low. In the early 1980’s the Darling Darlene was leased by Erman Blossom and a partner. Today the area is involved in gold production. © Copyright 2004 Nevada Gem. Used with Permission. ... [Read More]

  • Easter Blue Turquoise

    The Easter Blue turquoise mine is located northwest of Tonopah, Nevada a few miles from the Royston district. Turquoise from this claim has also been called Blue Mountain and Blue Gem. Compared to some of the other deposits in Nevada, the Easter Blue was never considered a large producer and changed hands a number of times. The deposit was discovered in 1907 by Lew Cirac who then sold it to Lee Hand in 1915. Hand leased the Easter Blue to W.R. Gilbert who produced about 100 pounds of fine turquoise from the surface. A few owners later the mine ... [Read More]

  • Fox Turquoise

    The Fox mine, once known as the Cortez, has been one of the largest producing mines in Nevada for almost a century. An official notice of location on the property under the name of "Fox Lode Mining Claim" was filed in 1914 by Charles Schmidtlein and Johnnie Francis. It had been mined in prehistoric times and had been known for years to the Indians of the area before the filed claim. The Fox turquoise mine is located in Lander County near Crescent Valley, Nevada. After going through numerous owners the mine was purchased in the 1940’s by Dowell Ward ... [Read More]

  • Godber-Burnham Turquoise (Drycreek)

    The Godber-Burnham Turquoise mine is located northeast of Austin, Nevada on Dry Creek. In 1932 Bob Burton and Joe Potts discovered the mine and first claimed it as the "Last Chance.” Later, also being known as the "Blue Stone" and "Homesite" and at one time the "Dry Creek" due to its location along Dry Creek which runs through the Damele horse ranch and then in front of the Godber claim. The mine was later sold to Frank Burnham who it was reported took out more than $100, 000 worth of turquoise. In 1934 Burnham sold the mine to Walter Godber. ... [Read More]

  • Hachita Turquoise

    Hachita turquoise is from a group of mines near Old Hachita, Grant County, New Mexico. They include the Azure, Cameo, Galilee, and Aztec claims. The name "Hachita" comes from the Spanish term for "Little Hatchet". The small town itself was located in the foothills of the Little Hatchet Mountains in the Hachita Valley of New Mexico. The hachita turquoise deposits lie in a location known as Turquoise Mountain about 6 mile west of the town. Mined intensely in prehistoric times, settlers first came to the area when stories told by Indians mentioned turquoise deposits found in the hills of ... [Read More]

  • Harcross Turquoise

    The Harcross turquoise group of mines, reportedly discovered by Otto Taubert in 1908, is located in Lyon County, Nevada. Taubert, while looking for gold, found turquoise deposits in the area. He later sold his group of claims to Walter Godber, of the famed Godber-Burnham mine. Godber had come to Nevada from Los Angeles and these were his first Nevada claims. He went on to later operate a number of turquoise properties throughout the State. After over $50, 000 worth of turquoise was produced mining stopped at this group of mines as Godber’s attention and resources were required at his other ... [Read More]

  • Indian Mountain Turquoise

    On the south range of Bald Mountain in Lander County, Nevada is the Indian Mountain turquoise mine. A Shoshone sheepherder was said to have found the mine in 1970. The Indian Mountain was owned and operated by Ed Mauzy and J.W. Edgar, both legends in Nevada turquoise mining. Mining at Indian Mountain was carried on from late May to early October with a recovery of "about three pounds" (Turquoise Annual) of good turquoise a day. During winter the mine could be covered in up to 10 feet of snow. Indian Mountain turquoise was difficult to mine, found in very ... [Read More]

  • King's Manassa Turquoise

    King's Manassa turquoise mine is located east of Manassa, Colorado. It was mined for centuries by Indians and is thought to be the oldest turquoise mine in Colorado. It is the largest of many deposits in the area. I.P. King came upon the mine in 1890 while prospecting for gold. According to Bennett’s work on turquoise, "He thought the blue stain on the rocks was copper, but in 1900 it was identified as turquoise, and by 1908 ten claims were being worked nearby." Since it’s rediscovery mining has been carried out by members of the King family intermittently with both ... [Read More]

  • Kingman Turquoise

    Kingman turquoise has been produced as a by-product from the copper mining in the Mineral Park Mining District located northwest of Kingman Arizona. The area lies in high-desert county at an elevation of 3, 345 feet and is surrounded by three mountain ranges. The mining district around Kingman, Arizona has always been a large producer of turquoise, at one time the worlds largest. Although first mined by Indians, this area was home to the most extensive prehistoric workings found in Arizona, the modern production of turquoise dates back to the early 1880’s when James Haas rediscovered these ancient Kingman ... [Read More]

  • Lander Blue Turquoise

    The Lander Blue turquoise mine in Lander County, Nevada is located between Battle Mountain and Tenabo. Found in 1973 it produced some of the most beautiful spider-webbed turquoise ever discovered. Today it is considered the most valuable turquoise known. Not surprisingly as early as 1975 it had been stated that Lander Blue “has become some of the most valued turquoise today.” Like a number of the other high-grade strikes, Lander Blue was a very rich pocket discovery, and has been referred to as a “hat mine, ” a term used to described small floats of turquoise because they could ... [Read More]

  • Lone Mountain Turquoise

    The Lone Mountain turquoise mine is located in Esmeralda County, Nevada, not far from Tonopah. It has been one of the great producers of Nevada turquoise. The color ranges from a beautiful clear blue to a dark blue spider web. Lone Mountain has always been noted for holding its color. To this day jewelry can be found that was made in the 1930’s or 1940’s with Lone Mountain turquoise just as blue as when it was made. The mine was claimed by Lee Hand in 1920 first as the Blue Jay Mining Lode and later, after seeing that so ... [Read More]

  • Morenci Turquoise

    Morenci turquoise was mined in Greenlee County in southeastern Arizona. Morenci turquoise is highly prized for its beautiful blue colors, which vary from a light to a very dark blue. Also for its unusual matrix of iron pyrite or "fool’s gold" that when polished often resembles silver. The turquoise was a by-product of the Morenci copper mine in Arizona. For many years heavy-equipment operators at the mine would "lunch box" the high-grade turquoise out. The March 1977 edition of the “International Turquoise Annual” states, "Many years ago, while mining for copper, workers unearthed a large zone of turquoise-bearing rock ... [Read More]

  • Nevada Blue Turquoise

    Nevada Blue turquoise belongs with the finest turquoise to come out of Nevada. Once known as the Pinto or Watts mine, the Nevada Blue Turquoise Mine is near the crest of the Shoshone Range in Lander County, Nevada. The deposit was discovered by Jim Watts in 1901 and later sold. Access to this mine is extremely difficult. In its high-grade form the colors range from a medium to a dark blue with a black or brown spider webbing. Nevada Blue turquoise was well marketed in the 1970’s and was used by many of the Southwest’s greatest silversmiths. The April 1979 ... [Read More]

  • Number Eight Turquoise

    Number Eight Ring by Dan Simplicio The Number eight turquoise mine is in the Lynn mining district in Eureka County, Nevada. The mine is considered depleted and has not produced turquoise for a number of years, although much is still available through collections and other holdings. Earl Buffington and Lawrence Springer filed the first formal claim on the property in 1929. Not long after that time the mine began going though a number of owners which included; Ted Johnson, Doc Wilson, Myron Clark, Lee Hand, the Edgar brother and Dowell Ward. All are important names in Nevada’s turquoise mining ... [Read More]

  • Persian Turquoise

    Persian Turquoise in Philander Begay Bracelet Little needs to be said about Persian turquoise, as it was long considered the finest turquoise in the world. It has always been the gold standard of quality. The beautiful blue color of Persian turquoise and its rarity in today’s market makes this wonderful turquoise highly valued. Mines in the northern areas of Iran have been producing turquoise for many centuries. For over 800 years Persia (Iran) produced the bulk of the world’s turquoise using the simplest of hand tools made from stone then later with picks and crowbars. The oldest continuously operated ... [Read More]

  • Pilot Mountain Turquoise

    Pilot Mountain turquoise is made up of a group of mines at the southern end of the Pilot Mountains in Mineral County, Nevada a short distance outside of Tonopah. The two most well known mines being the Moqui-Aztec or S. Simmons and the Montezuma or Troy Springs mine. The Montezuma is still being worked two or three times a year and produces a hard thin veined turquoise, Pilot Mountain turquoise,  with colors ranging from a bright blue to dark blue, along with a dark blue with a greenish cast. Light to dark brown limonite mottled patterns are associated with ... [Read More]

  • Red Mountain Turquoise

    Red Mountain Turquoise In Edison Sandy Smith Bracelets The Red Mountain turquoise mine produces a very fine turquoise. Known for both the high quantity of small high-grade nuggets that it produced and the beautiful dark blue spider web of its best grades. Red Mountains top material is a hard compact spider web and is equal to any of the classic turquoise mines such as Number Eight, Lone Mountain or Nevada Blue. Besides a dark blue color with a dark matrix the mine produces colors in the blue green range with a stunning gold or rust-colored spider web. Located in ... [Read More]

  • Royston Turquoise

    Royston Turquoise In Calvin Martinez Bracelet The Royston district is one of the better known turquoise producing areas in Nevada. Royston turquoise comes from a group of mines about 24 miles northwest of Tonopah. Although the district is made up of a number of small mines the three more important mines are the Royal Blue, the Bunker Hill, and the Oscar Wehrend. Royston turquoise can be unbelievably beautiful. High-grade Royston is a very hard material. Colors range from a light blue, intense blue or a dark sky blue. Also included are a number of shades of green and many ... [Read More]

  • Sleeping Beauty Turquoise

    Sleeping Beauty Turquoise in Calvin Martinez Cuff The Sleeping Beauty turquoise mine is located in Globe, Arizona. It derives its name from the Sleeping Beauty Mountain in the area and at one time was part of the Copper Cities copper operation. The mine produces a uniform light to medium blue turquoise. Because of its uniformity it has been a favorite of the Zuni Pueblo. Silversmiths there often use it in inlay, petit point and needlepoint, and matched jewelry sets. The Sleeping Beauty mine has been one of the larger producers of turquoise in the country, although today less good ... [Read More]

  • Stormy Mountain Turquoise

    Stormy Mountain Irregular Cabs Stormy Mountain Turquoise Mine in Elko County, Nevada produced an extremely high quality turquoise. Found in the early 1970’s when a new road to an old copper mine was being bulldozed. For the most part Stormy Mountain turquoise is a very hard, medium to dark blue material flecked with black chert. In the best grades the veins can run up to one inch thick. Stormy Mountain Turquoise from this mine is rarely seen today. © Copyright 2004 Nevada Gem. Used with Permission. ... [Read More]

  • Tibetan Turquoise

    The turquoise that comes out of Tibet today is usually antique material and is of a medium to dark green nature, do to the natural oils from being worn overtime. Tibetan turquoise usually has a strong black matrix. This fine blue material has been available, though rare in today’s market. The Tibetans considered turquoise to be a powerful stone and many wear it for the good fortune in brings. The Tibetan people have worn turquoise in every form. There has been little information concerning the mining of Tibetan turquoise. Both Pogue and Branson in their books on turquoise list four areas ... [Read More]

  • Turquoise Mountain

    Turquoise Mountain Turquoise set in Ben Begay bracelet Although located in the Mineral Park Mining District outside of Kingman, Arizona, the Turquoise Mountain mine has been considered a separate classic mine because of the difference in it’s appearance from other Kingman area turquoise. Turquoise Mountain turquoise has also been known as Old Man Turquoise. It has its own unique blue and blue-green color and many times has been found with a golden or beautiful rust colored spider webbing. © Copyright 2004 Nevada Gem. Used with Permission. ... [Read More]

  • Tyrone Turquoise

    Tyrone Turquoise in Darryl Dean Begay Cuff Tyrone turquoise encompassed a group of mines in the Burro Mountains near the town of Silver City, New Mexico and is associated with the Tyrone Copper mine. It has been said that more high-grade turquoise was produced in this area than any single deposit on record. Turquoise mining in the Burro Mountains had been carried out in prehistoric times and then later by the Spanish. Artifacts, stone tools along with fragments of turquoise and hammers of the local granite were common at the sites. An early mining engineer named Zalenski had ... [Read More]

  • Villa Grove Turquoise

    Villa Grove Turquoise in Mary and Lee Weebothee Squash The Villa Grove turquoise mine, once known as Hall mine, is northwest of the town of Villa Grove in the San Luis Valley of Colorado. Villa Grove was one of the Colorado mines that showed signs of ancient Indian workings. It was rediscovered sometime in the 1890’s and mined for copper with major turquoise operations beginning in the early 1900’s. Villa Grove turquoise is a bright blue turquoise mined both clear and also with a fine spider web which sometimes resembled the finest Lone Mountain turquoise from Nevada. In fact ... [Read More]

  • Blue Gem Turquoise

    Blue Gem Turquoise The Blue Gem Turquoise is a Nevada turquoise mine south of Battle Mountain in an area which produced large amounts of turquoise. Although there are a number of Nevada mines named Blue Gem this mine was in the Copper Basin area and surrounded by the Copper Canyon Mining Company in Northern Nevada. It was one of the larger producers of great turquoise and supplied material to the Southwest in nearly every shade of green and a variety of blues. The clear, intense blue color of this turquoise made it highly valued and widely used for both ... [Read More]