The Bisbee mine “the Lavender Pit”, near Bisbee, Arizona, is one of the more famous of the American mines because Bisbee turquoise was one of the first put onto the market. The Arizona turquoise mine is part of the Bisbee copper mine (The Copper Queen), the main operation of the site. Bisbee turquoise has developed a reputation as a hard, finely webbed or dendrite, high blue stone, known for its “chocolate brown” matrix. Bisbee Turquoise also comes in a beautiful dark green color. Most of this turquoise has already been mined and what is left is in limbo due to circumstances with the copper mining in the open pit, it is one of the most highly collected stones. Most jewelry being made with this stone today is being made through old “stashes” or collections that have been obtained. Bisbee Turquoise Jewelry is some of the most desired jewelry on the market.
The Kingman Turquoise mine in northwestern Arizona was one of the largest turquoise mines in North America. The terms “Kingman” or “high blue” refer to the blue color usually displayed in this stone. It has become a color standard in the industry. The mine became famous for its rounded, bright blue nuggets with black matrix. Few turquoise mines produced nuggets, especially of this quality. Old natural Kingman Arizona Turquoise is rare. The Colbaugh’s own this mine, the Ithaca Peak Turquoise mine, and the Turquoise Mountain mine, their company name is Colbough Processing. They have recently gone back into the section of the Kingman mine and are digging and bringing out some new Natural Kingman Turquoise. This new natural Kingman Turquoise is super high grade and is very valuable! Most of the turquoise jewelry you see today features Kingman turquoise from Arizona, USA.
Morenci Turquoise is mined in southeastern Arizona. The Morenci Turquoise mine produced some of the finest Turquoise that has ever come out of the ground! It is high to light blue in color. Some rare highgrade is a super dark blue naturally. Morenci has an unusual matrix of irregular black pyrite that, when polished, often looks like silver. Morenci turquoise is well known because it was one of the first American turquoises to come on the market. It is also very well known for its high grade. The Morenci Turquoise mine also produces turquoise with a wonderful “Birdseye” or “Water Web” matrix pattern. Some of the Turquoise has rare quarts matrix. It is very difficult to obtain now because the mine is depleted. Morenci is a very collectible turquoise.
Sleeping Beauty Turquoise
The Sleeping Beauty mine was located near Globe, Arizona. Its turquoise is noted for its solid, light blue color with no matrix. Sleeping Beauty turquoise is the favorite of the Zuni Pueblo silversmiths for use in petit point, needlepoint, and inlay jewelry. This mine was one of the largest in North America and is now closed. Sleeping Beauty Turquoise is one of the most popular Turquoise varieties world wide. Sleeping Beauty has a striking resemblance to the old high grade Persian Turquoise. In some countries, solid blue Sleeping Beauty Turquoise is of the highest value. Another staple of today turquoise jewelry industry. Most of the robin’s egg blue turquoise you see today is Sleeping Beauty turquoise.
Cripple Creek Colorado Turquoise Mine
The Cripple Creek mine in Teller County, Colorado is the site for a number of small gold mining claims. Cripple Creek Turquoise was originally found primarily as a by-product of gold mining, as were many of the Colorado Turquoiseminining claims. There are several Turquoise claims in the Cripple Creek district such as the Elkhorn Claim, the Florence Turquoise Mine, the O’Haver Claim, the Roanoke Shaft, and the Hidden Treasure Turquoise Mine. One of the groups still mining the Turquoise claims are the Bad Boys of Cripple Creek. The areas that the Bad Boys are mining yield some greenish Turquoise, and some light to dark blue Turquoise with brown matrix. On a rare occassion, Turquoise is found in Cripple Creek that has natural Gold Ore in it. It has become a little more common to see Turquoise Jewelry with Cripple Creek Turquoise these days due to the Bad Boys efforts.
Black Diamond Nevada Turquoise Mine
A Rare deep blue Turquoise producing mine in Nevada, Black Diamond was mined mostly in the 60s and 70s. The Black Diamond Turquoise mine is hard deposit to read and has several different diggings. It is dark blue with a black matrix of dendrites and triangle shaped black chert. Another common look of Black Diamond Turquoise is dark blue with smoky black matrix. The blue a lot of times is a swirling of two dark blues,.. it is stunning This is a classic American Turquoise Look.
The Blue Gem Turquoise Mines
There were three different locations all called the Blue Gem mine, and each produced a great variety of turquoise, from intense blues to deep green combinations with a hard, irregularly distributed matrix. While there are other mines in Nevada of the same name, the Battle Mountain Blue Gem mine& the Tonapah Blue Gem Mine, which began production in 1934 and is now closed, yielded the most valuable Blue Gem turquoise because of its rich color and its hardness. It is greatly desired by collectors. One of our favorites! The Battle Mountain Turquoise is an all time favorite and classic American Turquoise and very hard to beat. Blue gem has been called by Gem collectors and scientists to be the perfect color of Turquoise.. better than Persian!
Carico Lake Turquoise Mine
Carico Lake turquoise is named after the location of its mines on a dried up lake bed in a high, cool area of Lander County, Nevada. This famous old Turquoise mine produces mainly a light blue color Turquoise that sometimes has a light brown spiderweb matrix. The Carico Lake Turquoise mine also produce Turquoise with black matrix as well. The Carico Lake Turquoise mine is most famous for its Lime Green Faustite, which most people call Lime Turquoise. Its clear, iridescent, spring green color is due to its zinc content and is highly unique and collectible. Carico Lake turquoise is also found in a dark blue-green color with a black or brown, spider web matrix. The Mine has been open for sometime now. A fair amount of This turquoise has been recovered. The less common lime green turquoise which is suspect to actually be predominately faustite, is very very valuable due to it rarity and demand. It is hard material. This mine is also known to produce rare psuedomorph clams that are filled with turquoise. As of late this mine has been owned and operated by Ernie Montoya of Sun west Silver. Ernie has used this turquoise to create some wonderful gold and silver jewelry. This has really added to the turquoise jewelry market’s diversity.
NEW MEXICO TURQUOISE
Cerrillos Turquoise from New Mexico
Cerrillos is not only an uncommon and unique form of native New Mexican turquoise, but has a history entwined with both ancient Native peoples of the Southwest and more recent American mining companies. Cerrillos turquoise was created and mined under unusual circumstances. It is the only turquoise that formed at the base of a volcano. Thus, a variety of colors developed from the minerals in the various volcanic host stones. In fact, the Cerrillos New Mexico Turquoise mines produce seventy-five colors, from tan to khaki-green to rich, blue-green to bright and light colors. Cerrillos is a very hard stone and so takes a brilliant polish.In addition to producing a distinctive stone, the Cerrillos mine is the oldest mine of any kind in North America. Located ten miles south of Santa Fe, it was the site of the largest prehistoric mining activity on the continent because the huge turquoise deposit was partially exposed at the surface. Miners from the San Marcos Pueblo, who later moved to Santo Domingo Pueblo south of Santa Fe, most heavily worked the mine. Using only stone axes, mauls, antler picks, and chisels, Pueblo miners removed 100,000 tons of solid rock to create a pit mine 200 feet deep. They dug other vertical shafts into the ground to reach veins of turquoise. Miners carried tools and leather rock buckets on their backs as they climbed in and out of the shafts using notched logs as ladders. The turquoise obtained from this hard work traded among early peoples from Mexico to the Midwest and from the east to west coasts. In New Mexico, many pieces of Cerrillos turquoise for personal and trade use have been unearthed in the prehistoric ruins of Pueblo Bonito in Chaco Canyon. The Pueblo peoples continued to extract turquoise from the Cerrillos mine until the 1870’s when a silver mining boom raised interest in the area. The Tiffany Company in New York and its associates bought up the mine area and extracted $2,000,000 worth of turquoise between 1892 and 1899.
Hachita Turquoise Mine
The Hachita turquoise mining activity dates from pre-historic to 1905. Like Tyrone turquoise, Hachita was also called “Azure”, but also went by many other names. It is located in New Mexico. You will find a bit of Hachita in Turquoise Jewelry today and vintage turquoise jewelry. Hachita is one of the harder New Mexico Turquoise Mines to get turquoise from.
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