The Ajax Mine is located in Esmeralda County, Nevada. While the Ajax Mine has been known for its unique shades of green turquoise, the ground it occupies has produced almost every color of blue and green turquoise and most matrix patterns, from clear to spiderweb. The mine actually consists of numerous workings that produce a variety of colors and patterns from each "hole". Over the decades, the main turquoise producing area of the Ajax has gone by different names as the claims changed hands...from Oriental Blue during the days of Carl Reik and Walter Godber in the 1930's, to Blue Gem later on. Today the mining couple of Richard and Helen Shull are still able to produce a small amount of both blue and green (and multi-color!) natural turquoise from the Ajax Mine, which is now considered to be one of the classic turquoise mines of the southwest.
This mine is located on the west side of the Toiyabe Range several miles north of Austin, in Lander County Nevada. The deposit was not discovered until the 1990s. Thick veins of variscite ranging up to about 3 and a half inches are mined here. The variscite is generally light green with black mottled markings. Zones of higher quality darker green variscite nuggets have been uncovered in the deeper workings. This property has produced considerable quantities of variscite and is considered one of the worlds largest producers of that material. Initially, much of the material was marketed as "Apache turquoise" but the name was retracted once a correct mineral identification was made. Several tons of high quality material have been produced.
Apache Blue Turquoise
Owned by the Otteson’s, Apache Blue Turquoise mine is located on the west side of the Toiyabe Range several miles north of Austin, in Lander County Nevada. Apache Blue is a classic American turquoise mine that has produced some of the most highly collected turquoise on earth. Apache turquoise is known for its dark dark blues and pinpoint blue web turquoise set against black matrix. Production at this mine is minimal.
Aqua Oro is mined in Nevada by Ryan Novell.
The historic Aztec Mine is located in the Royston Mining District of Esmeralda and Nye Counties, Nevada. The Aztec name for these claims goes as far back as 1903. Lee Hand mined this area back in the 1930's. Aztec produces some of the classic looks of the Royston district with its baby blues and wild greens often accented with blonde and red webbing and matrix. The mine also produces very light blue, almost white nuggets that are hard and take a super bright polish...a rare occurrence in the turquoise world! The mine is owned and operated by Richard and Helen Shull. They mine and operate this mine with Philip Chambless, who has owned claims in the Royston area for over 20 years now!
Nevada turquoise mined by Danny Otteson. I purchased this material at the Denver Gem show in 2017. The Big Nugget Turquoise mine and the Broken Arrow Mines are located in the Candelaria Mining District of Nevada outside of Mina. The material from the Big Nugget mine is really interesting as it produces a tested and genuine white turquoise material and a blue that resembles old Battle Mountain Blue Gem turquoise.
The Black Widow Mine is in the Candelaria Mining District of Esmeralda County, Nevada. This small mine has produced hard turquoise ranging from light to dark blue, some with water web or spider web matrix. The mine produces turquoise that is very diverse, including an almost white, very hard turquoise with delicate light blue webbing that we call "White Cloud" turquoise. The mine was worked in the early 1900's by Lige Harris, and later in the 1970's up through the early 2000's by the McGinnis family and others. Today, Helen and Richard Shull are co-owners of the mine with Philip Chambless. The name "Black Widow" was given to this mine because of the intense black spiderweb matrix that is found in some of its highest grade stones.
The historic Blue Boy claims in Esmeralda County, Nevada were worked in the early 1900’s by the Los Angeles Gem Company and later in the 1940’s by John and Grace Callahan, two of the last year-round residents of the old ghost town of Columbus, NV. In the late 1800’s Columbus boasted a population of around 4,000 brave souls who worked various silver prospects in the area. Today, very little of the town remains. The wood structures were burned as a reprieve from the high desert’s brutal wind and cold. This claim is mined by Richard and Helen Shull. It is well known for its hard, colorful variscite ranging from solid emerald green to striking multi-color spider web patterns to pure black.
Named for producing some of the hardest turquoise ever found. It is located in the area of Austin, Nevada and was first mined in the 1930s. The mine is considered a “hat mine” due to its relatively small deposit of turquoise yet the stones that this mine produces were usually large pieces in plate form. Blue Diamond turquoise has become very rare. High grade Blue Diamond turquoise is known for its striking blue color with a manganese smokey black matrix. It is very beautiful turquoise and was mined from the late 50’s to around 1980. After many years of being closed, today Blue Diamond turquoise is once again being actively mined in very limited quantities by the current owner.
The Blue Gem mine was located about one mile north - northeast of Copper Basin, which is several miles south of the town of Battle Mountain in Lander County. It was discovered in 1934 by Duke Goff. It was subsequently leased from the Copper Canyon Mining Co. by the American Gem Co. of San Gabriel, Calif., owned by Doc Wilson. The lease was allowed to lapse and work was abandoned. In 1950 the mine was leased by Lee Hand and Alvin Layton of Battle Mountain. The mine was developed by underground workings over 800 feet deep with an open pit on the surface. It was the deepest turquoise mine in the state as most other underground mines for turquoise were fairly shallow. High quality blue to blue green turquoise occurred in veins up to one inch thick that were associated with quartz pyrite veins. Some of the material is partly translucent and has a "glassy" type of appearance. Total out put from the mine has been estimated at more than one million dollars in rough turquoise, making it one of Nevada's larger producers. The Battle Mountain area has produced a considerable amount of gold and other metals, and the Blue gem property (originally called the Contention Mine) became incorporated into those operations. In the 1980s, the location of the mine site was excavated out as a part of a large open pit gold-copper mine. Turquoise was not saved during this operation, and much good material was either processed as ore or went out onto the mine dump, was buried and lost forever. The surface site of the mine is now an open pit hole in the ground and is still owned by a well known gold mining company. The turquoise King and Myron Clark mines are located in the same general area, both have produced some fine quality turquoise. All of the property in the area is controlled by gold mining companies, and no future production is expected. The Sacred Buffalo turquoise mine which produces light blue colored spider web material is also located in the Battle Mountain area.
The Blue Moon turquoise mine is one of numerous claims located in the Royston District outside Tonopah, NV. The mine is in Esmerelda County in the Candelaria Hills, within a mile of the famous 'Blue Boy' Mine, north of Columbus Salt Flat and Coaldale Nevada. This mine is located amongst the Miss Moffet Mine, Blue Creek, Broken Arrow, and Blue Jay Nevada turquoise Mines. Blue Moon turquoise can be found in a range of colors from green to dark blue, sometimes with striking yellow accents. The most desirable Blue Moon turquoise is a mid to dark blue color with spectacular black spider web, some of which was found just a couple of years ago. The claim is owned by the Otteson family. It is infrequently mined.
The Broken Arrow Claim is near the Royston claims in Nevada. This variscite is known for its glassy emerald green color. It is often translucent and takes a high polish. The Broken Arrow Mines are located in the Candelaria Mining District of Nevada outside of Mina. The Broken Arrow claims belong to the Otteson's. What has come out of the Broken Arrow thus far is a blue and emerald green spider web and clear turquoise and variscite, some call
“Variquoise.” The emerald green variscite is absolutely stunning, it looks like forest green emerald or jade.
Calypso is mined in Nevada by Ryan Novell.
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 one point in Nevada's history. Mining operations were originally established in 1863 and began being worked heavily by the early 1870's. At that time Candelaria was one of the toughest camps in the West and a terrible place to live, with its high temperatures, high winds and no law enforcement.
With the area's low production of turquoise, Candelaria became known more for its fine variscite which is still available. Over the last few years Candelaria turquoise has been seen again in today's turquoise market. Along with a bright blue material a beautiful dark blue turquoise with red spider web has appeared from older collections and has now been cut and is appearing in fine jewelry. Candelaria is again having its day, with beautiful spider webbed variscite and a wonderful dark blue red webbed turquoise.
This mine is located South of Battle Mountain in Lander County, Nevada USA. The Carico Lake mine is named after an ancient lake bed in Nevada where the material is mined. The mine produces a wide variety of turquoise ranging in color from dark blues to light greens, some with yellow or dark blue "water" webbing. Most sought after is the intense apple green material. Identified as faustite, it is a cousin of turquoise containing more Zinc which causes the color. The Carico Lake turquoise Mine also produces very rare pseudomorph clams that have been fossilized with turquoise. For years miners ignored the green turquoise at Carico Lake as there was no existing market, especially for the candy apple green faustite material. Instead they focused solely on the blue turquoise. It wasn’t until the 1980’s that the ‘apple green’ material came into popularity.
Located in Nevada, Cheyenne mine is known for it’s turquoise and a mix variscite / chalcosiderite mined by Jesse Robbins.
Crow Springs, also known as Blue Bird, was discovered in 1909 near Tonopah, Nevada. It is located at the northeast end of the Monte Cristo Range. This mine produces a nice blue/green mix turquoise with a blackish brown matrix. This is another turquoise mine that produces the classic Nevada turquoise look that is close to Royston, Pilot Mountain, and Ajax. This mine seems to produce a higher percent of green tone turquoise. It has a pretty tan and brown matrix in it. It is formed in the same Rhyolite host rock as Ajax, Pilot Mountain, and Royston. The Crow Springs and Little Crow mines have gone through several owners over the years. This mine was being worked most recently by the Ottesons. It now has a new owner. The recent material on the market from this mine comes in stabilized and natural form, classic turquoise and boulder or ribbon turquoise.
The Damale turquoise mine also called the Damele, Damaile and Damali turquoise mine is located in east central Nevada near the Carico Lake mine. The mine itself is located on the famous Damele Ranch, named after the famous breed of curly haired horses bred to withstand the incredibly difficult winter conditions in Nevada. Damele turquoise is distinctive because of the zinc content that turns the stone yellow-green and increases its hardness in some cases. The yellow Damale turquoise is fairly soft material, but is the material that tests positively as turquoise. The Damale Nevada turquoise mine is most famous for the Damale or Damele Variscite and Faustite that is a vivid lime green and shocking Yellow - Lime Green. The matrix of the material from Damele is webbed with a dark brown to black matrix. Mining operations have long since ceased at Damele.
The Darling Darlene mine is located at the far northern part of the Tenabo/Gold Acres/Bullion area. It was discovered by Joe Barredo in 1972 and named for his daughter. It produced turquoise in both vein and nugget form in shades of both blues and greens. It is no longer being worked, and is unlikely to be producing any turquoise in the near future, as the property is now held by a gold mining company.
Desert Bloom is a deposit in the larger Vista Grande mining claim which features Desert Bloom, Emerald City, and Vista Grande Variscite. The mine is located in the Candelaria Hills of Southwestern Nevada. This mine was discovered in 2016 by Rodney Frisby and Allen Chambers. Desert Bloom runs from a deep emerald green to a bright lime green. The material is semi translucent to opaque. This Nevada Variscite is known for its deep lime green to lime green variscite with stark black spider web matrix with golden brown matrix. This stunning matrix comes in tight web form as small as a pin head apart all the way to web with patterning that is a few inches apart. Desert Bloom also produces gems that will be solid green with no matrix. Some of the rarest forms of this material is the super large webbed material. The mine has produced a few nuggets larger than a soccer ball that are solid spider web lime green variscite.
The Dry Creek mine, which has also been known as the Godber and Burnham mine, and now famous as the Dry Creek Mine, is located northeast of Austin, Nevada. The Dry Creek mine has yielded both a pale blue and a cream white turquoise, but all does have a tint of blue. The stark white material was found to be Aluminite. The unusual white to light blue turquoise is very hard. The color is due to a preponderance of aluminum rather than copper in the stone's chemistry. The matrix is typically light golden or brown-gray to gray-black.
The Dyer Blue mine is a small turquoise mine located near the town of Dyer, in Esmeralda County, Nevada. Once known as the Lovely mine in the 1970's due to its lovely blue color, this mine was worked sporadically into the early 1980's. After almost three decades of lying idle, the Dyer Blue mine is once again producing limited quantities of pure gem blue as well as dark blue to greenish blue stones with stunning reddish brown spider web and patterned matrix. The mine and it's beautiful diversity of looks and colors of turquoise is featured in the 2018 Updated Edition of Joe Dan Lowry's book, "Turquoise: The World Story of a Fascinating Gemstone".
The Easter Blue Mine is located in Nye County about 32 miles NW of Tonopah, and about 8 miles NW of the Royston turquoise area. Turquoise from this claim has also been called Blue Mountain and Blue Gem. The turquoise occurs as thin veinlets though some nodules were found. The first material found was a fine blue color, later the mine produced a blue green turquoise with a light to dark brown matrix. 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. Total production is estimated at nearly 8 tons of turquoise of all grades. 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 produced 300 pound a month for nearly four years. The mine was later sold to Peter King, of Manassa, Colorado and was operated once again as the Easter Blue.
Emerald Valley is a Nevada Mine that produces a deep forest green turquoise to a classic Nevada Green turquoise material. The Emerald Green turquoise mine produced a lot of chalk and lower grade turquoise that was stabilized and cut into calibrated cabochons.
Fox is one of Nevada’s most productive and famous turquoise mines in the world. In the 1940’s, Dowell Ward purchased the old Cortez claims and developed them using the names Fox turquoise, White Horse, Green Tree and Smith turquoise to differentiate among the colors produced in the area and to create a larger perceived share of the turquoise market. The area produces a huge amount of good quality blue, green or blue-green stone with a distinctive matrix. Most of the Fox turquoise comes out as nugget material. The nuggets from the Fox turquoise mine are absolutely gorgeous, some bubbly and almost prettier in their natural state as a turquoise nugget. Most of this turquoise that we have cut has been a light to medium blue with a darker color of green or blue spider web which is called water web. The Fox turquoise Mine in Nevada also produces a beautiful clear blue with no matrix. Most of the Fox turquoise material that has come out as of late is of the clear medium aqua blue variety.
This very productive mine is located about 1.5 miles south of the mouth of Cortez Canyon on the east side of Crescent Valley. It has also been known as the White Horse mine. Native Americans worked this deposit extensively, and it is said a century ago that nearly every one in the area had at least a little of the turquoise from this location. One of the local Native Americans showed it to Charles Schmidtlein, who first developed it into a mine in 1914. The mine has been extensively worked by open pit mining, and it is estimated that the Fox Mine has produced about 275 tons of rough turquoise, making it the second most productive mine in Nevada. It was extensively worked by bulldozer in the 1970s, but has not been in major production since the end of the boom period around 1980. The majority of the Fox that I offer was mined by the Mason family in the 1990’s, including material from the Smith vein. Though the mine produces some excellent turquoise of large size that is usable without further treatment, much of the rough that is produced here requires stabilization for jewelry use. Much of the turquoise is a blue/green color and found in nugget form. Gold mining companies are currently mining and extracting gold on a large scale at Cortez, and exploring around the Fox mine site for additional gold deposits.
The Godber Nevada turquoise Mine produced some of the best material to ever come out of Nevada. The old time Godber turquoise was a deep blue with a brownish spider web matrix. Some of the older Burnham turquoise mine material is even prettier, dark blue with a green spider web matrix. Stunning! You can see some of this in high end old pawn silver jewelry and some gold and turquoise jewelry. Now this famous old Nevada turquoise Mine is producing the Dry Creek turquoise from a new find and is very famous for that material. There are a few of these turquoise mines in Nevada that have been named several different things by different owners.
The names Fox, White Horse, Green Tree and Smith have been used to differentiate among the colors of turquoise produced in the area and to create a larger perceived share of the market.
The Harcross Mine in Nevada is another one of the many small family owned Nevada turquoise Mines that was only mined for turquoise. The Harcross turquoise Mine produces some very nice "non-Nevada" looking turquoise that is a medium blue to medium green and has some gorgeous coloring. The Harcross turquoise Mine produces turquoise that looks a lot like Royston or Pilot Mountain turquoise from Nevada. This is kind of a common look of turquoise to come out of Nevada turquoise mines.
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 compact rock. During mining season the miners lived in trailers 75 miles from electricity and the closest telephone. The vein material and small nuggets found were of a very high grade turquoise. Seen in both a green and fine blue color, sometimes combined. The spider web Indian Mountain is considered to be some of the finer turquoise available.
The Lander Blue Turquoise Mine is one of the most famous American turquoise mines and is considered by many to be the most ‘valuable’ turquoise in the world. Rita J. Hapgold, a blackjack dealer at the Nevada Club in Battle Mountain, discovered this turquoise deposit in 1973 while picnicking at Indian Creek. She collected some nuggets in a can and later claimed the site as the Mary Louise Lode Mining Claim. Later that year she sold her claim to Marvin Syme and Henry Dorian, who formed the Lander Blue Turquoise Corporation. The Lander Blue Turquoise Mine was a "hat mine" so called because you could cover it with a hat, only 98 pounds of gem turquoise was ever recovered from it. Today this is the rarest and most desirable of all Southwestern turquoise classics and is also of the highest grade and thus, pound for pound, the most valuable turquoise in the world.
The Lone Mountain mine, originally called the Blue Jay mine, is located near Tonopah, Nevada. The Lone Mountain Mine was first claimed by Lee Hand in 1920, ownership passed to Gene Wadell and most recently to the Smith family. It is one of the few active turquoise mines in the United States that is legally operating to the stringent codes enforced by the Bureau of Land Management. Since the Smiths took over the mine has been producing thousands of pounds of turquoise ranging from pale green all the way up to blue green stones with black web matrix. The variety is incredible, allowing for many many different ‘looks’ and potential ‘grades.’ Lone Mountain turquoise was made famous in the 1970’s by legendary Native artists such as Charles Loloma who chased after the very highest grade material being produced. The Lone Mountain Spiderweb Turquoise which made the mine famous is a medium blue to a gray blue with black and mahogany brown fine spiderweb matrix. While most turquoise tends to be porous and thus susceptible to changing color over time (most likely blue to green), the Lone Mountain mine is known for producing very hard turquoise that is less likely to fade. This is an important attribute for jeweler’s looking to offer jewelry with stones that will retain a consistent aesthetic throughout their lifetime. Lone Mountain is considered a ‘classic’ American turquoise mine and thus, highly collectible. As a side note, this mine also produces chalk turquoise which when stabilized goes by the name of, ‘General Thomas’ turquoise.
The McGinness turquoise area is located on the East slope of the Toiyabe Range in Lander County about 15 miles NorthEast of Austin. The McGinness mine, which was the first discovery in the area, was located in 1930. After the initial work, the property was purchased and worked on a small scale by George McGinness. This was done during the 1930s and 1940s. Later, it was worked on a much larger scale by mechanized equipment in the 1960s and 1970s. This larger scale operation occurred during the time when turquoise was at the height of popularity and prices were very high. Some older turquoise publications state that much of the McGuinness material is only of "fair" grade. While this may have been true of some of the earliest production, much of the material produced since 1960 has been of very fine higher grade material. Two fairly large open pits were excavated and the mine produced a considerable amount of turquoise at that time, with the top grade material being a bold blue color with a black matrix. The black matrix present in the gem material consists of small angular fragments of the black chert host rock that the turquoise forms in at this location, and produces an attractive and somewhat unusual gem with the black matrix contrasting the bold blue colors. The turquoise here is spread over a wide area, coating many of the rocks in the mine area. There are a very few nuggets produced here and little if any true spiderweb, but both the blue and green colors from this location tend to be deep and full. There are also a number of other turquoise properties in this area that have been productive in the past. These properties are all located within a few miles of the McGinness Mine. Most of these were productive in the 1970s, and in total as a district, the mines at this location have produced quite a bit of turquoise over the years. Property names for these other mines include: the Green Tree, Moonglow, Blue Line, Lucky Day, Cold Day, Tina Gem, Blue Boy, White Owl and Xmas Tree.
Mystic Sage is part of the Lazy Old Men Mining operations. The Lazy Old Men Mine is located north of Austin, Nevada and has three co-owners who are located in the Reno area including Michael Britton. So far the Lazy Old Man Mine has produced a wide variety of variscite, turquoise, and some chalcosiderite, and faustite. There is a lot of silica in the Lazy Old Man Mine so some of the material is quite hard, the host rock at the site is mostly shale but there are times when working with a demolition hammer sparks start flying because the silica content is so high. The material from the Lazy Old Man Mine resembles material from the New Landers mine, the Prince Turquoise Mine, and the Tortoise Turquoise Mines in Nevada as well as the Snowville Variscite material. A lot of what has come out so far is mint green in color and features a smoky black matrix or spider web matrix.
The Neptune Mine is located in Esmeralda County, Nevada. This is one of the first and only woman-team owned and operated variscite/turquoise mines in the country - run by Emily Otteson and Helen Shull. Quote Helen Shull, “on this one we get to tell the boys where to dig.. They're good at listening to us because they know we're good at finding the gems” The material is known for its amazing bright greens with bold black matrix and the light, bright and intricate spiderweb stones.
The Nevada Blue mine has a long history, first mined in 1901 under the name Pinto/Watts. The Nevada Blue material was mined by the Hammon family from the late 1960's up into the early 1980's, and for the past 40 years had been part of the collection of Herb and Dottie Lindner. Some of the finest material was mined in the 70's, and Herb purchased most of the mine's production directly from the Hammons during that time. Today, due to extremely difficult access, the Nevada Blue Mine is no longer producing.
Herb was the major source for Nevada Blue cabochons when he was actively cutting, and you’ll see his stone in classic pieces by Charles Loloma and Lee Yazzie, among other great native jewelry artists of the time. The mine is currently owned and operated by Helen and Richard Shull.
The historic Northern Lights Mine is located in the Carico Lake turquoise Mining District near the Carico Lake and Red Mountain mines. This mine is known for its electric lime green turquoise, a very rare and sought after color in the turquoise world. The mine also produces beautiful blue stones! The Shulls operate this mine in partnership with the Northern Lights’ mine owner, Philip Chambless.
In Eureka county, north of Carlin, Nevada, the mine was discovered in 1925 and first mined in 1929. It has been one of the more productive turquoise mines in Nevada. Historically, the mine produced some of the largest nuggets of turquoise ever discovered, including one over 150 pounds in weight. In the 1960’s gold was discovered in the rocks surrounding the mine. In the late 1980s and 1990s, the Number 8 area was excavated out as a part of the Blue Star open pit gold mine. The place where the mine was is now a large hole in the ground. During the excavation of the Blue Star gold pit, a 12 inch wide vein of solid spiderweb turquoise was discovered in 1990. Only one large 25 pound nugget/vein section was saved from this discovery. Because the mining company was only interested in the gold content of the ores, all the rest of the turquoise excavated in this operation went into the mine dump and was buried. Nearly all the turquoise which was produced at the No. 8 is of the spider web-type, with the matrix varying from golden brown to black. Much of the material was of a high quality gem grade. The colors grade from very light blue to very dark blue, some with interesting hints of green. Gem material from this location is a very collectible turquoise – as no more can ever be mined!
There is still quite a bit of #8 turquoise available through collections and other holdings, though much of what is left is chalk material that needs to be stabilized. The best, natural spider web material from the #8 turquoise mine is rare and highly coveted today. The color of Number 8 varies from light blue, blue with shades of green to beautiful dark blue. It is found with a black, golden, red or brown matrix. The classic look of #8 turquoise is light blue with a golden brown spiderweb matrix. The black and red spider web Number 8 turquoise is the rarest and most valuable.
Earl Buffington and Lawrence Springer filed the first formal claim on the property in 1929. The claim was mainly for copper according to the memory of Clive Edgar. The mine went through a number of owners which included; Ted Johnson, Doc Wilson, Myron Clark, Lee Hand, the Edgar brothers and Dowell Ward. All are important names in Nevada’s turquoise mining history. The biggest producers at the #8 turquoise mine were the Edgars (Cutler and Clive Edgar) and Dowell Ward. In the 1950's the Edgars, with a bulldozer, began looking for copper. They found some copper, but they found something more interesting, they had uncovered a deposit of some of the finest spider web turquoise ever found in Nevada. The pocket produced more than 1,600 pounds of the very highest-grade turquoise, thousands of pounds of gem grade turquoise, and a ton of chalk.
Discovered and developed the mine in northern Nevada that produces the Lime Green turquoise that bears his name. The mining claims where the deposit is located is called the Blue Ridge in Crescent Valley. Originally Orvil only sought out blue turquoise, and at this time he would have his helpers simply discard the greed turquoise in search of blue. The rare yellow-green color of the turquoise (Faustite and Varasite) comes from the zinc content. Mr. Jack is now deceased, but his daughter Grace continues to manage the mine. Only a small amount is now being produced, and the turquoise is considered very collectible due to its rare color and scarcity.
The Pauite turquoise mine shares a mountain with the Godber / Burnham / Drycreek turquoise mine in central Nevada. While claims at the Paiute site date back to 1974, the mine has been actively productive since 1992. The Pauite mine produces limited quantities of high-grade spiderweb turquoise. It has a wide graduation of blue tone, from light to dark, with web or matrix in colors of black, orange, brown, and red. This mine was previously owned and operated by Tony Cotner who is now deceased. At the time of his passing I was able to purchase the majority of his Paiute natural rough turquoise collection. Tony was better known as the owner and operator of the Damele mine.
Located in Mineral County in west-central Nevada east of the town of Mina. Originally discovered in 1908, and worked as the Montezuma or Troy Springs mine, it was heavily worked by bulldozer in the 1970s, by a series of small open pits and was very productive at that time. There are still active (small) claims worked by the Cordovas, Ottesons, Durango Silver Company (Hartmans) and Nevada Turquoise Company. The Pilot Mountain Turquoise mine produces a wide variety of colors of Turquoise that are indicative of natural Nevada turquoise. The turquoise from the Pilot Mountain turquoise mine is highly admired for its deep blue-green colors. In addition, it can show light blue to dark green colors on the same stone. This graduation in color is unusual and makes the turquoise very collectible. The matrix is black to golden brown. Pilot Mountain turquoise is a hard stone and takes a good polish when it is highgrade. Most Pilot Mountain high grade material comes in very thin veins.
The well-known Red Mountain Mine (originally known as the X-15) lies part way up the south slope of Red Mountain on the east side of Carico Lake Valley. Turquoise is found in a series of breccia fault zones. It was heavily worked in the 1970’s by bulldozer. It has produced beautiful gem quality blue stones including some with a red spider web matrix, as well as some with a very tight spiderweb pattern similar to the material produced at the Lander Blue. Although it is located at Carico, it is not known for producing the bright green shades of turquoise most commonly considered as "Carico Lake" turquoise.
Royston is a mining district in Nevada with of a number of turquoise mines, including a number of small prospects. Turquoise was mined here by the Native Americans, but the first discoveries by local prospectors were made around 1902. The turquoise occurs in cracks and crevices in an altered volcanic rock along certain fault zones, most of which trend in a east - west direction. The District straddles the Nye/Esmeralda County line about 25 miles NW of Tonopah. The largest and most productive mines are in Esmeralda County and include the Blue Bell, the Bunker Hill, the Oscar Wehrend, and the main producer, the Royal Blue. The Royal Blue was worked heavily by a series of underground excavations early in the 1900s, and produced considerable fine turquoise. The Royal Blue and several adjoining deposits to the southeast were worked on the surface by bulldozer, creating a series of fairly large open pit excavations in the 1960s and 1970s, and the region produced many tons of fine turquoise. Unfortunately, the claims have produced very little since. The properties that make up the Royal Blue mine have produced more than 5 million dollars worth of turquoise, and together with the adjoining properties, this district has probably produced more than 100 tons in total gem production, making it Nevada's third most productive turquoise mine.
The Royston turquoise mines are known for their beautiful colors ranging from deep green to rich, light blues set off by a heavy brown matrix. The Royston district is still producing some turquoise of high quality. It ranges from a 5-6 in hardness for the highgrade. This turquoise is being mined by the Ottesons. Royston Turquoise is known for its aqua blue turquoise with golden brown matrix as well as for its "Military Green" or forest green turquoise with golden brown matrix. On occasion the Royston turquoise Mines produce true blue turquoise. You can find a lot of old pawn jewelry with Royston turquoise in it. The Royston turquoise mines are probably the most prolific mines in Nevada.
Royston turquoise is known for its wide palette of beautiful colors ranging from deep green to rich, light blues set off by a heavy brown matrix. Much of the material is hard and takes a fine polish. Royston is also known for stones which combine both blue and green in the same piece, with one color fading into the other. Aqua blue material with a slight green cast is also quite common. The Royston mines are currently in production but the work is done on an extremely sporadic and small scale basis. The Otteson family have staked a number of claims. This may lead to an increase in the District's potential for future turquoise production.
Located in Clark County, Searchlight mine is about 12 miles west of the town of Searchlight, along the west flanks of Crescent Peak. It was extensively worked by the Native Americans of the area long before the arrival of European emigrants. It is estimated that the site was worked for centuries by Native Americans, and was home to an extensive turquoise mining and stone processing community. When the site was first found, the stone chisels, hammers and wedges of the original miners were still left at the mine site, together with the remains of the mining village. It was worked extensively and was very productive of high quality blue turquoise in the decades after Mr. Simmons first "re-discovered" the deposit in 1890, however, it has not been productive for many years.
This small mine is located in Nevada. The material is typically blue green in color and comes in both thin veins (known as ‘cornflakes’) and nuggets.
Located in Nevada, Sierra Nevada mine is operated by the Ottesons.
Stone Mountain is located in high deserts of Lyon County, Nevada. The Stone Mountain turquoise mine was discovered in the late 1970's and since that time the majority of the turquoise has been discovered by hand and pick. A fairly new Nevada mine, the Stone Mountain turquoise mine is a small operation run by just a few people, the ‘Nevada Cassidys’. It produces deep blue to deep green turquoise with a varying degree of white, red and yellow-goldish matrix. The Cassidys claimed the Stone Mountain turquoise mine in the early 1980's and have been hand and pick mining it ever since.
The Stormy Mountain mine is located northeast of Carlin, on the south side of Swales Mountain near the summit. This mine is likely the same as the Carlin Black Matrix mine noted in some earlier publications. It produces strong blue stones with a blotchy, sometimes angular black matrix, generally similar in appearance to the turquoise from the Blue Diamond and McGinness Mines. It was worked by bulldozer in the 1960s and 1970s by members of the Edgar family and is sometimes known as the Edgar Brothers mine. A gold mining company currently holds the property and no further production is expected in the near future.
The Valley Blue mine was a small Nevada mine located in the Lander County region located between Austin and Battle Mountain, Nevada. The Valley Blue mine achieved fame for a small time back in the 60s and 70s. It produced a nice medium blue to dark blue turquoise with black matrix usually in nugget form. A lot of the material was finished as semi-nugget cabs. The few Valley Blue cabs that I have in my collection are very light powder blue with dark matrix.