Turquoise is a hydrous phosphate of copper and aluminum . It is an opaque mineral that occurs in beautiful hues of blue, bluish green, green, and yellowish green. Blue turquoise forms when there is copper present, which is the case with most Arizona turquoise. Green turquoise forms when there is iron present, which is the case with most Nevada turquoise. It is very rare to find Turquoise with a perfectly uniform and evenly distributed color.
The mineral turquoise is formed by a chemical reaction which occurs when water containing specific minerals such as copper and aluminum leak through a rock. It forms in veins, which later then turn into a clump of turquoise.
Turquoise balances and aligns all the chakras, stabilizing mood swings and instilling inner calm. It is excellent for depression and exhaustion, it also has the power to prevent panic attacks. Turquoise promotes self-realization and assists creative problem solving.
Turquoise range from different shades of blue to shades of green. Some have matrix, others don’t. Even the matrix differ greatly in color and pattern. To help you identify them better, let's go over a few different types of turquoise that are well known and that we deal with on a daily bases.
Dry Creek Turquoise
Dry Creek Turquoise mine is a mine which is located in Lander County, Nevada. Dry Creek Turquoise has gained much popularity in recent years with its milky white and light blue coloring and brown matrix. This color of turquoise was not previously used in jewelry. Different from the White Buffalo from Tonopah, Nevada, Dry Creek is indeed considered a very rare mine, because the mine is currently closed. Dry Creek with brown matrix is the highest grade of this turquoise.
Carico Lake Turquoise
Carico Lake turquoise range from beautiful shades of blue to lime green. The lime green color is due to the high levels of faustite and zinc. Although blue turquoise is the majority produced, in recent years lime green has been most valued for its rarity and unique color.
The Carico Lake Turquoise Mine is a historic mine named for its home on a dried up lake bed located in Lander County, Nevada. Due to the short amount of time it’s allowed to be mined each year, the supply of Carico Lake Turquoise is extremely limited.
Due to its increased interest and limited supply, Carico Lake turquoise has become a valued investment.
The Fox Turquoise Mine, located near Lander County, Nevada is one of the most famous and productive American turquoise mines and is still in operation today. Dowell Ward purchased the mine, along with a few others in the region in the 1940s. He named them Fox, White Horse, Green Tree and Smith to differentiate among the colors that were produced at these mines and also to seem like he had a bigger operation than it really was for marketing purposes.
Kingman turquoise is famous for having various sky blue color with characteristic veining.
The Kingman Turquoise Mine, located in Kingman, Arizona, is one of only three prehistoric mining sites in Arizona. It’s discovered and mined by prehistoric Navajo Indians well over 1000 years ago. The Colbaugh family has owned and operated Kingman since the 1880s and is credited for discovering this ancient mine as well as the Hohokam hammers left behind by the Navajo Indians.
The “high blue” color of Kingman turquoise has become a standard in the industry and has made them some of the most valuable turquoise in the world.
Lone Mountain Turquoise
Lone Mountain turquoise range from clear blue to dark blue spider web. The most sought after Lone Mountain turquoise are the dark blue with black spider web matrix. Most of the turquoise that come out of Lone Mountain these days are gray blue or robin’s egg blue. The dark blue with black spider web are very rare to find.
Lone Mountain is known for its ability to hold its beautiful blue color, even after decades of use, unlike other turquoise, who tend to slowly turn light green. It’s also harder than most turquoise. These characteristics, make Lone Mountain ideal for jewelry making.
The Lone Mountain Turquoise Mine is located in Esmeralda County, Nevada. Due to the unsafe history of mining there, Lone Mountain hasn’t been too actively mined in recent years.
For the above reasons, Lone Mountain turquoise is some of the most valued turquoise in the world.
Number 8 Turquoise
Number 8 turquoise range in color from light blue to blue-green to dark blue. It’s always found with characteristic black, golden or brown spider web matrix, which makes them easy to identify. Number 8 is also known for its unusually large nuggets, the largest of which weighed an astonishing 150 pounds.
The Number 8 Turquoise Mine is located in Lynn mining district in Eureka County, Nevada. The Number 8 Turquoise Mine has been closed since 1976 due to the discovery of gold in the mine. Fortunately, Dowell Ward, the most recent owner of the mine still has a healthy stockpile of them.
Today, Number 8 turquoise is considered to be one of the most valuable turquoise on the market and is a great addition to any collection.
Royston turquoise is known for producing turquoise of bold color variations, ranging from beautiful soft blue to emerald greens. They can also come with a wide variety of matrix, such as golden brown, black, white, and more.
The Royston Turquoise Mine is located in the Royston mining district near Tonapah, Nevada. The mine is owned and operated by the Otteson family and is still in operation today.
Many artists love working with Royston turquoise as the beautiful colors of Royston allows their imagination to run wild.
Sleeping Beauty Turquoise
Sleeping Beauty turquoise comes in a pure sky blue or robin’s egg blue color and is relatively stable and suitable for jewelry making.
The Sleeping Beauty Turquoise Mine, located in Globe, Arizona, is one of the most famous turquoise mines and produces some of the most desirable turquoise in the world due to the purity of its color. The mine closed for a second time (first time in the early 1960s) in August 2012, which has skyrocketed the price of Sleeping Beauty Turquoise.
The mine’s name comes from the mountain the mine is located in, which from far away looks like a sleeping woman lying on her back with her arms crossed.