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The Blue Gem Turquoise Story

Blue Gem Turquoise was actually more than one mine. There have been several Blue Gem claims throughout history. There was the Tonopah Blue Gem or "Royal Blue" Tiffany Claims, The Mina Blue Gem Claims, and the most famous being the Battle Mtn. Blue Gem mine.


Nevada Blue Gem Turquoise

This is our newest Turquoise mine, it is located in Mineral County!! It is producing some really awesome stone so far that looks just like the old Battle Mountain Blue Gem Turquoise. It comes in a light blue to a deep blue, with a rare green tone stone. It seems to be mostly matrix free rock once we tumble the veins of turquoise. When matrix is present it is a light yellow/gold or a white webbing. It contains an occasional trace amount of pyrite. We are hoping to get more of this gorgeous pyrite matrix Turquoise. We are mainly getting vein turquoise material that is within 3 mm thick, on occassion we get some thick turquoise veins. This Turquoise makes some wonderful classic and contemporary style Turquoise jewelry.

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Tonopah Blue Gem Turquoise

Royston is a district in Nevada consisting of three turquoise mines: Bunker Hill Turquoise Mine, Oscar Wehrend Turquoise Mine, and the main producer, Royal Blue Turquoise Mine. The Royal Blue Turquoise Mine was owned and operated for number of years by the Tiffany Company. The Royal Blue claims produced some of the most beautiful turquoise to ever hit the market. Tiffany was mainly after the blue turquoise that the Royal Blue Turquoise Mine Produced. At one time Tiffany Company produced tons of Blue Turquoise Jewelry with highgrade American Turquoise. The plain blue, the blue with golden yellow//brown web, and water web stones were the most desireable at that time. Royston is now known for its beautiful colors ranging from deep green to rich, light blues set off by a heavy brown matrix. The Royston district is still producing turquoise of high quality. Another popular variety of turquoise that Royston Produces these days is Boulder Turquoise or Ribbon Turquoise which is veins or "rivers" of turquoise going through the host rock. Royston Turquoise ranges from a 5-6 in hardness for the highgrade. This is one the best selling stones for our line of Turquoise jewelry. This Turquoise is being mine by the Ottesons.

RoystonTurquoise.com

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Historic Battle Mtn. Blue Gem Turquoise

The Blue Gem Turquoise Mine was located in the Copper Basin area southwest of Battle Mountain, Nevada, USA. Production of this turquoise mine started about 1934 and continued until the 1970's. Blue Gem Turquoise is still some of the finest turquoise ever found, and unlike most turquoise mines, (in which the majority mined is chalky and only usable if stablized) most of the turquoise found there was of gem-quality. There is a distinctive aqua color that some people associate with Blue Gem turquoise, although it produced a great variety of colors, especially when intense blue was combined with deep green in one stone (see Blue Gem Turquoise jewelry picture below).

The mine no longer exists due to the extensive copper (and gold) mining operations of the Copper Canyon Mining Company (all of the copper was extracted by 1968). Doc Wilson, one of the previouse owners of the Lone Mountain Turquoise Mine, owned the Blue Gem Turquoise Mine from 1938 - 1981 when he leased it to Lee Hand. Lee Hand owned and operated the mine until 1970 when he sold his interest to the Elquist family of Battle Mountain, Nevada. Lee Hand knew the Patania Family in Arizona and C.G.Wallace in Zuni and regularly supplied those traders with turquoise for Navajo and Zuni carvings and jewelry. While the Blue Gem Turquoise mine was very prolific at one time, today it is considered extremely rare, valuable and collectible turquoise. Most of the "finished" Blue Gem turquoise today is in private collections and museums, rarely offered for sale.

The Blue Gem Turquoise mine was located deep underground, accessed by tunnels as deep as 800 feet. This is of interest because the Blue Gem Turquoise Mine and the Bisbee Turquoise Mine in Bisbee, Arizona are the only two Turquoise mines (that we know of) where turquoise was found that deep in the earth. One of the rarest forms to see in Blue Gem Turquoise Jewelry is the Pyrite Variety. Pyrite-bearing quartz veins are closely associated with this turquoise although pyrite in Blue Gem Turquoise is still unusual to see. Durango Silver has some examples of this pyrite material in Turquoise Jewelry

Very little large material ever came out of the Blue Gem Turquoise Mine, the majority found was small 1mm "bleeder" veins and tiny nuggets which were perfect for Zuni inlay Jewelry and fine needlepoint Turquoise Jewelry, petit-point jewelry and snake-eyes Turquoise jewelry.

There's just something about Blue Gem Turquoise. It is a treasure: a rare, valuable and historic American turquoise. When we think of Blue Gem Turquoise, we think of translucence, depth, watery, what we mean by "non-opaque, silicated" jewels. This turquoise is hard and won't change color, takes a high polish and will be beautiful one hundred years from now. The character and beauty of these stones are impossible to fully capture in images, since this turquoise has a unique character that's hard to describe. It is like pools of glassy water captured in solid form. We believe this may be some of the greatest turquoise ever mined and once you own a piece you will be addicted to Blue Gem Turquoise.

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Pieces of the Blue Gem Turquoise story quoted from Sky Stone Trading Co.

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