Where Turquoise Comes From
There are numerous mines located in the Southwest United States that lay claim to producing a variety of turquoise stones. Most of these mines reside primarily in Nevada and Arizona with some others being in New Mexico, Colorado and California. Many of these mines, due to various reasons, have been officially closed and are no longer being credited for any production. It should also be noted turquoise is also mined in places such as Iran, Egypt China, Chile and Mexico. Most of the high-grade turquoise acquired and marketed by SilverTQ, LLC, originates from the various southwestern United States locations.
The Many “Faces” of Turquoise
Turquoise is well known for its wide spectrum of color variations, depending on its particular chemical composition. It can range in various shades of deep to light blue, greenish blue, green and an even a more rarer color of greenish yellow. Turquoise stones having a higher concentration of copper will exhibit the color of blue to blue-green. This identifiable blue color is typically what many associate and perceive as being the true color of turquoise. However, the color spectrum doesn’t stop here! Turquoise stones possessing a high concentration of iron will typically display some form or shade of a green color. Turquoise containing zinc, a much rarer composition, will be of some type of yellow and green color.
Many of our customers who purchase our finely handcrafted Native American turquoise jewelry often want to know what is the mine of origination for their particular piece or pieces. This makes sense, right? Buyers who fall in love with their handcrafted Native American jewelry naturally wish to know as much about their piece as possible. This is where it can start to become a bit “tricky.” Unfortunately, there exists no specific turquoise mine we know of that is credited for producing an exact uniform color or shade. In other words, variations of pattern, color, matrix and shade often times are found within the same mine. Below is a tray of turquoise we photographed that comes from the Dry Creek Turquoise mine. Looking at the photo one can easily see not all of these stones are alike with many variations in shades of blue and some even favoring the color green.
Most of the turquoise jewelry we market at SilverTQ, LLC, is identified by the mine of origination. As mentioned, all turquoise mines produce a variety of matrix, shade, pattern and/or color. We do our due diligence to provide as much known information on each individual jewelry piece as is possible. However, there are some instances when the artist themselves are uncertain of the origin of the turquoise stones they use. Many times the artist will choose from an assortment of stones originating from various mines he or she has not labeled. If we can not positively identify the correct mine, it is our policy not to guess the mine’s origin. We have found this to be a good way of doing business for nearly four decades. Accuracy has always been important to us.
Sam Shoultz and Frank Petrouskie