Southwest turquoise mines have produced some of the most beautiful stones in existence. While several mines are no longer around, others continue to thrive and support the industry. Here are a few of the mines that either produce, or have produced, fine turquoise gemstones.
The Royston Turquoise Mine is one of the more popular Southwest turquoise mines. Royston turquoise is known for it’s beautiful shades of blue and green and the fact that many of the stones don’t need to be treated or stabilized after being mined – just polished and placed into jewelry.
Morenci is located in Southeastern Arizona, roughly 50 miles north of Safford. While copper is mined in huge quantities at Morenci, it is also known as one of the turquoise mines producing stunning varieties of turquoise stones used for jewelry and art. The mine first opened in 1881, when Phelps Dodge & Company bought the property.
Todd Brown filed his claim for the Cerrillos Turquoise Mine 35 years after he first discovered a beautiful vein of rough turquoise near Grand Central Mountain in New Mexico. Today, he runs one of the most popular Southwest turquoise mines in the region, with the help of family and friends. The stones are known for their greenish color rust-colored veining.
Lander Blue Turquoise from Nevada is believed to be completely mined out. In fact, some experts believe the small mine only produced 100 pounds of beautiful spider-webbed Lander Blue turquoise. This was one of the shorter-live Southwest turquoise mines, but also produced some of the most memorable stones known.
The Damele Mine in Nevada produces very little turquoise these days and stones from this location are becoming more rare and increasing in value. A lot of the Damele stones being sold today were mined years ago and are now in the hands of collectors and dealers. The stones are very hard and require little or no stabilization to be used in jewelry or art. Collectprs look for stones that feature the characteristic green, yellow and gold coloration with spider webbing.
The Bisbee mine in Arizona is one of the Southwest turquoise mines producing amazingly high quality stones. Most of the stones on the market today were mined in Bisbee years ago and are sold by collectors or dealers. There are still several old stocks of mined Bisbee turquoise, which are becoming increasingly hard to find.