Gem Quality Turquoise from Nevada Mines, turquoise Jewelry Turquoise Mines of Nevada

A Listing of Historic and Still Producing Nevada Turquoise Mines

Turquoise and its family of related gemstones have been mined from more than 120 locations within Nevada, a number far more than that of all the other 50 states combined. As a result, the state has also produced more turquoise than all the other states in the US, with the present value of the rough produced likely surpassing 100 million dollars, though historical production numbers have often not been publicly reported. The deposits are spread sparsely across large areas of Nevada, but the greatest number of mines are concentrated in Lander and Esmeralda Counties. The deposits tend to occur in groups, and in places where there are a good number of them, these areas can be termed as turquoise mining districts. In spite of this, many of these districts are better known for their greater production values in gold and other metals. Turquoise has never been subject to the kind of widespread and intense exploration that accompanied Nevada's famous gold and silver rushes, and new turquoise discoveries continue to be made periodically when high prices and strong demand for turquoise rough encourage local prospectors to begin searching for deposits of the elusive gem and its related gem minerals. There were a number of new discoveries made during the turquoise "boom" period of the late 1960s and early 1970s that have received little attention in any related publications since that time. Large and extensive work was done during those boom times and Nevada produced considerable turquoise. For more information on the general occurrence and geology of turquoise formation, and the techniques of mining it, see our general web page on Nevada Turquoise. Many older publications do not have any information from the boom period of the 1970s as they were written before that time. As a result, this listing contains descriptions of a number of mines not previously written up in any publication, and is probably the most complete listing of the known turquoise producing mines of Nevada ever written. It specifically notes 121 locations where turquoise family minerals have been commercially mined within the state.
Probably the three most productive mines in the state are, in decreasing order, the
Aurora at Carico Lake, the Fox near Cortez, and the Royal Blue at Royston. The No. 8 Mine near Carlin, the Blue Gem at Battle Mountain, the Lone Mountain mine west of Tonopah and the Pilot Mountain Mine near Mina would probably rank as the next most productive Nevada turquoise mines. A number of others, with lesser, but still significant production are considered as "classic locations" for American turquoise because of the beautiful gem material they produce. Inclusion of various mines in this listing is based on past production, but also adds some little known locations and other smaller mines that are still actively worked on a small scale by their owners. At some places, a number of different mine names have been used over the years for the same property.  I have attempted to correlate various old location names with those currently being used wherever possible.  A number of publications concerning Nevada turquoise mines were consulted, and a listing of references appears at the end of this list. I have also conducted original research made a number of visits to various turquoise producing areas around the state. In the investigation of Nevada turquoise, I found that most of the reference books cited at the end of this listing contain at least some minor errors, and these errors are often repeated on various web sites that offer Nevada turquoise source information. The majority of these have been corrected for this compilation. Although I have stated that this is probably the most complete listing ever produced concerning Nevada turquoise, there have been many more mines in Nevada that have produced at least some turquoise than those listed below. Each mine or District is listed with the principal turquoise family minerals that it produces. Please note that the author, Chris Ralph, retains all copyrights to this document and it may not be reproduced, quoted or copied without permission.

This is a series of mines that are located about 30 miles northeast of Austin on a mountain west of Ackerman Canyon, east of Austin in Lander County. The location was first discovered and worked in the 1970s. The color of the material ranges from light to dark blue green, the highest quality material being a translucent emerald green shade and resembling a fine Jadeite in color. Most of the variscite has a high silica content, is hard and takes a good polish. It occurs in veins up three inches thick and is sometimes found in nodule form as well. No material is currently being produced. Some turquoise is produced at mines on the fringe of thei area. There are a number of small mines in this general location. Mines at this location includes the Ackerman, King Tut and Marie.

The Zuni and Papoose turquoise mines are both located about 12  miles south of Austin, Nevada in the Toiyabe Range. In general, the turquoise from this area is somewhat similar to the turquoise from the McGuinness area which is located a few miles north of Austin in the same Toiyabe mountain range. Angular black chert contrasts with bright and deep blue turquoise in the better material. The Zuni also produces some interesting contrasting blue with green material (in the same stone). Both mines are later discoveries and were worked chiefly in the late 1960s and 1970s.

This mine is locate on the west side of the Toiyabe Range several miles north of Austin, in Lander County. 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 varicite 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.

In the 1930s a series of turquoise deposits were discovered near Basalt in Esmerelda County by Lee Hand and others. These include the Blue Jay Gem and the Blue Gem No. 1 mines. The deposits are located on both sides of Highway 95 about 5 miles north of the old town site of Basalt. None of the prospects are particularly large, and most of the work was done by bulldozer in the 1970s. Most of the material occurs in cracks and seams and most is very thin, but there is some fine material in both good blue as well as attractive green colors. Virtually no nugget type turquoise is produced. Each dozer trench or other excavation produces a somewhat different type or color of material.

In the early 1900s turquoise was discovered south and southwest the famous old bonanza silver mining district of Belmont in Nye County. Though some good quality blue turquoise has been mined, no large quantities have been produced. The turquoise deposits are located south and a little west of the main silver mining area. Several small prospects have been found and worked, including the Copper Blue, Zabrisky and the No Name No. 2.

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 and 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 spiderweb material is also located in the Battle Mountain area.

The Blue Diamond mine is located In the Iowa Canyon area, about 50 miles north of Austin, Nevada. The Blue Diamond Mine was extensively worked in the 1970s, and continues to be worked on a small scale by its owners each year, and produces some very high quality turquoise of deep blue color. It is known for material with angular and blotchy black matrix contrasted against a hard, deep blue colored turquoise.

The Blue Shah mine is located about 6 miles north of Tonopah in what was once known as the Rays mining area. It is marked by a series of small bulldozer cuts which were excavated in the 1960s. It has produced some turquoise of good blue color.

Although the first turquoise discoveries were made in the Shoeshone Range on the west side of Carico Lake Valley in 1909, only comparatively small amounts were produced in the early days. However, since 1970, the Carico Lake area has become the most important turquoise mining district in Nevada. The district is named after its location near Carico Dry Lake in the central part of Lander County, Nevada. There are actually a number of important turquoise mines located in the Carico Lake turquoise mining district, including the Red Mountain, Blue Elephant, Nevada Blue (Pinto/Watts), Aurora and Northern Lights mines. By far the largest producer of these mines has been the Aurora. Active exploration for gold deposits continues in the area.
Aurora Mine: The
Aurora mine lies in the foothills of the Shoeshone Mountain Range on the west side of Carico Lake Valley. The original Aurora Claim was staked in 1930, by August Stenich, but no significant amount of turquoise was mined at that time. However, in the mid 1970s when prices were high, large scale mining was initiated, and huge quantities of turquoise and faustite were produced from the Aurora mine. This mine is the source of the material most commonly considered as "Carico Lake turquoise". Its clear, bright spring to mint green color is due to its elevated zinc content and is both beautiful and collectible. Aurora mine turquoise is also found in a dark blue to green colors with a black, spider web matrix, as well as a range of pastel blue to green-blue colors. Most of the blue material is in the light to medium color range. Turquoise from this location has also been marketed under the names "Stone Cabin" and "Aurora". The majority of the material from the mine is found as nuggets, which occur in breccia (fault) zones as well as along bedding planes in the sedimentary host rock. The mine is also known for fossilized clams which have been replaced with turquoise. The Aurora is probably the largest mine in the US excavated primarily for turquoise. It is also the most productive turquoise mine in Nevada, with a staggering estimated past production of nearly 400 tons of turquoise. The surrounding region has been explored for gold, but none has been produced. In spite of strong demand, production during the last 20 years has been small and sporadic, though the property has now been re-opened by new owners and is currently once again producing turquoise.
Red Mountain: 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 some gem quality blue stones some 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. The estimated value of the mine's production is about $250,000 worth of turquoise.
Northern Lights: The Northern Lights (Sylvia) mine lies on the eastern side of the
Carico Lake Valley at the western foot of Red Mountain, and about a mile west of the Red Mountain (X-15) mine. It produces a wide number of grades of turquoise in deep blue to greens, but a large portion of the production is a light blue colored material, in both clear and spider web forms.
Nevada Blue: Is a smaller mine in the Shoeshone range high on the ridge to the west of the
Aurora. It produces some nice deep blue material including some with a nice spider web pattern. It is still worked periodically by its owner, but access is very poor for most of the year because of the high elevation.

A number of other smaller turquoise mines beyond those noted above have also operated in the district, including some on the west side of the Shoeshone Range. The unusual beauty and limited amounts of Carico Lake turquoise available combine to make Carico Lake turquoise very desirable.

Crescent Peak (Simmons, Aztec, Searchlight) - This mine is located about 12 miles west of the town of Searchlight, along 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 of the peoples who worked the deposit. 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. Two other smaller mines, the Morgan and Smithson-Phillips are close by. The Sullivan or Yellow Diamond mine is located near the town of Boulder.

The Columbus and Candelaria area is the site of the first turquoise discovery by European heritage miners in Nevada. The area first attracted the attention of the local miners because of the nearby veins of high grade silver ore. The District is  located in Esmeralda County, Nevada. A very large open pit silver mine was excavated here in the 1980s and early 1990s, and although a considerable quantity of fine turquoise was put into the mine dump, some fine material was recovered by workers from the walls of the pit. The Columbus/Candelaria district is also the home of a number of small turquoise and variscite mines that are still occasionally worked by their owners. Some of the old underground Gold / Silver mines in the area, including the Potosi mine have also produced small amounts of turquoise.
Ajax: The small Ajax mine is located in south central Nevada in the Columbus/Candelaria area of Esmerelda County, not far from the site of the first Nevada turquoise discovery. The owner still occasionally works it on a small scale. The mine is best known for bright yellow-green material, but also yields stones from light blue with darker blue veins to a predominate dark green with light blue areas. This latter coloration is considered quite unusual for turquoise.
Some of the additional small mines in this area include the Blue Moon, Miss Moffet, Ruth, Blue Boy, Pirate,
Broken Arrow, Candelaria and the Sigmund.

The Damale mine is located 30 miles east of Austin, Nevada on the east side of Damele Mountain at the south east end of the Simpson Park Range. The site is about a mile southwest of the Dry Creek (Godber) mine. Damale turquoise is distinctive because of the unusual colors the gems in a yellow-green to bright mint green with excellent hardness. The Damele deposit produces very little material of the standard blue colors most people commonly associate with turquoise. Mineralogically, most of the material produced here is likely Variscite, Chalcosiderite or possibly Faustite. The mine consists of a single medium sized open pit excavation. The adjoining Paiute turquoise deposit shares the same hill with the Godber mine, produces material of a standard good blue color.  The Damale material is mostly in nugget form, with a webbing consisting of a dark brown to black matrix. Its availability is limited because the mine is fairly small and considerable laying back of the steep pit walls will be required for further production. The mine is worked only sporadically by the owner on a small scale. Due to its rare, bright and attractive colors, Damale is considered a collectible gemstone.

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.

The Dry Creek (Godber) mine, which has also been known as the Godber or Burnham mine is located about 5 miles north of Hickison Summit on Highway 50, about 30 miles east of Austin. It is noted for high quality deep blue turquoise, often with a dark colored spider web type matrix. Considerable confusion has been caused with another mine with the same name of "Dry Creek" near Battle Mountain that produces a very pale blue turquoise material. The Woods/Godber mine shares a similar name but does not produce this product, which is also sometimes called "sacred buffalo". The matrix of this Dry Creek Turquoise is typically light golden or brown-gray to gray-black. This turquoise is beautiful alone in a piece of jewelry and is especially striking when juxtaposed with other colors of turquoise in a single creation. The owners of this mine continue to work it and produce fine quality turquoise on a small scale. The owners sell some finished jewelry from the Dry Creek mine at their web site. The Windy Ridge mine is located close by. The Piaute and Damele turquoise mines adjoin on the southwest.

This little known turquoise area is located just east of the small community of Dyer in Esmerelda County. It was reported by Nevada Bureau of Mines Geologists. There has been only a little production from these deposits.

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. It was discovered in 1907 and has been owned and worked by a number of different operators. Much of the original work was done by Lee Hand, a well known old time Nevada Turquoise miner. Production here has come from both surface pits and underground workings, and the turquoise occurs as both nuggets and veins. Total production is estimated at nearly 8 tons of turquoise of all grades. Most of the material from the mine is a good blue color, hard and of good quality.  Blue colors are predominant over green at this location. A few additional deposits, including the Smokey Valley Mine, which was worked in the 1960s by Menless Winfield, lie nearby in the same mountain range.

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. 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 Pixie turquoise / faustite mine was also located in the same general area around Cortez, but is considered to be mined out. The green Pixie material was mined for only 18 months during 1973 and 1974. Gold mining companies forming the Cortez Joint Venture now hold the Pixie claim group.

The Indian Blue mine is located in Northern Nye County about 1.7 miles south of the county line on the east slope of the Toquima Range. The was originally worked by the native Americans of the area and produces small sized nuggets of very hard deep blue turquoise. A small amount of dozer work was done at the site during the period of high turquoise prices in the 1960s and 1970s. The nuggets tend to be coated white and are hard to see unless broken and the deep blue interior exposed. Only nuggets are produced, and they occur along the bedding planes of the host shale rock.

The Indian Mountain mine is located on the southern slope of Bald Mountain, about 14 miles SW of Cortez, about 15 miles south and a little west of the Fox Turquoise Mine and about 10 miles west of the Red Mountain Turquoise mine at Carico. The deposits here were discovered by a local Native American Shepherd in the early 1970s. The deposits are located high on a mountain side and are inaccessible during the winter months. It produces some very fine quality spider web turquoise with good blue color. It is considered by many as one of the "classic" western turquoise locations, and has been featured in a number of publications. Gold mining operations were carried out a few miles to the west in the 1980s, but as yet have not encroached on the turquoise area. The Blue Goose Mine, which has produced small amounts of very high quality material, is located at the south end of Hot Springs Point about 6 miles south of Bald Mountain peak.

Located just south of Indian Creek in the Bullion District, the Lander Ranch (New Lander) mine was discovered in the early 1970's. A series of open pit excavations have produced high quality whitish to light green chalcosiderite with a dark colored spiderweb pattern. It is owned and worked by Eddie Mauzy of Battle Mountain.

Several little known small turquoise deposits are located in Lincoln County, some of which were originally worked by the Native Americans of the area, including the Anasazi. Pough references the Crescent Peak deposit as being in Lincoln Co., but that particular location is now a part of Clark Co. as the boundaries have changed since the book was written.

The Lombardo or Shoshone mine is located in the New Pass area of the Desatoya Range astride the border of Lander and Churchill Counties about 20 miles east of Austin. Considerable surface work was done by bulldozer in the 60s and 70s, but when the turquoise bearing zone got too deep, the owners were forced to begin work underground. The quality and hardness of the turquoise improved as the miners moved downward below the weathered surface zone in the underground mine. This is probably the only turquoise mine in the US to begin new underground turquoise mining in recent decades, as almost all modern turquoise work in the US has been done with bulldozers working surface pits. A significant amount of high quality turquoise was produced, but the deposit is no longer being worked. The company formerly operated a shop to sell the turquoise they produced in Austin.

The Lone Mountain turquoise mine near Tonopah, Nevada has been one of the larger producers of fine turquoise in Nevada. It was discovered by Lee Hand in 1920 and filed under the name of Blue Jay Mining Lode. At first it was called the Blue Jay Mine on Lone Mountain and later just the Lone Mountain. It is presently closed. As with many turquoise mines it was first operated as an underground tunnel and shaft operation, including over 1500 feet of underground workings, reaching a depth of 250 feet below the surface. However, when Menless Winfield bought the mine it was made into an open pit operation. Considerable surface mining was done here in the 1970s and quite a bit of turquoise recovered. A large but long and narrow open pit oriented in a north-south direction now marks the primary mine excavation. The turquoise from this mine is mostly good to high-grade and is usually in the form of nuggets although there is good a quantity of vein material as well. A very interesting occurrence of turquoise found here is a condition where the turquoise was deposited in cavities or molds left when parts of fossil plants were dissolved out of a harder rock. The turquoise is graded into golden matrix, black matrix and spider web. In the past most of it was cut and polished or the nuggets drilled and polished at the mine and very little rough was sold. No material is currently being mined. It is considered a very collectible turquoise, probably second only to the Lander Blue. The nearby Blue Silver turquoise mine is located about 1 mile north of the Lone Mountain Mine. The Livesly turquoise mine is just east of Paymaster Canyon, a few miles to the south, but not far away.

The McGinness turquoise area is located on the East slope of the Toiyabe Range in Lander County about 15 miles North East 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 Mr. George McGinness of Oakland, CA. 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 bee true of some of the earliest production, the 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 glue 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.

The are a good number of turquoise and variscite deposits located at various places all across the Monte Cristo Range in central Esmeralda County. The following are the more important producers in the area:
Carrie Mine - The Carrie Mine (also know as the Meyers & Bona) is located 2.5 miles southeast of the old Gilbert ghost town site. The mine produces a variety of grades from soft and pale to hard, deep blue material that is the equal of any turquoise mine for color and hardness. The thicker veins tend to be poorer in quality. The historic production from this mine has been fairly large. There are several turquoise prospects in this general area close to the main mine.
Crow Springs - In some reports, the Crow Springs area is considered as a separate district, but because it is located at the northeast end of the
Monte Cristo Range, it can be considered a part of the Monte Cristo area. It is not just one mine, but series of a number of open pit mines that have been worked on several properties. All are generally north and west of Crow Springs, but with a couple miles distance. A considerable quantity of good quality turquoise has been produced from the combination of these properties. They were heavily worked through surface pits in the 1960s and 1970s. Properties here include the Petry, Blue Friday, Annjax, and Crow Spring Mines.
Monte Cristo - The Monte Cristo mine is located about 8 miles NE of Coaldale, and was discovered in 1951. Both solid blue and spiderweb material occur here. Some limited work by dozer has been done here. More extensive work was done at the adjoining Spiderweb mine.

A large number of smaller turquoise prospects are spread across the Monte Cristo Range and have been worked for turquoise and/or variscite at various times since the early 1900s. These include the Spiderweb, the Original Gilbert, Carr-Lovejoy and the Reik & Botts Mines. Another historic turquoise mine in this area is the Marguerite Mine, located about 2 miles east of Crow Springs. Some very high quality green variscite has also been produced from the Monte Cristo Range.

The Number 8 Turquoise mine in Eureka county, north of Carlin, Nevada, 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! The August Berning Mine was also located nearby.

The Orvil Jack (Blue Ridge) mine is located about a mile north east of Gold Acres on the west side of Crescent Valley. Orvil Jack discovered and developed the mine that bears his name. This property is actually two mines: when the blue turquoise is mined, it is called the "Blue Ridge Turquoise Mine." When the yellow-green 'faustite' is mined, it is referred to as "Orvil Jack Turquoise Mine." The rare yellow-green color of the turquoise/faustite comes from the zinc content of the material produced here. Mr. Jack is now deceased, but his daughter Grace Jack Wintle and her family continue to manage and work the mine on a part time basis. Only a small amount is now being produced each year, and the turquoise is considered very collectible due to its rare color and scarcity.

A Turquoise discovery was made in the 1970s in the Paradise Range east of Gabbs, Nevada in Nye County. The exact location of this mine has not been made public and little was ever published on it. Rough turquoise from this locality was offered for sale in the 1970s in various trade magazines including the Lapidary Journal. It was advertised as Gabbs turquoise. The deposits was found as a result of searching for other metallic mineral deposits. It has recently been reclaimed and the new owners are recovering material off the old dump. The turquoise produced is green and blue and is similar in appearance to the turquoise produced in the Royston district.

The Pilot Mountain Turquoise district is located along the southern slopes of the Pilot Mountain range, about 30 miles east of Mina, Nevada in Mineral County, near the border with Esmerelda. The first discoveries were made in the area in 1908, but a number have been made since. In addition to the mines below, the High Blue area is also along the south side of the Pilot Range, about 5 miles west of the Blue Eagle area. Most of the turquoise from the Pilot Mountain district is found in vein form.
Pilot Mountain - The Pilot Mountain mine is one of Nevada's more productive turquoise mines. It is 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. It continues producing on a small scale - the work being accomplished by one family. The stone 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.
Moqui-Aztec - The Moqui-Aztec mine was a turquoise occurrence near the pilot Mountain mine, about 1.5 miles west of Troy Springs. It was worked many years ago, and has not produced much since.
Turquoise Bonanza - The Turquoise Bonanza mine is located on the west side of
Pilot Mountain about 2.5 miles north of the Pilot Mountain mine in Mineral County in west-central Nevada and east of the town of Mina. The first discovery here was made in 1908, but significant mining did not begin until 1943. Ted Johnson and others did considerable work mining here from the 1950s through the 1970s. Total turquoise production is estimated at about $400,000 worth of rough. The mine has produced a wide range colors, including blue, blue-green and green. The turquoise occurs in veins up to 2 inches wide in an altered, fractured quartzite. Much of the vein or slab material has an attractive matrix pattern, and spiderweb material does occur here. Nuggets of turquoise are rare at this location. The turquoise is hard, of good quality, and takes a good polish. There are more than 20 individual deposits on the property and each contains a distinct variety of turquoise.
Blue Eagle - The Blue Eagle area is located about 2 miles west of the
Pilot Mountain mine. A series of moderate sized open pit excavations were worked by bulldozer during the period of high turquoise demand in the 1960s and 1970s. The area was little worked before that time. One of the Mines here produced very unusual turquoise psudomorphs where the material assumes the form of another mineral crystal (usually apatite).
The Halley's Comet Mine is located near to the Pilot Mountain area at the southern end of the Excelsior Range about 10 miles SW of Mina. It has produced a small amount of both varicite and turquoise, much of the material is very bright green in color.

Located in Lander County near the old Silver district of Ravenswood, a small amount of turquoise occurs within a commercial Barite deposit. It is not known if any turquoise was saved during the mining of the  Barite from this locality. The Ralph King turquoise mine is located in the same general area of the Shoeshone Range, roughly 14 miles NW of Austin.


Royston is a mining district in Nevada with of a number of turquoise mines, including a number of small prospects. Tuquoise 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/Esmerelda County line about 25 miles NW of Tonopah. The largest and most productive mines are in Esmerelda 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. Royston turquoise is known for its wide pallet 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 he work is done on an extremely sporadic and small scale basis, and as a result, gem quality material from this location is a very collectable turquoise. The Otteson family have staked a number of claims here and begun work on a number of these claims around Royston area. This may lead to an increase in the District's potential for future turquoise production. There are a number of smaller turquoise prospects out of Royston, including some north between Royston and the the Easter Blue area, Southwest from Royston toward Crow Springs, and north of the Royston area,

Located just east of the Klondike mining area in Esmerelda County, the Smith Black matrix mine has produced a small quantity of turquoise of a blue to greenish blue color with contrasting black silicious matrix. Virtually all the material shows at least some matrix, and in some stones the black matrix predominates over the turquoise. The mine is small, and very little turquoise as been produced here since 1910.

The Toe Jam or Stampede Mine is located about 10 miles SE of the town of Tuscarora in Elko County. It was worked heavily in the turquoise "boom" of the 1960s and 1970s. An open pit mine 100 feet long and 40 feet deep was excavated for turquoise at this location. The mine produces nuggets and seams of turquoise in a good spider web pattern. There are several other turquoise prospects in the area.

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 bull dozer 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 Taubert turquoise deposit is located about 7 miles W-NW of Yerrington, near Mason Valley Pass. Historically, a considerable amount of copper ore has been mined in the Yerrington area - and several of the copper mines here have produced some small amounts of turquoise. The turquoise at the Taubert property occurs in altered zones in quartz monzonite. A variety of grades of material in both blues and greens with some translucent material occur here. Some of the material has attractive brown dendrites of limonite, an iron oxide. It was discovered in 1908 by Otto Taubert, who also discovered some other turquoise prospects in this area. The deposit is still being worked on a small scale, and is now being worked by the current owners as the Stone Mountain mine. Both rough and cut turquoise gems are sold over the internet. The Harcross Mine, also originally discovered by Otto Taubert is also located in the Yerrington area. The Concho Springs mine is also located in this area, a few miles north of the old ghost town site of Ludwig.

This mining district is host to a large number of turquoise mines, including the Darling Darlene, Orvil Jack, and Lander Ranch, each previously described in more detail above. The Native Americans of the region had known for years that there were turquoise deposits in the area around Indian Creek, but mining by Americans of European decent did not take place until turquoise deposits were discovered in place (still in the mountainside host rock) in 1938. Many of the mines here have been historically significant producers of very high quality turquoise. Most of the turquoise mines lie in a zone north of Indian Creek and west of Gold Acres and Tenabo. However, there are a some deposits that lie south of Indian Creek. A large number of properties have been productive here, and there are many more deposits in this district than the few listed below. Active gold mining has occurred here since the 1930s, and exploration is continuing throughout the area and this limits the future potential of the district for turquoise production.
Badger - The Badger was the first deposit discovered in the area. It has been worked extensively by open pit methods. A considerable amount of bulldozer work was done here in the 1970s, which produced some good material.
Super X - The Super X mine is located just north of Indian Creek and is known for its very high grade  deep blue spider web turquoise. It has not been productive for many years.
Color Back (Turquoise Boy) - Located a few miles north of Indian Creek, this mine was periodically worked at times when turquoise prices were high from the late 1930s through the 1970s. A significant quantity of turquoise has been produced. It has produced little since the 1970s.
Lander Blue -
Considered by many as the finest American turquoise yet produced, the Lander Blue deposit was found by accident in 1973 by an area resident having a picnic along Indian Creek. It is famous for dark blue turquoise with a very tight (small grained) black spider web pattern. The deposit was very small and is considered to be worked out.
Little Chief -
This deposit is located along Indian Creek just north of the Lander Blue mine and has yielded both turquoise and Barite (drilling mud). Unfortunately, the barite mining operations in the early  1980s essentially obliterated the turquoise mine, and little if any turquoise is exposed at present.
Stenich - Named for August Stenich, who discovered turquoise here in 1929, this mine is located very close to the Orvil Jack property. Like that property, it has produced both bright green as well as standard blue colors of turquoise, in both nugget and vein form.

There are a large number of other turquoise mines in this area, some of which include the Blue Eagle, the Blue Fern, the Blue Nugget, the Blue Matrix, the Little Gem, the Old Campground, House Rock, No Name #1, Turquoise Bonanza, Turquoise 50, New Blue (Blue Gem), Rufan and Tom Cat mines. Although a few of the locations are still being worked, most of the mines in this district are no longer being worked and many have been claimed over by various gold mining companies looking for gold ores.

The Timberline Turquoise mine is located in the far northern part of Elko County, almost to the Idaho state line. It is the furthest north turquoise mine in the state. It was discovered in  1967 and in the years afterward produced a good quantity of fine spider webbed material of a good blue color during the turquoise "boom" of the late 1960s and 1970s. It is no longer being worked.

The Warm Springs Turquoise area is located near the old Warm Springs stagecoach station site, about 50 miles east of Tonopah, in Nye County, There are several small mines here, including the property known as the Valley View mine. The majority of the turquoise found here is of the spiderweb type, but most tends toward light to medium blue tones. This mining area is not described in any existing publication, it was first worked in the mid 1970s.

Small amounts of Turquoise were produced from the oxidized capping of the Ruth Copper pit deposit when it was worked during the early 1900s. While it is likely considerable amounts of turquoise were present originally, much of the material was processed as copper ore and turned into metallic copper. The oxidized zone at the Ruth pit is almost completely mined out and little of this material ever made it into the general turquoise trade. The area is located west of Ely, Nevada in White Pine County. Work on the old pit recently re-started, but little in the way of turquoise production is expected.


**A Special Note on the White Buffalo "Turquoise" mined near Tonopah, Nevada that is sometimes seen for sale. Considerable confusion has been caused by the sale of a white material called White Buffalo  "Turquoise". Although the can be confusing, this material is probably not turquoise at all but is another, completely unrelated mineral called magnesite. It does have a look superficially similar to some turquoise in appearance, except for the white rather than blue or green coloration. Sale of this material as "Turquoise" is highly misleading. White Buffalo is a great marketing name for this product, but to call it "turquoise" is simply wrong and very unfair to the buyer.**

Published References concerning Nevada TURQUOISE Deposits
1. Nevada Bureau of Mines Mining District Files - Various authors
2. Turquoise Deposits of
Nevada, Report 17 - Morrissey
3. Turquoise Unearthed - JD Lowry, JP Lowry
4. Turquoise - Gem of the Centuries - Branson
5. The Turquois - Pough
6. BLM
Nevada Mining Claim Records
7. Minerals of
Nevada - Nevada Bureau of Mines Special Pub. 31

NOTE: All Copyrights to this article are retained by Chris Ralph - Do not copy or quote without written permission

Nevada Outback Gems

Nevada Turquoise jewelry spiderweb blue and green
Find out more by checking out All of Our links below:
View our Premium Contemporary Turquoise Jewelry - Wearable Artwork! View our Unique Gem Quality Turquoise Cabochons
Premium Jewelry, with Gemstones of all types Top Quality Loose Gemstones - Gemstones of all types
Rare Crystals and Gemstone Rough, all types including Turquoise Check out our EBAY Auctions of Jewelry, Gemstones and Rough
How to make a purchase, information and terms More information about us - Nevada Outback Gems
About Nevada Turquoise Contact us - we want to help
More Info about Turquoise, the Beautiful Gem Nevada Outback Gems Homepage
Take a virtual tour of our turquoise mines Our Free Colored Gemstone Information Encyclopedia
Chris' Adventures Prospecting for Gold, Silver, Turquoise and other Gems Nevada Outback Library and Bookstore - Learn more!
Nevada Outback Gems Website News More Info about Gem Cutting