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Nevada Gem Turquoise Varieties and History

Updated on July 2, 2014

Well Known Nevada Turquoise Varieties

I am amazed at the number different types of turquoise found in Nevada. Each turquoise has it's own unique look and history.

If you would like to start a turquoise collection, collecting turquoise from Nevada would be a great start.

Here are a few of the most well known types of turquoise found in Nevada as well as a little bit of information about each one.

Untreated turquoise, Nevada USA. Rough nuggets from the McGinness Mine, Austin, Nevada; Blue and green cabochons showing spiderweb, Bunker Hill Mine, Royston
Untreated turquoise, Nevada USA. Rough nuggets from the McGinness Mine, Austin, Nevada; Blue and green cabochons showing spiderweb, Bunker Hill Mine, Royston | Source

Darling Darlene Turquoise

Getting your hands on some true Darling Darlene Turquoise is a rare treat indeed. This mine produced some very nice looking dark blue turquoise.

Located a few miles west of Battle Mountain, this mine produced very little turquoise making it one of the most difficult varieties of turquoise to get your hands on.

Be cautious when purchasing this turquoise as true Darling Darlene Turquoise is seldom seen.

Blue Gem Turquoise

The color of this Nevada turquoise varies greatly producing both green and blue turquoise. Often the color is quite intense.

Like Darling Darlene Turquoise, the Blue Gem Turquoise Mine was located near Battle Mountain, in fact it was sometimes referred to as Battle Mountain Turquoise.

No longer active this mine produced some of the most valuable turquoise available due to it's great hardness and colors.

Carico Lake Turquoise

Carico Lake Turquoise is known for producing beautiful green color turquoise. Carico Lake Turquoise gets it's color due to it's zinc and copper content.

Although best known for it's green color, Carico Lake Turquoise can also be found in several shades of blue.

Named after a dried-up lake-bed, Carico Lake Turquoise is found in Lander County, Nevada.

The mine produces little turquoise due to it's remote location and harsh winters.

Lander Blue Turquoise

Often considered the most valuable turquoise in the world, Lander Blue Turquoise comes from a very small deposit of turquoise found in Lander County, Nevada.

This Unique spider-webbed turquoise has a deep blue with a black matrix.

There was such a small amount of this turquoise ever mined it is sometimes imitated by turquoise that is similar in appearance.

Due to it's extreme rarity and high cost, be very cautious when purchasing this extremely valuable turquoise.

Cabochon cut by Marty Andersen from #8 Mine Turquoise
Cabochon cut by Marty Andersen from #8 Mine Turquoise | Source

#8 Mine Turquoise

Number 8 Mine Turquoise is considered an extinct turquoise because the mine no longer exists. The location where the mine was originally located was dug up when gold was discovered in the surrounding area.

Learn more about #8 Mine Turquoise by clicking here.

Carlin Turquoise

This is another turquoise that you would be lucky to get genuine specimen today.

It came from a very small mine and is most famous for being a very clear and hard turquoise.

Super high quality examples of Carlin Turquoise are nearly translucent.

McGinnis Turquoise

Located in the eastern foothills of the Toiyabe Range in central Nevada the McGuinness Turquoise Mine is named after George McGuinness who worked the mine from time to time in the 1930s and 1940s.

Medium to dark blue colored turquoise is most common at the McGuinness mine however it is sometimes greenish in color.

The best McGuinness Turquoise is deep blue and slightly translucent.

The mine is still being worked on a limited basis when weather permits.

Stormy Mountain Turquoise

The Stormy Mountain turquoise mine is located in Northeastern Nevada in Elko County.

Known for being a hard dark blue turquoise, this beautiful turquoise gets it's name from the patterns and colors that are found within the turquoise.

Fox Mine Turquoise

Also known as the Cortez Mine, the Fox Turquoise Mine was once the largest producer of turquoise in Nevada.

It is believed to have produced over 500,000 pounds of turquoise to date.

This beautiful Turquoise is still available for purchase today producing many shades of blue and green turquoise.

Red Mountain Turquoise

This small mining operation located in Northern Nevada is still in limited operation today.

The turquoise is known for having a beautiful dark blue color with a tight dark spiderweb matrix.

Godber Mine Turquoise

Discovered in 1932 the Godber Turquoise Mine produces medium to dark blue turquoise that usually has dark webbing matrix.

Often this turquoise contains dark blotches or veins that run through the blue turquoise.

Owned today by Bruce and Jeri Woods, this small mining operation still produces small quantiles of turquoise.

This highly collectible turquoise is known for it's exceptional hardness.

Smokey Valley Turquoise

Smokey Valley Turquoise is seldom today. This medium blue turquoise is known for being nugget type turquoise.

It had very little matrix and what matrix there was in the stone was brownish black.

Royston Turquoise

Located near Tonepah, Nevada, the Royston mine is known for the green to light blue turquoise that it produces however the colors can vary greatly and green and blue can be found together. The matrix in this beautiful turquoise is a dark brown to golden color.

There are still limited quantities of Royston Turquoise still being mined today.

Pilot Mountain Turquoise

Although Pilot Mountain Turquoise is still being produced it is only mined in limited quantities.

Pilot Mountain Turquoise vary in color from light blue to dark green and may have varying colors of matrix including brown, red or black. Some may have a beautiful spiderweb type matrix.

Other Varieties of Nevada Turquoise

Here are some other varieties of Nevada Turquoise that may be of interest to a collector are:

  • Papoose Turquoise
  • Lone Mountain Turquoise
  • Crow Springs Turquoise
  • Ajax Turquoise
  • Montezuma Turquoise
  • Easter Blue Turquoise
  • Blue Diamond Turquoise
  • Timberline Turquoise
  • Valley Blue Turquoise
  • Zuni Mine Turquoise

Use Caution When Purchasing Turquoise

Turquoise is one of the most commonly faked or misrepresented gemstones available today.

Before making a substantial investment in turquoise get to know the differences in the different varieties of turquoise as well as known treatments, enhancements and simulants before purchasing.

Do you own any genuine Nevada turquoise?

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