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 stabilized) 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.
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 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.
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. Another interesting fact about both Blue Gem Turquoise and Bisbee Turquoise being found so deep underground as that both deposits produced some of the hardest and truest blue Turquoise ever found.
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 often 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.