There have been thousands of facts and stories written about turquoise over the years, most of which are pretty much all alike; and a number of which aren't exactly accurate. I doubt there is much more I can say that will be different or add to the knowledge on the subject. There are though, a few points that may help those who read this.
First, about 90% of the so called turquoise out on the market today is either fake or low quality. In most states, including Arizona, vendors can pretty much call a piece of turquoise by any name they choose, regardless of where it came from or the actual name of the turquoise. They do the same for other stones as well. For example, New Lander and Peacock Turquoise has been around for a number of years. I am now seeing the same stone being called a "new find", and with many different names. This is usually done to confuse the unknowing buyer and make them think they are getting something really special and more valuable than it really is.
We pride ourselves in knowing enough about real turquoise to only sell the real deal. Real turquoise is never cheap..........just like real turquoise jewelry is never cheap. We get the majority of our turquoise either from the mine itself, or brokers who carry the real turquoise and are extremely honest about what they carry. There is very little natural turquoise available and it is extremely expensive. Real Bisbee, Morenci, Kingman, Royston or other turquoises from the Southwest are very hard to find in the natural form. A large portion of turquoise is stabilized; otherwise the remaining natural stone would be beyond most peoples' budget. We carry a large amount of natural turquoise and some stabilized turquoise. We do not carry turquoise that has been altered or dyed. We don't carry dyed howlite or marcasite, nor do we carry Chinese turquoise unless it is of the highest quality....and we let you know if anything you purchase is Chinese.
Real turquoise will always be a shade of blue or green. It will not be purple or white or red or florescent . The popular stone "white buffalo", long called a turquoise by Native Americans and unscrupulous jewelers is a marcasite that comes from Tonopah Nevada. Actually a number of good jewelers who haven't taken the time to find out what they really are working with, will call it turquoise as well. Purple Mohave Turquoise is dyed and produced in Northern Arizona. Howlite is dyed every color in the rainbow and called every expensive stone you can think of. The same goes for marcasite. The Chinese are the worst of the bunch when it comes to selling dyed stones and trying to pawn them off as something more valuable than it is.
All of our turquoise is purchased in the rough and we hand-cut it ourselves. We slab it, cab it and then make the settings, so every piece is actually a handcrafted custom item.
Kingman Turquoise We carry a large amount of Kingman Turquoise of various types. We carry the Kingman black matrix, the rare and highly sought after Kingman birds eye, Kingman spider web and just beautiful blue Kingman turquoise. We also have some Kingman green and other turquoises from the Kingman mines. According to one of the Kingman mine operators, there are a number of categories and prices. We try to carry the higher grade categories. Most of the turquoise we purchase from Kingman runs at least $450 per pound and up. Kingman is the only commercial turquoise mine producing in the state of Arizona. There are a few mom and pop mines in the state but I have not seen any high grade stones coming from those mines.
Bisbee and Morenci Turquoise We also carry Bisbee Turquoise when we can get it. We have some super high quality with the red veining and splotches in it, as well as what is often called smoky black. Our Bisbee usually comes from those whose parents our grandparents "lunch-boxed" it out of the mine and feel it is time to sell it. There are still a few brokers who have some of the Morenci Turquoise and although it has gone up in value dramatically, we still carry some of that as well. To the best of my knowledge all the Bisbee and Morenci we carry are natural.
Sleeping Beauty Turquoise
We recently were offered a stash of natural and stabilized Sleeping Beauty from someone I have often done business with, so we now have some very high quality stones from that mine.
Cananea, Campitos and Nacosari Turquoise These three turquoises which we carry from time to time, easily rival some of the finest American Turquoises on the market. They come from Sonora, just south of Bisbee, Arizona and appear to be on the same veining system that both Morenci and Bisbee are on. We only carry the natural stones from these mines and do not have them all the time. We get them directly from the mine when available.
Nevada Turquoise We carry Blue Buffalo Turquoise which has turned out to be a very small hat mine. This turquoise comes in both blue and green with beautiful red matrix in it. There is so little of it, I personally have invested in it. It easily will rival any of the name brand mines in the US in beauty and quality. It is almost gone and has been going up in value dramatically.
We also carry other Nevada turquoises when they are available, such as Royston, Blue Gem, Peacock and others. All most all of our Nevada turquoise is natural.
OTHER STONES We also carry different picture jaspers including Biggs jasper, Opal Butte Jasper, Dendritic Jasper, Scenic Jasper and more. These jaspers are from all over the world, although most come from Oregon. We sell them in cabs, slabs and high quality jewelry.We carry Ruby in Fuchsite from India, one of my most popular stones. These are sold in cabs and jewelry only. In addition we carry a small amount of Ruby in Zoisite.
We have a nice supply of Sonoran Sunset Chrysocolla and Bumblebee jasper. These are very popular so we only sell cabs and jewelry.
We have a lot of different types of opals. We have Mexican fire opals, Australian white and black opals, Ethiopian Opal, Boulder Opal and much more.
We also have my favorite stones....High grade Azurite and Chrysocolla. These are sold in cabs or in jewelry. We usually have a few other types of stone in the mix as well.
Watch for upcoming stories about some of the stones we carry! So many stones have a unique story of how they were formed or found.