Lema’s Kokopelli Gallery carries a wide variety of turquoise jewelry from many different Native American artists across the American Southwest. Below is a glossary to help you understand the different turquoise gemstones and a little history on where the turquoise gemstones originate from.
Carico Lake Turquoise has a varying color palette, ranging from highly-unique electric greens to sky blue, and rarely, a nugget with both earth and sky color. The highest grade Carico Lake is gem-quality American turquoise. The high zinc content paints the stone an astonishing lime-green color with a unique spider web matrix, creating a much-sought-after and collectible stone. Due to the harsh conditions and remote location of the mine, Carico Lake has a very small yearly yield. The high-grade apple green stones make up less than 3% of the yearly yield, making it a rare form of turquoise.
Dry Creek Turquoise is a very rare, light-colored stone. It is said the Shoshone Indians first discovered the mine. A very hard, pale blue turquoise with a golden to a deep brown color matrix, Dry Creek is found at the Godber-Burnham mine in Lander County, Nevada. This stone is not to be confused with or referred to as “white buffalo.” This is the only known vein of this material, making Dry Creek a highly collectible turquoise.
Golden Hill Turquoise, a newer stone now used in southwest jewelry, has unique periwinkle blues and a beautiful burnt umber matrix that have made Golden Hill an instant favorite in the Southwest. Coming from the Altyn-Tyube mine in Kazakhstan, this hard, high-grade material produces gorgeous natural cabochons.
Ithaca Peak Turquoise is found very close to the Kingman mine. Sharing certain characteristics of Kingman turquoise, Ithaca Peak has gorgeous baby blue to deep blue color with amazing pyrite matrices. Producing high grade and highly valuable pieces of turquoise, Ithaca Peak is a great stone to add to any turquoise collection.
Kingman Turquoise sets an industry standard for blue matrix turquoise. The mine became famous for its nuggets, which few mines produce. Today, Kingman Turquoise is highly prized and sought after by collectors everywhere. It is one of the more easily recognized American turquoises. Stone hammers found in Mohave County, northwest of Kingman, AZ, suggest that Kingman was first mined by Native Americans as early as 600 B.C.E
Kings Manassa Turquoise is mined in South Central Colorado and is found in green to blue-green veins running through the hard, golden-brown host rock. The mine is not operational at this time, making Kings Manassa a good find on today’s market.
Number Eight Turquoise varies from light to dark blue but is best known for its high-grade, hard, light blue stone with a fine spider web matrix. Recognized largely by its spectacular webbing, #8 also produced some of the largest nuggets of turquoise ever found. The mine was operational for years, producing large nuggets and beautiful spider web matrix turquoise
Red Mountain Turquoise is the highest grade of turquoise from this Northern Nevada mine. Found with dark spider-webbing, the stone is often golden or reddish in color and is a highly collectible stone. Much of the turquoise has already come out of the mine, although turquoise is still found in the old mine’s dump area.
Royston Turquoise is a very high grade, hard, collectible stone, with an amazing color range. Royston comes in light blue to dark blue, and a full range of deep mossy greens. The matrix will have various shades of brown. Today the mining district is still producing turquoise.
Sleeping Beauty Turquoise is one of the most recognizable of all North American turquoises. Named for Sleeping Beauty Mountain, the stone mined here is not traditionally a hard stone, but is favored by many native artists for its uniform and beautiful sky color. Beloved for its solid blue stone with no matrix, and ranging in color from bright royal blue to pale sky blue, Sleeping Beauty comes out of the ground near Globe, AZ. Sleeping Beauty Mountain was originally mined for copper and gold. Sleeping Beauty was one of the largest operating mines in North America. As of today, the mine is closed for production and the price of Sleeping Beauty has skyrocketed
Sonoran Gold Turquoise is a fairly new turquoise to come on the scene. Mined near the Mexico/Arizona border near the city of Cananea, it is not mined in veins but rather as individual nuggets. Accents of blue and gold against a green background make Sonoran Gold Turquoise a wonderful piece of turquoise for those looking for something new and unique.
Turquoise Mountain Turquoise is mined near the Kingman and Ithaca Peak mines in Arizona. Ranging in color from deep blues to lighter blues with a greenish hue, much of the quality Turquoise Mountain stone has a very nice matrix that can be brown or black. Turquoise Mountain is known for its high quality just like Kingman and Ithaca Peak turquoises.