Turquoise is a staple of western fashion. Whether blue, green or white, turquoise stones are available in hundreds of colors from dozens of mines across the Southwest. And the different turquoise varieties are easily identifiable!
Here are five varieties of turquoise that you could have in your jewelry box…
Located in northwestern Arizona, the Kingman Mine has produced over 30 different colors of turquoise! The mine originally gained popularity for its bright blue stones with a black matrix, but new veins are producing new varieties and colors.
The production from the Kingman mine is so huge that most of the turquoise jewelry produced in the United States features Kingman turquoise.
Sleeping Beauty Turquoise
Although the mine has been closed for over a decade, the Sleeping Beauty mine, near Globe, Arizona, produced some of the most sought after stones. This turquoise variety is light blue and in its raw form has no black matrix. But, at the mine, black media is usually added to create a more standard turquoise look.
Sleeping Beauty is a favorite of the Zuni Pueblo artisans and is one of the most popular varieties worldwide. These stones are an electric blue and are used in lots of authentic jewlery.
White Buffalo Turquoise
By far the most easily identifiable variety are the White Buffalo stones. Named after the pale, albino-esque look of these stones, authentic White Buffalo Turquoise comes from Arizona and Nevada. These stones test as authentic turquoise, but can be too soft for jewelers to use. Attempt to stabilize the stones can bring out color tinges and ruin the “white” in White Buffalo.
With increasing popularity, large White Buffalo Turquoise veins, previously disregarded on the hunt for the blue and green, may be found very soon.
Lander Blue Turquoise
the Lander Blue turquoise variety is from a mine in Lander County, Nevada. This variety is easily identified through the incredible dark spider-webbing throughout the stone. This variety is also considered one of the most rare turquoises, with less than 120 pounds of these stones being brought up from the mine.
Carico Lake Turquoise
Another stone out of Lander County, Nevada, this turquoise is famed for its bright green color. This spring-esque color is due to the high zinc content in the dry lake bed mine. Close by mines also produce other green minerals, including faustite.