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What is a Hallmark?

Hallmarks identify the jewelry maker. Many times they are just simple letter stamps. They are not something new, but can be traced back to the 4th Century. Famous American metal smiths used them before we became a country. Paul Revere who warned the Colonial militia “the British are coming” during the American Revolution used a hallmark on his handmade silver pieces in the 1700s.>

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Blue Gem Turquoise

Monday, October 27, 2014 6:52 AM

The Blue Gem Turquoise is a Nevada turquoise mine south of Battle Mountain in an area which produced large amounts of turquoise. Although there are a number of Nevada mines named Blue Gem this mine was in the Copper Basin area and surrounded by the Copper Canyon Mining Company in Northern Nevada. It was one of the larger producers of great turquoise and supplied material to the Southwest in nearly every shade of green and a variety of blues. The clear, intense blue color of this turquoise made it highly valued and widely used for both Zuni inlay and fine Navajo silver work. Blue Gem turquoise's hardness and fine colors makes this turquoise much sought after by both jewelers and collectors.

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Villa Grove Turquoise

Monday, October 27, 2014 6:49 AM

The Villa Grove turquoise mine, once known as Hall mine, is northwest of the town of Villa Grove in the San Luis Valley of Colorado. Villa Grove was one of the Colorado mines that showed signs of ancient Indian workings. It was rediscovered sometime in the 1890’s and mined for copper with major turquoise operations beginning in the early 1900’s. Villa Grove turquoise is a bright blue turquoise mined both clear and also with a fine spider web which sometimes resembled the finest Lone Mountain turquoise from Nevada. In fact the Villa Grove mine was owned in 1965 by Menalis Winfield, who had also owned the Lone Mountain mine in Nevada. Although very rare, turquoise from this area can still appear in today’s market.

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Tyrone Turquoise

Monday, October 27, 2014 6:47 AM

Tyrone turquoise encompassed a group of mines in the Burro Mountains near the town of Silver City, New Mexico and is associated with the Tyrone Copper mine. It has been said that more high-grade turquoise was produced in this area than any single deposit on record. Turquoise mining in the Burro Mountains had been carried out in prehistoric times and then later by the Spanish. Artifacts, stone tools along with fragments of turquoise and hammers of the local granite were common at the sites. An early mining engineer named Zalenski had noted that after visiting the mines in 1907 there were still traces of fire used to break up the rocks and that one forty-foot shaft still remained though most of the work in the area had been done in open trenches. Kunz, in his work mentions an old Indian burial ground in the area, in which turquoise was found in some form in every grave. Ancient operations helped to determine the locations of some of the more modern claims.

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Turquoise Mountain

Monday, October 27, 2014 6:45 AM

Although located in the Mineral Park Mining District outside of Kingman, Arizona, the Turquoise Mountain mine has been considered a separate classic mine because of the difference in it’s appearance from other Kingman area turquoise. Turquoise Mountain turquoise has also been known as Old Man Turquoise. It has its own unique blue and blue-green color and many times has been found with a golden or beautiful rust colored spider webbing.

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Tibetan Turquoise

Monday, October 27, 2014 6:43 AM

The turquoise that comes out of Tibet today is usually antique material and is of a medium to dark green nature, do to the natural oils from being worn overtime. Tibetan turquoise usually has a strong black matrix. This fine blue material has been available, though rare in today’s market. The Tibetans considered turquoise to be a powerful stone and many wear it for the good fortune in brings. The Tibetan people have worn turquoise in every form. There has been little information concerning the mining of Tibetan turquoise. Both Pogue and Branson in their books on turquoise list four areas were turquoise has been found. Because of Tibetan turquoise’s antique nature and strong color the cabochons and beads of this material make fine jewelry especially when set in gold.

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