Blue Gem Turquoise

Blue Gem Turquoise Blue Gem Turquoise

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.

Mining started at the Blue Gem in 1934 and continued off and on into the 1970's. The mine, along with its open slopes, was developed in extensive underground workings with tunnels going hundreds of feet in the ground making this mine one of the deepest turquoise producing mines. Veinlets up to three-quarters of an inch thick with pyrite-bearing quartz are associated with the turquoise. "The deposit was first noted by Duke Goff in 1934. It was subsequently leased from the Copper Canyon Mining Co. by the American Gem Co. of San Gabriel, Calif., owned by Doc Wilson. The lease was allowed to lapse and work was abandoned. In 1950 the mine was leased by Lee Hand and Alvin Layton of Battle Mountain. Production of turquoise at the Blue Gem lease in the early days of its operation was enormous." (Turquoise Deposits of Nevada, Frank R, Morrissey) It had been staked also as the "Turquoise Tunnel" and the "Contention," and at one time it was on the "Pedro Lode" claim. The Blue Gem mine is no longer active.

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