Kingman Turquoise - A Serious Look

Kingman Turquoise - Everything You Need to Know

Nevada may produce the big money stones like Lander Blue Turquoise, Number Eight and Lone Mountain, but it is Kingman that produces the most. If you are going to collect Navajo turquoise jewelry you need to know how to identify this diverse rock. You will find that the further the stone is removed from the turquoise dealer the more likely it is going to have a few name changes. This is understandable, turquoise from one mine can definitely look a lot like another mine. What you want to avoid is a piece of Kingman Turquoise being called Number Eight and being charged a Number Eight price.

Kingman Turquoise is found in the Mineral Park mining district just a stone’s throw north of Kingman, Arizona. These are rough desert mountains that provide the serene scenery on your drive from Kingman to Las Vegas, Nevada. This is a large open pit copper mine and the turquoise is mined by the Colbaugh family. It has had several different companies mine the turquoise during the 1900s and is considered one of the largest producers of quality turquoise in the world. We have several different turquoise dealers sell stone to us and Kingman Turquoise is definitely the most common rock we see.

It has Three Names

Mineral Park produces three brands of turquoise. These are referred to as Kingman Turquoise, Turquoise Mountain and Ithaca Peak Turquoise. Each has different characteristics, but they are also very similar. That means it is not uncommon to see Ithaca Peak and Turquoise Mountain referred to as Kingman Turquoise.

Turquoise Mountain

I have seen this stone called a number of different mines the most common mistakes being Number Eight Turquoise. It is because you can get a vibrant blue with a stunning golden colored spider web matrix.

 Ithaca Peak Turquoise

This beautiful rock is the money stone of three Mineral Park varieties. It is known for that rich blue color and it displays deposits of iron pyrite and quartz. You will often see a good piece Kingman Turquoise called Ithaca Peak because it can demand a higher price. The difficulty is Kingman Turquoise can also have quartz and pyrite. Plus, another Arizona stone is known for its iron pyrite matrix, Morenci.

It can be Blue, Green or Somewhere In Between

Kingman Turquoise is a very diverse stone that comes in different shades of blue and green. Also, it can have a variety of matrix colors and patterns. You can also find the stone free of matrix giving it that classic Persian Turquoise look. I think an important thing to remember is that Kingman produces a large amount of turquoise and when you are not sure what a particular stone is, a good place to start is by comparing it to examples of other Kingman Turquoise stones. To get a good understanding of the diversity of the Kingman stone a good place to check out is the source, This site has lots of images of cabochons and rough turquoise. Along with a very informative video that talks about the history of the mine and the diversity of the turquoise.

That diversity means you will find Kingman Turquoise often mistaken as a number of different stones. If you find a stone that showcases a deeper green color and has a blotchy maroon color matrix it could be called Fox Turquoise. When you come across a deep blue Kingman stone that has a very heavy black spider web matrix don’t mistake it for a piece of Lander Blue. Another common mistake is a piece that has iron pyrite, same problem with Ithaca Peak, because it will possibly be called Morenci Turquoise. During the 1970s and 80s nugget stones could be found in a number of Navajo pieces and it is not uncommon to see Sleeping Beauty Nuggets called Kingman, and vice versa.

Remember it is the diversity of this stone that makes it so popular. Many turquoise mines have one desired look and the other rocks that come out of the mine are a lesser version of this desired and expected look. That is very far from the truth with Kingman, where you find just as fascinating blues as you do greens.

Where Do You Start

Biblical scholars want to find the earliest texts they can get their hands on. They know that these works are the closest to the original texts and that the fewer times a piece has been translated the more likely they are to reveal the true meaning of the text. The same holds true for turquoise. Most of the time the turquoise cutter is also the dealer who sells the stones directly to Native American art galleries and artists. That means he knows exactly where the stone was sourced (hopefully) and has given the gallery and artist the correct mine. Then that stone is turned into a piece of wearable art and sold.

Now, this finished bracelet could have been sold directly to the collector or it could have been a wholesale purchase taken to another gallery for resale. You get the picture, that gallery now becomes second removed and if they didn’t keep a good record at purchase of what the stone was, they might not remember. Also, the purchaser might not be the person who actually sells the bracelet and not have knowledge of turquoise. This is a very common sequence of events and leads to misinformation about the turquoise stone. So, just like a biblical scholar you want to attempt to trace a stone back as close as you can to that stone cutter.

You just want to ask a lot of questions when you purchase a piece of jewelry. It is important to understand what it is you are purchasing. We receive a number of requests about pieces of jewelry wanting to know the maker and turquoise of a particular piece. Turquoise is a very valuable stone and pieces like Lander Blue can now get over $300 dollars a carat. The days of cheap turquoise are behind us. Owning a piece of authentic Native American jewelry with a sacred piece of the blue rock is very rewarding. These pieces have a soul and are meant to be worn and appreciated.

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