Apache Blue

APACHE BLUE

The Turquoise Trail is the blog of the http://www.nevadagem.com and thehttp://www.landerblueturquoise.com websites.  The email address for both sites is:info@nevadagem.com.  I hope you’ll enjoy traveling this trail…

In the last couple of years the old Turkey Tract claim in Nevada has been reopened.  During that time some nice natural hard turquoise has been mined.  But in the last few months a pocket of really beautiful dark blue, webbed nuggets were found and are being sold as Apache Blue.  Unfortunately only a small amount of this dark web has been discovered. This turquoise is truly some of the nicest found in the last forty years.   If you’d like a chance to own some of these top-grade Apache Blue cabs please email (info@nevadagem.com) or go to my website (www.nevadagem.com) for a look at what’s still available in the ‘Collectors Corner’ section.

By rbrucia

The Blue Wind

The Turquoise Trail is the blog of the http://www.nevadagem.com and the http://www.landerblueturquoise.com websites.  The email address for both sites is: info@nevadagem.com.  I hope you’ll enjoy traveling this trail…

January 2012

The Blue Wind

I had just finished turning on the heater in my shop to warm it up so I could start shaping and polishing some beads from the bag of Carico Lake nuggets beside me when the phone rang.  I picked up the phone and heard someone say hello that they were one of the Edgars and wanted to know if I would be interested in some turquoise cabs that they had put away for a number of years.  Well anyone who has read much on the history of Nevada turquoise know that the Edgars’ were at one time the premier turquoise mining family and any turquoise mines worth mining had been owned by members of the Edgar family.  So I was getting pretty excited and began by asking when and where we could meet. This Edgar had owned the Blue Wind mine and had also worked the Thunder Mountain mine and a few others.  He had lived at the Super X when he was young and worked that mine in the summers.

After agreeing to a time to meet I packed a bag and headed off once again into Nevada.  I was really looking forward to this trip.  Now that I’m the present owner of the Blue Wind mine I thought this meeting might give me a chance to learn something about the history of the mine.  Since it had been found after 1970 very little had been written about the Blue Wind even thought it produces some of the most beautiful black webbed turquoise to come out of Nevada.

It’s always a cold drive into northern Nevada in the winter.  Not as much snow as usual but still cold and icy.  I arrived at our meeting and immediately starting asking questions about the Blue Wind and the early material that was found.  The early workings of the mine only produced about 100 pounds of turquoise before it played out, another one of Nevada’s turquoise ‘Hat’ mines.  The Blue Wind name came from the windy black swirls that were seen blowing through the stone.  The Blue Wind ring below is a great example.  The surprise of the day was a rare Blue Wind ‘fossil’ turquoise shell that Edgar had keep for over 30 years.  The only one found at the mine.  He had made a gold pendant with the fossil shell and had given it to his young daughter.  After a few hours of convincing her that her college education may be worth more than the fossil I had the rare piece of turquoise in my pocket and was on my way home.

 

        

By rbrucia

The Red Mountain Trip.

Many of the trips I’ve been on while hunting rare and beautiful high-grade turquoise have been so adventure-filled that I thought it might be time to start a ‘Turquoise Blog’ to share with other collectors on how this wonderful and rare stone has been tracked down. Sometimes it is pure luck or good fortune and other times it’s just been detective work.

Papoose NuggetI returned home from my latest trip last night  with some very rare Red Mountain high-grade turquoise that was originally mined in 1974 and that I was able to buy directly from the mine owner at that time, Don Potts. How I found Don and then getting to him turned out to be quite an adventure.

It all started a few days earlier when I received a phone call from the new owner of the Blue Diamond mine. At one time the Blue Diamond was a large producer of turquoise and the current owner of the mine had spent the summer working the old tailings piles and had some cabs for sale.  When he called he was on his way from Fallon, Nevada to Nevada City, California so we decide to meet at the IN and OUT Burger along Hwy 80 in Auburn at noon. It was about a 45-minute drive for me, which made it pretty easy as lately I’ve been used to six hours drives looking for good material to resell. Jim, the new Blue Diamond owner, was there when I arrived and he had a friend with him named Tony.
Tony turned out to be the old owner of the Papoose mine in Nevada. We had lunch together, looked at stone and talked about turquoise and old mines. During one of the conversations about the Red Mountain mine Tony had mentioned that one of the early mine owners, Don Potts, was still alive and living in Nevada. After getting a little more information I had the name of the town where he lived and was starting to get excited. Although many times when I meet one of the older mine owners they no longer have any of their turquoise left, every so often they will still have a few special pieces.

I’m beginning to get a little ahead of myself so let me go back to my meeting at the IN and OUT Burger. After looking over all of the Blue Diamond cabs, I really didn’t see anything that I thought I could use, but then Tony brought out a small blue webbed Papoose nugget to show me. The Papoose mine was never known for any blue webbed material and Tony mentioned that he had only ever found just of couple of these webbed beauties. I didn’t want this nugget to get away and started negotiating to get it out of his pocket and into mine.  After some back and forth dealing and then an exchange of money, I was driving home with the webbed nugget in hand.

Now with the Papoose webbed nugget in hand I was anxious to get home and begin to track down Don Potts. Once home I started calling Nevada information checking on listings for anyone named Potts in the area where I thought he should be located.  It didn’t take long to have his listing and now to make the call. winter stormAfter the third ring a gentleman answered the phone and identified himself as Don Potts. I told him who I was and then asked if he was the Don Potts who owned the Red Mountain mine in the early 1970’s. He said yes!  We started to talk and I had lots of questions about the mine. The early owners, who he had leased it to over the years, the amount of turquoise he took out, the largest nuggets found and questions about the high-grade material that came out of the mine. snow storm2He answered all of my questions and then told me that he still had one pound left of the top grade found at the mine and that he’s had it since 1974!  I wasn’t going to waste any time getting a look at this beautiful turquoise and so I set up a time to meet him at his house the following day. As usual now the problems began.
A large, cold storm was moving into the Sierra and no one knew if the summit road would be open very long. My wife said to stay home and meet later but I had lost out to other collectors and dealers too many times by waiting. It was going to take more than a snow storm to keep me from a chance at a pound of the finest Red Mountain turquoise still available.

nevada canyonI had a long drive ahead of me, possibly through bad weather so I was anxious to get on the road. I left Saturday at 8am, stopped to fill my 4 x 4 Toyota pick-up with gas and then to the donut shop. With a bag of donuts and a truck filled with gas I was on my way. I started up Highway 50 headed over the Sierra Nevada mountains. nevadaAll was clear until I got close to the summit. At about seven thousand feet high the storm was going strong and I lock into four-wheel drive and slowed down.

Finally after getting over the summit and then around Lake Tahoe I headed into the Nevada high-desert hoping the worst was behind me. Driving for a few hours now I new I was getting close. Once I was through ‘Hole-In-The-Wall’ and then ‘The Canyon’ I’d be there. The trip through ‘The Canyon’ was just as beautiful as always.nevada 4
nevada 3

Don lived just a few miles on the other side of the Hole-in-the-Wall canyon so I wasat Don's housestarting to get pretty excited. After checking my directions and making a few turns I was finally parked in front of his house. Don opened the door and we said our hellos. Once inside we sat down and began getting to know each other. Then we started to talk about turquoise and mining the Red Mountain claim. He told me that the Red Mountain mine was first claimed by the Edgar brothers who had the Carico Lake claim at the time.  Red Mountain is just above Carico Lake and the Edgar brothers had discovered turquoise up on Red Mountain. They first operated the X-15 mine at Red Mountain and then moved the few hundred yards up to where the Red Mountain Claim is now.   at Don's house 2There have been numerous owners and leasers of the Red Mountain claim since the Edger brothers. Don told me that after the Edgar brothers had the claim Menless Winfield owned the Red Mountain claim during the 1960’s. Winfield had also been the owner of the Lone Mountain claim in Nevada and the Villa Grove claim in Colorado.Warren A Turner had picked up the Red Mountain claimRed Mtn Nuggetfrom Winfield and Don was able to buy it from Turner around 1970. After working the claim for a couple of years he leased it to others for another few years then Don sold the claim to Warren A Turner. The Red Mountain had been leased to quite a few miners over the years.   After Don and I talked about Red Mtn Roughthe history of the mine he moved over to a table and began to show me the turquoise that he still had left from 1974. There was a one pound bag of high-grade rough, some beautiful gem cabs, nuggets and even some jewelry.We talked awhile about his high-grade turquoise and then about theDon Pott's Red Mtn Belt Buckleprice he wanted for the pieces that he still had left after all of these years. After agreeing on the price I made payment, thanked Don and said good-bye. Once again I was back on the road and headed over a snowy summit hoping to get home before midnight. This time feeling pretty good with some of Nevada’s finest turquoise by my side wondering where my next trip might take me.

By rbrucia