Candelaria Turquoise comes from the large Candelaria Silver and Gold mine in Nevada in an area not to far from Tonopah. It is currently closed with no mining activity and as such Candelaria turquoise is rare and considered a collectable. The turquoise in this area was usually found in thin veins and is known for its beautiful almost electric blue stones, sometimes with a light matrix. Over the last few years Candelaria turquoise has been seen again in today’s turquoise market from older collections with beautiful dark blue stones with a beautiful matrix pattern and has now been cut and is appearing in fine jewelry. This mine produces some of the most unusual and beautiful patterns, no two stones are ever alike.
The Apache Blue Mine is located 7 miles west of the Candelaria Mine in Esmeralda County, Nevada. The Apache turquoise being produced here is an absolutely beautiful blue stone with eye popping black or red web matrix. This high quality Apache turquoise is very rare and hard to find, even in this mine, but it’s what every turquoise miner is searching for.
The Pilot Mountain Mine is located in western Nevada, east of the small town of Mina. As with most turquoise mines, this mine opened as a copper claim. Pilot Mountain turquoise was first mined around 1930 as a tunnel mine. Then it became an open pit mine when heavy equipment was available around 1970. The current owners of the claim have been mining the turquoise since 1989. While Pilot Mountain is considered an active mine, it is a very small operation. The miners go to the mine twice per year, bringing out only about 150 to 200 lbs. of rough stone each time. One of the current owners says one of the interesting parts of mining is “not knowing what you are going to hit next.”
Pilot Mountain turquoise forms in hard veins with color ranging from bright blue to dark blue with a greenish cast. Dark brown limonite mottled patterns are associated with this material. Most Pilot Mountain turquoise is called “grass roots”, meaning the best deposits are found within ten feet of the surface.