Pilot Mountain Turquoise - Nevada, USA
- Posted on
- By Heather Larson
- Posted in american, nevada, pilot mountain, turquoise
Turquoise is confusing! Let's take it one mine at a time ... exploring American Turquoise out of curiosity and the wanting to learn more.
Turquoise is an iconic stone that is found in The Americas, Mexico, Iran, Chile, China, and Tibet. Turquoise is always turquoise, no matter where it's from, but it looks different depending on it's originating mine.
A mine with a lot of copper will produce blue turquoise, where as a mine with more iron or zinc will produce a yellow turquoise. The rock in which turquoise forms, the "host" rock, also affects the stone. Limonite will create dark reddish brown webbing and/or markings while sandstone creates tan. Markings are also unique and vary from mine to mine.
Pilot Mountain Turquoise is from Nevada, USA. It is found near the Monte Cristo Mountain range in the western part of the state. It was first mined in 1930 as a tunnel mine (just as it sounds a tunnel that is a mine). In the 1970's it became an open pit mine (a big dug out hole). Most Pilot Mountain Turquoise is called "grass roots", meaning the best deposits are found within 10ft of the surface.
Traditionally, Pilot Mountain Turquoise ranges from bright blue to dark blue with a green cast. The matrix is beautiful brownish-red limonite mottle patterns or webbing. It is known for it's hardness, with claims that is will not change color the exposure to oils, sunscreen, or lotions (very common in turquoise because it is so soft).
"Pilot Mountain" has become a generic marketing name for the turquoise coming from many claims within the Pilot Mountain range bringing many "new" Pilot Mountain Turquoise varieties to the market. However, these varieties may lack the dark patterns, markings, and webbings but maintain the beautiful blue hues.
We will be posting more content on turquoise in the coming months. We are going through the process of learning the difference between mines and locations ... with the help of trusted friends and the internet!!
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