Apache Blue Turquoise
The color of Apache Blue turquoise is a deep, dark blue. The turquoise is found within intense spiderwebs of black matrix, which can sometimes also contain silicates. The silica provides beautiful shiny dots when polished, making Apache Blue even more eye-catching. This turquoise is also a very hard variety of stone, making it a favorite of both artists and collectors. Apache Blue turquoise is a distinctive stone for many contemporary artists. Darryl Dean Begay uses Apache Blue turquoise in many of his tufa cast designs.
Apache Blue Turquoise Mine
The Apache Blue turquoise mine is a small claim located near the town of Tonopah, Nevada. It lies close to the Candelaria mine, and both are owned by the Otteson family. The Ottesons use a combination of modern and ancient techniques to produce beautiful Apache Blue stones.
The Apache Blue mine is an open pit operation. The miners use carefully placed dynamite charges to blast away host rock, then use a backhoe to remove the debris. Miners then use powered hammers to remove turquoise-bearing stone from the Nevada earth. Those stones are sorted, tumbled, washed, screened, and then washed a second time. Finally the turquoise nuggets are sent to be cut, backed, and polished into useable cabochons.