Candelaria turquoise is known for its bright, almost electric blue color. The matrix ranges from a black to a reddish brown, with moderate spiderwebbing. The rarest Candelaria stones have bits of gold held within the matrix. Candelaria turquoise is a favorite of Navajo artist Darryl Dean Begay.
Candelaria Turquoise Mine
The Candelaria Turquoise mine is located in the Candelaria Hills, east of Tonopah, Nevada. The mine is situated next to a large gold mine, which is what originally drew miners to the Candelaria Hills. The mine has been open since the 1860’s and much of the turquoise has been removed and sold. However, a small operation still exists at Candelaria and the turquoise produced is high grade.
Candelaria Turquoise mine is also well known for producing high-quality variscite, which is a geologic cousin of turquoise. The stone has a very similar molecular composition to turquoise but is bright green in color. Variscite is a beautiful stone for use in silver jewelry, but it doesn’t have the long history of turquoise and is often valued less.