Turquoise Mines

Turquoise mines are generally located in the arid regions of the world, commonly in places that have been either altered by volcanic activity, or along side copper, zinc or gold mines. The United States, China, Mexico, Iran, and Egypt are known for turquoise mining. The United States is a primary source of quality natural turquoise. Mining locations can be mostly found in the Southwestern states of Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and California. Nevada is the state with the highest output of turquoise, with a record of over 100 mines that have produced turquoise in the last century.

When turquoise is pulled from the earth it has a unique fingerprint. This turquoise fingerprint is affected by many factors. These include the elevation, pressure, and temperature during formation, along with the composition of the host rock and surrounding earth. The fingerprint consists of the variation of color, the transition of color, the color and contents of the host rock matrix and interacting pattern between the formed turquoise and host rock matrix. Turquoise that is found in the same mine location generally has a similar appearance. A trained eye can identify the origin of a stone by looking at the unique turquoise fingerprint. Keep in mind that this is not always 100% true and very similar fingerprints can be found in totally different locations.

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