Mojave Turquoise, Mojave Stone…..what is it?

What is Mojave Turquoise or Mojave Stone? (Also spelled Mohave) I could not find a single mention of it in any of my turquoise reference books. On the internet there are some references to it spelled mojave and mohave but I never found any detailed information. When attending a gem show not too long ago, I saw a stack of old magazines with a “FREE” sign by them, so I picked up a few and found this article inside one of them.

According to the December 1979 issue of Lapidary Journal, this is a mined stone.

Lapidary Journal December 1979

 

Recently I received information from the family that mined this stone in the 1970s. Read about it by clicking her article title below:

The Draw of the Mojave Desert or Why I Started Designing Jewelry

family360.jpg

Other sources say that Mojave turquoise was crafted through a process that uses a hydraulic press to organize numerous Kingman turquoise pieces into one conglomerate by introducing a bronze metal matrix throughout the base network of turquoise. Once the turquoise is pressed or assembled, it is stabilized to harden the stone. It ranks 5 to 6 on the Mohs hardness scale.

This was said to be the only product in today’s market that features real Arizona turquoise and real metal matrix. This unique process was created by the Arizona Kingman Mine in Mojave County, Arizona

The trademark was activated in 1975 and expired in 1997.

It doesn’t appear that Mojave Blue Turquoise (as described in the article and these photos) is still being produced. If you have any other reference materials, please let me know and I will add them to this article.

I should mention that I looked through all 12 issues of the 1980 Lapidary Journals and did not find the color photos that were promised in the article at the beginning of this post. I wonder if the author found out that this was a conglomerate and not an actual gemstone that was mined and just decided to not continue the discussion?

It does appear that “Mohave” Green and “Mohave Purple” are being produced today by Colbaugh. They are processed products, often referred to as block stone – see the description under the photo.

198_IMG_9819

From the Colbaugh website “Mohave Green Turquoise – Mix variety of color tone and natural matrix as shown. Blue Kingman turquoise stabilized, dyed green and pressed.”

 

Purple Mohave is also dyed, stabilized and pressed.

P150-mojave-1

Purple Mohave Stone pendant by Lorenzo James

Paula

17 thoughts on “Mojave Turquoise, Mojave Stone…..what is it?

  1. The Kingman Mine has been selling these chips in bronze matrix for years, and now I see they are experimenting with a whole array of different stones. I think this technique makes quite magical beads and pendants while recycling otherwise useless but genuine turquoise and stone chips.

    http://www.colbaugh.net/home/bluecompressedturquoise.html
    http://www.colbaugh.net/home/bronzematrixmisc.html
    http://www.colbaugh.net/home/mohavepurpleturquoise.html
    http://www.colbaugh.net/home/mohavegreen.html
    http://www.colbaugh.net/home/spinyoysterturquoise.html etc.

  2. Hmmm, I have a bracelet that was given to my dad called “mohave stone”, but never knew what it really was. It looks quite a bit like the examples you show here but with less obvious matrix. Thanks!

  3. Doesn’t it seem like it should not be called turquoise since it is so far from the native stone by being dyed, nearly powdered, compressed, then infused with fake matrix? Thank you!

      • I bought a ring with “Mojave turquoise” a few years ago, not realizing that it was completely man made. I think it’s important no matter what it’s called that sellers inform consumers of the fact that it’s man made. I felt completely ripped off when I later learned what it was.

  4. Hi, My grandfather, uncle, and father mined the Mojave Royal Blue Stone. They trademarked it. Please feel free to respond to me and I can share more information.

    • Thank you Linda. I have added a link to your article and reworded my blog post. Was your family the Laurence, George or Stalling family? See the reference in the article. Do you have any idea who was manufacturing a similar stone later on?
      Thank you for writing…………. Paula

    • This is really interesting. I looked at your sold Etsy pieces, and see how lovely the stone is. I didn’t realize there was a natural stone and not just manmade ones.

  5. Did Lorenzo James work for/with Les Baker, Albuquerque, Baker Jewelry some years back; looks like the leaves and flowers Les made/designed. I’d like to get in touch with Les again.

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