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

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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.

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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.

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Purple Mohave Stone pendant by Lorenzo James

Paula

What is Birdseye Turquoise?

Birdseye Turquoise is a term that describes turquoise that is somewhat similar to spiderweb turquoise in that it is made of an aggregate of many small nuggets but instead of a dark matrix like spiderweb, Birdseye Turquoise is light blue turquoise with a darker blue turquoise matrix.

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Natural Kingman Birdseye Turquoise Pendant by Navajo silversmith Cecil Atencio

 

The result when the stones are polished or cross cut and polished is that there are many small areas of lighter blue stone encircled by darker blue matrix like a bird’s eye, thus birdseye turquoise. Sometimes it is referred to as “water web” turquoise.

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Natural Kingman Birdseye Turquoise bracelet by Navajo artist, Albert Jake

 

Although the term refers to turquoise from any mine that looks like this, there are only a handful of mines that produce birdseye turquoise – namely Turquoise Mountain, Kingman, and Morenci. Turquoise Mountain (closed in the late 1980s) is located near the Kingman mine in northwestern Arizona.

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Natural Kingman Birdseye Turquoise Bracelet by Navajo artist Bennie Ration

Paula

Can you tell me anything about my $25 estate sale find?

Hi Paula,

I recently acquired a pendant that looks to be Native American in design. It has two stunning blue turquoise rocks each with a black matrix. I’ve tried to figure out what kind of turquoise those are and the closest match I can make is to Lander Blue, which seems too good to be true, so I would like some identification help with that. My other question for you is about the hallmark on the back of the piece. Above the word “sterling” are what look to be two letters, a C and a backwards E. However, I haven’t been able to find whose hallmark that would belong to.
Here are some photos of my pendant. I’m not looking to sell, just want some help identifying the turquoise type and hallmark. I bought it a few days ago at an estate sale in Houston, TX and paid $25 for it. That’s all the info I have; sorry I can’t add more!
Any help would be appreciated. I love your blog!
Best,
Jana
pendant 1 pendant 3 pendant5Hi Jana,
From what I can tell from these photos, these turquoise stones look a lot like some of my Kingman pieces.
When I look at the hallmark I see a WF kind of how I would write a round cloud-like W and a simple F, both of them are more like cursive which is how many artists sign when they use an engraver (AKA electric pencil).
But as far as whose hallmark that is, I do not know.
Perhaps another reader does.
Visit our pawn shop for your research and shopping http://www.horsekeeping.com/jewelry/pawn/pawnshop-vin.htm
Paula

Link Bracelets – Hot Weather Option

Some of my regular customers asked me to compile some of my summer weather tips for jewelry.

With the whole country in the RED, this is a perfect time to start posting those ideas.

If you are a person that normally wears cuff bracelets but find them too hot when its above 90, consider link bracelets.

Link bracelets are usually narrower than most cuffs.

Sterling Silver Navajo Bear Paw Link Bracelet

Sterling Silver Navajo Bear Paw Link Bracelet

Many of them are adjustable so that you can wear them looser than normal for air flow.

Sterling Silver Navajo Concho Link Bracelet

Sterling Silver Navajo Concho Adjustable Link Bracelet

Link bracelets move around on your wrist – in hot weather, movement is good!

And they are lightweight.

When you’re on the beach, metal bracelets can act almost like branding irons, so for that day, choose an all stone bracelet.

Navajo Kingman Turquoise Nugget Link Bracelet

Navajo Kingman Turquoise Nugget Link Bracelet

More summer jewelry tips on the way.