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.

From the December 1979 issue of Lapidary Journal – this article made me think it was a mined stone, but…………..

Lapidary Journal December 1979

 

 

 

 

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

Robert and Bernice Leekya – Nugget Jewelry since 1953

Zuni husband and wife Robert and Bernice Leekya are known for their bold turquoise (usually Kingman) nugget jewelry. They have been making it since 1953.

Here I will showcase some examples of their work……….

Zuni Cluster bracelet by Robert and Bernice Leekya

NBT483-634-turq-cluster-leekya-3NBT483-634-turq-cluster-leekya-4 Zuni Cluster bracelet by Robert and Bernice Leekya

Born in 1934, Robert was taught by his father, a master Zuni jeweler Leekya Deyuse.  Here are some examples of Leekya Deyuse’s work – he is often just referred to as Leekya. Born in 1889, he remained active in his craft until his passing in 1966.

Leekya Deyuse 1 Leekya Deyuse 2Bernice Leekya, born in the 1930s, was formerly a maker of cluster work.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

NR472-712-petit-turq-leekya-1NR472-712-petit-turq-leekya-2 Cluster Ring by Robert and Bernice Leekya

After her marriage to Robert, she worked with him on the nugget jewelry also. WL-398-turq-leekya-4

NR507-11-nugget-turq-leekya-1

WL-399-turq-leekya-3

NR508-1114-nugget-turq-leekya-1

WM180-turq-leekya-3

NR509-11-nugget-turq-leekya-1

WM-189-turq-leekya-5

S421-turq-buckle-bolo-watch-4A

S421-turq-buckle-bolo-watch-4A-2 Leekya bolo tie detailsS421-turq-buckle-bolo-watch-4B

BU132-WB-turq-leekya-1 CB50-kingman-leekya-13

Robert shares the RLB stamp with his wife Bernice Leekya. The larger L extends below the B.

Paula

Turquoise Mines in the US

 

Some of the turquoise mines in the US

©  2010 Horsekeeping © Copyright Information

Bisbee (Cochise County, Arizona) Deep blue color with smoky black matrix.


Blue Diamond (central Nevada) operated from the late 1950’s to 1980. This stone typically has dark smoky swirls with brilliant blue windows.


Candelaria (Northern Nevada) A small depleted (closed) mine. Stones have luminous quality.


Carico Lake (Lander County, Nevada) Blue and green.

Cripple Creek (Teller County, Colorado) Green and blue with brown matrix; by-product of gold mining.

Sterling Silver Navajo RingsDry Creek (Battle Mountain, Nevada) Pale blue or white because no heavy metals are in the ground where it forms. Also called Sacred Buffalo Turquoise because the White Buffalo is a very sacred and rare buffalo. Read more…

EASTER BLUE An old Nevada mine owned and operated by Danny and Dean Otteson. It is located in Nye County near the Royston turquoise area. In was opened in 1907 and produces turquoise from surface and underground mines. The turquoise is hard, of fine quality and a rich blue color with beautiful matrix.

Fox Turquoise mine (Lander County, Nevada) discovered in the early 1900’s, was once Nevada’s largest producer of green or blue-green turquoise with a distinctive matrix. The different sites of Fox deposits were developed using the names of Fox, White Horse, Green Tree, and Smith to differentiate among the colors of turquoise produced. The Fox mine is now closed.

 

Kingman (Mohave County, Arizona) Blue stones with white matrix sometimes dyed black.

King’s Manassa (Conejos County, Colorado) is best known for its brilliant greens and golden and brown non-webbed matrices, but blue and blue-green stone is found there as well. This site, east of the town of Manassa, was originally mined by Ancestral Pueblo peoples. It was rediscovered in 1890 by gold prospector I.P. King, and his descendants still work the claim.

Lander Blue (Lander County, Nevada) The rarest of all Southwest US turquoise; high grade and most valuable.

 

Lone Mountain (Esmeralda County, Nevada) Deep blue stones with fine spider webs.

Morenci (Greenlee County, Arizona) Blue color with “Fool’s Gold” (iron pyrite) matrix.

Sterling Silver Navajo RingsNumber Eight (Carlin, Nevada) Exceptional spiderweb turquoise with the matrix ranging from golden brown to almost black, but a deep golden webbing is most characteristic.

Royston turquoise mine district (Nye County, Nevada) consists of several mines including Royston, Royal Blue, Oscar Wehrend and Bunker Hill. Discovered in 1902 it is the oldest patented mine in Nevada. Royston turquoise is known for its beautiful deep green to rich light blue colors in the same formation and the stones are often two-tone, displaying both dark and light green and sometimes blue. It has a heavy matrix ranging from dark brown to gold in color. Royston turquoise is considered very collectible.

Sleeping Beauty (Globe in Gila County, Arizona) Uniform blue turquoise that is easily matched and cut. Often clear but sometimes with white matrix that is dyed black.

Sterling Silver Navajo Rings

Pilot Mountain (Esmeralda County, Nevada) Blue and green stones with dark brown, reddish or black matrices.

Turquoise Mountain (Mohave County, Arizona) Blue and green.

Stormy Mountain (Elko County, Nevada) Dark blue with black matrix looking like blotches.

white buffalo turquoiseWhite Buffalo Turquoise or White Buffalo Stone is not turquoise at all, but a different stone that is white stone with black and brown inclusions. By definition turquoise contains copper (it is a copper aluminium phosphate), which is what gives the characteristic blue color. Presence of iron will shift the color toward green. “White turquoise” without blue color is technically not turquoise and is more accurately called White Buffalo Stone. As far as we know, White Buffalo Stone comes from only one mine in Nevada, which is owned by the Otteson family. Howlite is commonly passed off as White Buffalo Stone.

Turquoise is the birthstone of December and is thought to bring good fortune, strength and helps overcome illness.

The Navajo consider turquoise to bring good fortune and appease the Wind Spirit.

The Zuñi believe blue turquoise is male and of the sky and green turquoise is female and of the earth.

Hopi legend tells of the lizard who travels between the above and the below, excretes turquoise. This stone can hold back floods.