The History Behind Carico Lake Turquoise

Did you know that Nevada has the only mines in the world known to have naturally occurring Carico lake turquoise brilliant green color? The turquoise at Carico Lake ranges from stunning blue to lime green colors. The Carico Lake Turquoise mine yields gems in various colors, although apple green accounts for 3% of its output.

Because of its different colors of lime green and soft sky blue with a golden-brown spider's web network, this form of turquoise has become quite famous and highly collectible in recent years.

The high quantities of zinc and faustite cause the lime green color. While blue turquoise is the most common, lime green has recently gained popularity due to its scarcity and unusual tint. Due to growing demand and restricted supply, Carico Lake turquoise has become a valuable investment.

Carico Lake Turquoise is a unique find named after a Nevada mine. Learn everything you need to know about turquoise below.

What Is a Turquoise Gem?

With the chemical symbol CuAl6(PO4)4(OH)84H2O, turquoise is an opaque, blue-to-green mineral. It's a hydrated phosphate of copper and aluminum.

Its unusual color has made it attractive as a gemstone and decorative stone for thousands of years, and the most remarkable specimens are scarce and precious. However, turquoise, like most opaque jewels, has seen its value drop due to the availability of cheaper treatments, replicas, and synthetic products.

The Persian turquoise found near the city of Nishapur in Iran has been regarded as a guideline reference for gauging turquoise quality due to its robins egg blue or sky blue color.

The term turquoise was coined in the 17th century and is based on the French word turquois, which means "Turkish." This was because the gemstone was initially introduced to Europe via the Ottoman Empire.

How Is Turquoise Cut?

Turquoise is typically cut as a cabochon. The softly rounded dome shape beautifully complements turquoise's color, feel, and any matrix.

You can also fashion turquoise into oblong or round beads for necklaces. You can also cut it into small, flat stones used for jewelry inlays by manufacturers and artists. Tumbling lower-quality raw material into "nuggets" is an option.

How Do You Value and Weigh Turquoise?

The unit of measure for turquoise is the carat. One gram is equal to five carats.

There are many different sizes of turquoise. The most important turquoise value factor for any size is the color's quality and evenness.

Turquoise Gem Colors

As we have established, turquoise gems are trendy in the gemstone industry. They vary in color. Let's take a look at these:

Blue Turquoise Gems

Blue minerals are scarce. The most desirable turquoise color is sky-blue or often referred to as robin's egg blue.

Some people incorrectly refer to the color as "Persian blue," after the famed greater gemstone mined in what is now Iran. You should only use a geographical designation in a gem name when the substance is actually found in that area.

Blueish Green Turquoise Gems

The industry favors blueish-green stones after blue stones. Small levels of iron substitute for aluminum in the turquoise gem structure generate a change from a blue color to a blueish-green. In ratio, the more iron, the more green tinge is in the turquoise.

On the other hand, small quantities of zinc or iron replacing the copper in the turquoise composition may also change the hue of turquoise.

Turquoise Matrix

You use the term "matrix" to describe the substance that is distinct from the parent material, which is frequently a turquoise gem. Typically composed of iron pyrite, matrixes can take the form of flecks, spots, and definite veins. Most have the appearance of a spider web.

"Clear stones," which are stones devoid of any underlying matrix, are popular among some people. Others are drawn to turquoise's matrix, which takes different forms and hues with the variegated matrix. In some circumstances, the matrix can give the stone some additional texture and shine.

The turquoise stone's most prevalent matrix colors are black, brown, and honey.

Where Does the Carico Lake Turquoise Come From?

Over the years, numerous turquoise companies have given Carico Lake turquoise various names. In days gone by, it was called  Aurora Turquoise and Stone Canyon, but nowadays, you hardly ever hear this, and it remains known as Carico Lake turquoise

The Carico Lake Turquoise Mine is a historical mine in Lander County, Nevada. It has this name because of its location on a dried-up lake bed. Because of the very short mining period each year, the Carico Lake Turquoise supply is highly limited.

Because of its remote position and difficult winter weather conditions, the amount of time allowed to mine is comparatively small. Carico Lake turquoise is uncommon, this adds to its worth. 

As mentioned, Carico Lake Turquoise, a dried-up lake in a remote region of Lander County, has a fascinating past. Initially named Stone Cabin, it later went by the name Aurora #8.

One of the mine's original owners, Gus Stenich owned the mine back in the day. After passing from Gus to JW Edgar and a few more owners, the mine is now owned by Ernest Montoya of Sunwest Silver Company.

When it comes to natural turquoise, Sunwest Silver has one of the largest natural deposits in all of North America.

Carico Lake Turquoise Characteristics

To the eye, you distinguish this variety of turquoise by its clear, shimmering green color. This is because zinc and copper are present.

However, you will also discover some gemstones in which it has a dark blue-green shade combined with a black spider-web matrix. It also comes in many colors, from dark blue to light green. You might also see a few hints of dark blue or yellow webbing.


Carico Lake Turquoise History


The Carico Lake Turquoise Gems

Because it can be hard to find and has such beautiful colors, it is one of the most highly prized turquoise gemstones. Anyone who buys turquoise knows this. Due to its limited supply and poor manufacturing, many fear the gemstone may become increasingly rarer.

Again, as mentioned, the Carico Lake mine is owned by Ernie Montoya, who markets the stones in jewelry and cabochon form. 

The color pallet of Carico Lake Turquoise is stunning. From incredibly distinctive electric greens to sky blue, teal to earthy, mossy greens. And, on rare occasions, a gem with both sky and earth colors.

Gem-quality American turquoise is the highest grade of Carico Lake turquoise. The high zinc concentration gives the stone an astounding lime-green hue with a special spider web matrix.

This makes it hard enough to be cut naturally. This also makes the gem a highly sought-after and collectible stone.



Genuine Carico Lake turquoise cab



Carico has an extremely low annual yield because of the hostile surroundings and remote areas of the mine. It is an uncommon variety of turquoise since the high-grade green gemstones only make up just under 3% of the annual output. 

Other Types of Turquoise From America

There is a wide spectrum of blues and greens that make up turquoise gems. There are some with a matrix and those without.

Different matrices even have different hues and designs. First, let's go through some of the most common and frequently encountered varieties of turquoise so you'll be better capable of recognizing them.

The Morenci Turquoise Gemstone

Another American classic that is highly prized by collectors is the Morenci turquoise gemstone. Despite the fact that the Morenci turquoise mine generates a broad variety of colors, from green to blue, the most prized is a deeper blue color with a rich iron pyrite matrix and, on rare occasions, some spider-webbing.

Southeastern Arizona is home to the Morenci turquoise mine. It has been around since 1864 and is the consequence of a massive open-pit copper mining site.

During the 1950s, William "Lucky" Brown was presented with the opportunity to purchase the mining rights, and his family has continued to operate the mine ever since. The Morenci mine may no longer be producing turquoise, but a tiny amount is being brought onto the market each year using reserves.

The Royston Turquoise Gemstone

The range of colors in Royston turquoise is stunning, from dark green to bright blue. The stone's exceptional beauty lies in the wide variety of tones it displays.

In most cases, Royston stones will have two distinct colors, with one showing a dark green hue and the other a lighter green or even a blue hue. Royston's thick matrix is a variety of shades of brown and gold.

The matrix complements the stone's natural color variations beautifully. Collectible and valuable, Royston turquoise is highly sought after.

The Bisbee Turquoise Gemstone

When it comes to North American turquoise, Bisbee Turquoise is among the most stunning varieties ever mined. The startling true blue color hues of this gemstone are outstanding. Also, the chocolate matrix it is typically found in further adds to its overall allure.

Bisbee Turquoise comes from Arizona and is considered one of the best in the world due to its unusual characteristics. Because of this, it makes it incomparable to any other type of turquoise.

The Bisbee Mine was established in the middle of the 1870s. By the time it was shut down in 1975, it had grown to become one of the largest and most profitable mines in the history of the planet.

Mr. Robert Matthews of Durango, Colorado, was awarded the one and only lease that has ever been given to work the dumps in 1972. These dumps are located on the Lavendar Pitt.

The amount of Bisbee Turquoise that is still in existence today is extremely limited, and as a result, its price reflects both its scarcity and its unparalleled allure.

Some turquoise sources yield material with a distinct color and look. Turquoise experts can frequently, but not always, properly link a stone with a certain mine.

How to Care For Your Turquoise Jewelry

Special stones, such as turquoise, should not be hidden from view. They are not only inherently attractive, but they frequently have sentimental importance as they are owned and worn. 

  • To avoid damage, keep your turquoise jewels away from oils and grease
  • Don't wear your turquoise gem when cleaning, and avoid using harsh chemicals to clean your turquoise
  • If you're doing heavy work, take your turquoise off because it scratches easily and can be fairly brittle when bumped or dropped
  • Avoid using ultrasonic jewelry cleaners
  • If your turquoise is set in silver, take careful care not to get silver polish on the stone itself
  • Wearing your turquoise gem while swimming in pools or hot tubs is a no-no 
  • You shouldn't use soap to clean turquoise because it can change the color, instead, use a damp, soft cloth to wipe the stone
  • If you want to wear perfume or lotion, try applying it to your skin and letting it dry before putting on your Turquoise jewelry
  • Avoid knocking or dropping your turquoise gemstone, as it is very easy to crack
  • Avoid extreme temperatures
  • Store turquoise separately from other jewelry in a cool, temperate, stable, and dry environment

Very few other gemstones can compare to the brilliance of turquoise. As a result, taking proper care and giving it the attention it deserves, it can look new for years to come!

Turquoise Is Your Next Best Friend!

The value of turquoise has increased to the point where it rivals, and sometimes even surpasses, that of pearls and diamonds.

We've established that the market value of genuine turquoise fluctuates according to the depth and richness of its colors, notably Carico Lake Turquoise. We have also noted that each stone's distinctive veining serves to accentuate its individual beauty. So it goes without saying that each turquoise stone is a one-of-a-kind!

Are you looking to purchase turquoise gems? Contact someone who specializes in turquoise gemstones and has a history of trustworthiness and knowledge.

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