Dry Creek Turquoise Mine
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The Dry Creek mine is a small mine located in Lander County outside of Austin, NV. Sometimes referred to as Sacred Buffalo turquoise, the Dry Creek turquoise mine was discovered in the early 1990s by the Shoshone Indian tribe. When it was discovered, cutters were unsure that it was actually turquoise due to its unique color, but later lab testing by the current owners in 1999 confirmed it was indeed turquoise.
Turquoise gets its color from the presence of heavy metals, particularly aluminum and copper. When there is more copper, blue turquoise will usually be produced as is the case in most Arizona turquoises. When there is more aluminum, green turquoise will be produced as in many of the Nevada turquoises. Dry Creek turquoise forms in any area with low concentrations of both metals. This very rare situation results in the very pale blue color found in Dry Creek turquoise. Most pale blue turquoise is chalky and too soft to cut without stabilization. Dry Creek turquoise is naturally hard and takes a nice polish, so no treatment is needed. No other vein of this material has been discovered anywhere in the world.
After the owner's passing several years ago, material from the Dry Creek turquoise mine became scarce due to family disputes. Most of the quality Dry Creek turquoise on the market today was mined back in the 1990s.