Nevada Gems: Carico Lake Turquoise

Posted by Sunwest Silver on Aug 15, 2017 2:08:00 PM

Hi my name is Valerie Calabaza and today I like to introduce you to the Carico Lake Turquoise which is owned and mined by Ernie Montoya at Albuquerque, New Mexico, also the proud owner of Sunwest Silver. He has been a collector for over 40 years in Albuquerque, New Mexico and my history with him is me being raised by silversmith from Zuni Pueblo and a father from San Felipe Pueblo. So being Native American I take pride in his workmanship that he shares with the country and with the world. And the first item I like to show you is rough Carico Lake Turquoise without it being treated or any lapidary machine touching this piece. And right over here I have rough Carico Lake Turquoise. You see the different matrix in each piece. Each piece may have the black matrix. Some may have the golden brown matrix. The Carico Lake can come in various colors from very light green to a dark dark blue, sky blue. From there also we take pride in the clam, psuedomorphs, clam fossils.

Long long time ago the Carico Lake mine was a lake and once all the minerals sifted through these clam shells and when the clam shells dissolved and the lakebeds dried up left beautiful psuedomorphs fossils in the Carico Lake minerals. So you have beautiful beautiful turquoise. Here is one that is half polished. This is a clam fossil. This is the blues with the earth color running right through it. The different spider web matrix very collected. We have bright line greens. We have sky blues. These are very rare to have in a turquoise. You have the two different colors which is rare to find. It's very difficult to mine this turquoise and very very expensive. This is what makes it rare and highly collectible. Not only that we can only find so many of these clamshells in this dried-up lakebed. Also what Ernie Montoya does with these Carico Lake pieces is turn them into cabs, cabochons. So all of these pieces are used in the Native American artwork and pieces you have in your collection from the Sunwest Silver family.

This map that you are looking at was created by Ernest Montoya who is the proud owner of Sunwest Silver in Albuquerque, New Mexico and also the proud owner of five mines located in Nevada. The one that he... his prized possession is the Carico Lake Turquoise. As you can see here comes in a bright green, lime green and also some lighter blues and sky blues with a different matrix running right through the turquoise. All of this turquoise comes out of the Carico Lake mine which is at Lander County, Nevada. We have from rough turquoise to the psuedomorphs fossils that are found in the dried-up lakebed from over millions and millions of years. The pieces I'm wearing right now show the bright lime green of the high-grade Carico Lake Turquoise. The ring I’m wearing is a beautiful cluster that enhances the natural Carico Lake Turquoise which is found in the Carico Lake mine. Mining this turquoise is a very expensive and very difficult to get so every piece is rare and it's one of a kind piece in the whole entire world. It's just like a fingerprint where you only have one in the entire world and this is the Carico Lake Turquoise. This stone can have bits of blue or bright green with a golden matrix. It's a very very hard stone. The mine consists of a lot of zinc and copper which give it the greener color and the hardness to the stone is very hard. It's not a soft turquoise.

And when you stop in New Mexico please come visit us at our Santa Fe location down on the Plaza its 58 Lincoln Avenue. We’ll be glad to see you and show you our beautiful pieces.

Topics: Turquoise, Nevada Turquoise, Carico Lake Turquoise

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Since 1972, Sunwest Silver has been All About the Turquoise. We are industry’s leading source for turquoise, silver charms & findings, and finished handmade jewelry created by the Southwest’s finest Native artisans. 

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