Colorful Colorado: Home to six military bases, 53 fourteeners, the world’s largest flattop mountain, America’s highest paved road, the highest mean altitude of all the states, and the highest incorporated city in the United States. Colorado also hosts the world’s largest rodeo each year, features 222 wildlife areas, and lays claim to the longest continuous street in the country.
And Colorado contains several high-quality turquoise mines.
Though not as famous, Colorado’s turquoise production – along with its history, mining, and uses, matches that of New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, and California. The Native American jewelry trade has been highly influenced by Colorado’s mining and production of turquoise since the 19th century.
One of the prime Colorado turquoise mining districts was in Leadville, Colorado, and the most famous of the mines was is the Chief Turquoise Mine, also known as the Josie May. Rigid mining and environmental laws have left this district unworked for some time now.
The Cripple Creek Mine in Teller County is the site of a handful of small gold claims, and several turquoise claims. Turquoise was incidentally discovered here as a by-product of gold mining.
Some of the finest turquoise in North America – indeed some of the finest ever mined, came from the Villa Grove Mine. This primitive site currently is not being mined, but many Zuni and Navajo cluster-style jewelry designs were created using turquoise from these veins.
South-central Colorado houses the Manassa Mine, once owned by the King family, giving it an alternate name of “Kings Manassa Mine”. The mine is now owned by the Cordova family. Manassa turquoise is a blue-green or green color, with a gold or brown non-webbed matrix, and makes for striking jewelry!
Here at Dusty Shutt Silver, we’re in love with all things turquoise. How could we not be? A symbol of friendship, loyalty, and strength, turquoise incites me to fabricate pieces that show off its natural beauty – and the beauty of all that it symbolizes. With the Aspen Leaf Pendant and Wolf Paw Print Cobblestoned Cuff, I’ve taken Burdiss Blue Cripple Creek Turquoise and allowed the majestic creation of Colorado to inspire these amazing pieces. Lovingly handcrafted, my turquoise collection is sure to remind you that there is such a color as Colorado Blue Sky.