Let's Talk Turquoise

Blue Gem MIne

Located about six miles south of the town of Battle Mountain, this current open-pit copper and gold mining operation in Bullion District produced some of the largest quantities of turquoise in all of Nevada. The area was a prehistoric site that was rediscovered by Duke Goff in 1934 and has produced turquoise deposits as deep as 800 feet. This mine’s turquoise production was a great influence during the infancy of the Indian jewelry industry in the mid-twentieth century and continued until the early 1980s. Blue Gem rough turquoise was sold to many lapidaries who produced hundreds of thousands of cabochons. Large quantities of jewelry that was made during the first half of the twentieth century was set with Blue Gem stones that were cut into perfect oval, round, and square shapes. These claims have been owned by many miners, including Lee Hand, Doc Wilson, and Lem Edgar; the Elquist family were the last-known miners. These claims have been known as The Contention, Pedro Lode, Turquoise Tunnel, and Battle Mountain.

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