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Fine Turquoise & Variscite Collection

Hand mined by Richard and Helen Shull

I’m happy to announce a fabulous collaboration with miners and gem cutters Richard and Helen Shull.

Richard and Helen are such wonderful folks and living and mining in Dyer, Nevada. The exceptional turquoise and variscite they produce is mined in an earth friendly, environmentally responsible manner, by them. They have deep respect for the earth and for the wonder of the gems it produces. Many of the gems they mine are from “commercially extinct” mines and the stones from these mines haven’t been available for decades. The variety and brilliance, the subtle coloration and saturation are completely natural. Not dyed, not enhanced. Just as Mother Nature made them.

In order to honor these amazing folks and their work I have created a selection of jewelry with the gems set in 22k yellow gold and some highlighted with diamonds and sapphires. The results are stunning!

I hope you enjoy these pieces and if you want a custom designed piece I would be happy to hear from you.

About a few of the mines:

Blue Boy Mine Variscite:

Variscite is more rare and precious than turquoise.

People have created jewelry from variscites since Neolithic times, more than 6,000 years ago. Neolithic beads carved from variscite discovered in Brittany, France were called callaïs or callaina, after a gemstone described by the Classical Roman scholar Pliny the Elder. Although first believed to be turquoise from the Far East, it became evident this material wasn’t turquoise but variscite.

The historic Blue Boy claims in Esmeralda County, Nevada were worked in the early 1900’s by the Los Angeles Gem Company and later in the 1940’s by John and Grace Callahan, two of the last year-round residents of the old ghost town of Columbus, NV. In the late 1800’s Columbus boasted a population of around 4,000 brave souls who worked various silver prospects in the area. Today, very little of the town remains. The wood structures were burned as a reprieve from the high desert’s brutal wind and cold. Our claim is well known for its hard, colorful variscite ranging from solid emerald green to striking multi-color spiderweb patterns to pure black…and yes, Richard and Helen have worked through some pretty chilly days to bring the warmth of this beauty to you!

Black Web Gem Mine Turquoise:  

The Black Web Gem Mine is a tiny turquoise mine located in Esmeralda County, Nevada. Production is very very small, but the stones this mine produces are amazing. The range of colors from this mine go from lovely sky blues to some of the bluest blues and darkest black webbing you’ll find anywhere, and it’s all natural turquoise! This wonderful material has been featured in Joe Dan Lowry’s book ‘Turquoise: The World Story of a Fascinating Gemstone’, both in the English language and in Japanese. It has also been featured as one of the classic, high-grade Nevada mines in the Japanese magazine: ‘Lightning’, Vol. 199. We work this mine with our partner, Philip Chambless, so you know you’re getting this stone straight from the source!

Ajax Mine Turquoise:

The Ajax Mine is located in Esmeralda County, Nevada. While the Ajax Mine has been known for its unique shades of green turquoise, the ground it occupies has produced almost every color of blue and green turquoise and most matrix patterns, from clear to spiderweb. The mine actually consists of numerous workings that produce a variety of colors and patterns from each “hole”. Over the decades, the main turquoise producing area of the Ajax has gone by different names as the claims changed hands…from Oriental Blue during the days of Carl Reik and Walter Godber in the 1930’s, to Blue Gem later on. Today we are still able to produce a small amount of both blue and green (and multi-color!) natural turquoise from the Ajax Mine, which is now considered to be one of the classic turquoise mines of the southwest.

Dyer Blue Mine Turquoise:  

The Dyer Blue mine is a small turquoise mine located near the town of Dyer, in Esmeralda County, Nevada. Once known as the Lovely mine in the 1970’s due to its lovely blue color, this mine was worked sporadically into the early 1980’s. After almost three decades of lying idle, the Dyer Blue mine is once again producing limited quantities of pure gem blue as well as dark blue to greenish blue stones with stunning reddish brown spiderweb and patterned matrix. The mine and its beautiful diversity of looks and colors of turquoise is featured in the 2018 Updated Edition of Joe Dan Lowry’s book, “Turquoise: The World Story of a Fascinating Gemstone”. The Dyer Blue Mine is quickly becoming a Nevada turquoise classic!

Nevada Blue Mine Turquoise:

Nevada Blue turquoise is a fascinating stone, characterized by wild, bold red and black matrix in bright blue and intense, high-grade spiderweb. There are also other minerals associated with it including opal, rich red-brown limonite, and acicular crystals of either wavelite or selenite…very unique!
The Nevada Blue mine has a long history, first mined in 1901 under the name Pinto/Watts. Our Nevada Blue material was mined by the Hammon family from the late 1960’s up into the early 1980’s, and for the past 40 years had been part of the collection of Herb and Dottie Lindner. Some of the finest material was mined in the 70’s, and Herb purchased most of the mine’s production directly from the Hammons during that time. Today, due to extremely difficult access, the Nevada Blue Mine is no longer producing.
Herb was the major source for Nevada Blue cabochons when he was actively cutting, and you’ll see his stone in classic pieces by Charles Loloma and Lee Yazzie, among other great native jewelry artists of the time. We are so excited and thankful to be able to bring this wonderful, rare, and classic Nevada Blue turquoise back into the market!