The Tortoise Turquoise
Tortoise Chalcociderite/Turquoise/Variscite from north-central Nevada.
Tortoise is mint green to emerald green, blue/green, white, brown, and red in color. It runs in a black shale, natural Berlated Cement and a goldish brown jasper rock. There are small to giant nuggets/nodules as well as wide and thin vein material that is encrusted by this black and tan host rock. The host rock, being a shale type material, naturally developed veined outsets and pockets of Chalcociderite, Turquoise and Variscite. It is in the host where you will find webbing - veins - swirls and shades of wonderful coloration that often look similar to "Milkyway" or "New Lander" mine material. As you come into the center of the deposit/formation you will find multiple types of water marking that give the clear area of the stone its own characteristic as well, some forms a birdseye look.
It is a solid 6-7 in hardness and delightful to cut. Sawing the rock is a stone cutters dream as it cuts smooth and does not flake or crumble. Cabbing it is equally a pleasure as you do not need to use a backing material to hold it together - it is solid! It takes a polish like nobody's business, just like glass! In polishing these examples I used a 180 diamond wheel, then I went to a used 400 grit belted wheel, then strait to zam/rouge. I achieved a high polish with very little effort. Dillon took a piece from 180 - 400 - 600 - 1800 - then to zam - it took such a terrific polish and you can actually follow the webbing down into the stone - just beautiful!
The Tortoise mine sits above 5,000 feet elevation in a secluded part of Midwestern Nevada. We have occasional visitors to the mine in the form of Wild Burrows, Snakes, Birds, and Lizards. Native vegetation includes some beautiful cactus, Mormon tea, and tumble weed. The climate is a high-desert, hot and dry! In the winter there is a reasonable amount of snow. We will be mining the Tortoise most months of the year, rain, snow or hail. We are sorry to not give out more info as to the location of the mine, but we are not letting out too much info about this mine, due to the overwhelming piracy accruing in Nevada right now. When we hire a few hermits to guard the mine, then we will let more info out. :-) We have had to resort to back filling every time we mine to ensure that nobody steals.
We have barely tapped into this mineral resource, and are already liking what we see. As you may know, the deeper you get in a mine usually the deeper the color and greater the quality (I am not sure the quality could get much better, allot of this material is AAA grade, not to mention I love the mint green turquoise)! Most of this material we will be using in our jewelry, but we will be letting a tiny bit of A, AA, and AAA go.
Dillon & John Hartman from Durango Silver Company will be at the Tucson Gem & Mineral Show January 27th through February 12 2006 - Howard Johnson room 135 selling Royston Turquoise, and other Nevada Turquoise - Rough/Cabs/Jewelry
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