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BLUE GEM
Blue Gem TurquoiseThe Blue Gem is a Nevada turquoise mine south of Battle Mountain in an area which produced large amounts of turquoise. Although there are a number of Nevada mines named Blue Gem this mine was in the Copper Basin area and surrounded by the Copper Canyon Mining Company in Northern Nevada. It was one of the larger producers of great turquoise and supplied material to the Southwest in nearly every shade of green and a variety of blues. The clear, intense blue color of this turquoise made it highly valued and widely used for both Zuni inlay and fine Navajo silver work. Blue Gem's hardness and fine colors makes this turquoise much sought after by both jewelers and collectors.

Mining started at the Blue Gem in 1934 and continued off and on into the 1970's. The mine, along with its open slopes, was developed in extensive underground workings with tunnels going hundreds of feet in the ground making this mine one of the deepest turquoise producing mines. Veinlets up to three-quarters of an inch thick with pyrite-bearing quartz are associated with the turquoise. "The deposit was first noted by Duke Goff in 1934. It was subsequently leased from the Copper Canyon Mining Co. by the American Gem Co. of San Gabriel, Calif., owned by Doc Wilson. The lease was allowed to lapse and work was abandoned. In 1950 the mine was leased by Lee Hand and Alvin Layton of Battle Mountain. Production of turquoise at the Blue Gem lease in the early days of its operation was enormous." (Turquoise Deposits of Nevada, Frank R, Morrissey) It had been staked also as the "Turquoise Tunnel" and the "Contention," and at one time it was on the "Pedro Lode" claim. The Blue Gem mine is no longer active.

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BLUE RIDGE MINE (Orvil Jack turquoise)
Blue Ridge MineThe Blue Ridge mine, in Lander County, Nevada, is in the rich Bullion Mining district and consists of nine mining claims. Orvil and Bessie Jack who had just moved to Nevada from Colorado filed the claim in 1956. The first turquoise to come out of the Blue Ridge was some of the finest blue spider web found in Nevada. This material is rarely seen today.

In the beginning of the 1980's Orvil Jack came upon veins of what is now called Orvil Jack turquoise. Though little was sold during that period due to the beauty of his Blue Ridge nuggets and spider web turquoise.

Orvil Jack CabToday, it is the beautiful green turquoise that bares Orvil Jack's name that is collected and desired by the top Orvil Jack Necklacejewelers. Its colors range in the greens and yellows with the brightest yellows and the most electric lime green the most coveted. These colors are caused by the high zinc content of the material, which replaces other minerals. Because of this Orvil Jack is also known as "faustite." After Orvil Jack's passing in 1986 his daughter Grace Jack Wintle and her husband Jay continue to work the claims. Today with their sons Curtis and Ryan they mine Orvil Jack turquoise a few weeks each summer.

 
   
 
 
 
     
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