Rock Appreciation Day!

Today, read all about…..:

WHITE BUFFALO TURQUOISE.

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White Buffalo Turquoise comes solely from the White Buffalo Mine near Tonopah, Nevada. It is very popular, but very rare. There is a LOT of controversy as to whether this stone’s mineral make up actually constitutes it as “turquoise”. I have broken down this highlight blog post for this stone into a few sections…

[DISCLAIMER: I am not a lapidary (stone) artist, gemologist, mine owner, or any other kind of authority on gems, stones, or minerals. I am simply an enthusiast who likes to share the information I’ve gathered in my goal to attain the perfect rocks for my jewelry pieces].

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White Buffalo Turquoise & White Turquoise-NOT THE SAME:

White turquoise is extremely rare and comes from a few different mines, mainly in Nevada and Arizona. White turquoise is not actually “white”, but can be very VERY lightly coloured turquoise that comes in a variety of hues between the green and blue spectrum. A great example of what is classified as white turquoise can be seen in the Dry Creek Mine (also known as SACRED Buffalo Mine), or the White Stallion Mine. Actual “white” turquoise is so hard to find in quality jewelry because it is very low on the hardness scale and cannot take a good polish because it is so chalky (but it is not chalk turquoise!). This makes the stone low quality as a rule no matter how rare or beautiful. White buffalo turquoise is higher on the hardness scale than any chalk or white turquoise. It takes a great polish and is in actuality WHITE, or off-white due to it’s mix of black chert host rock.

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THE CONTROVERSY: Turquoise VS. White Buffalo

You will find many people claiming that White Buffalo Turquoise is NOT turquoise. This is why: Turquoise gets it’s blue and green hues from iron and copper which are all minerals found in your basic turquoise. White Buffalo turquoise is white because it lacks iron and copper. “No iron and copper? Not turquoise!”

            The white buffalo turquoise stone has been tested several times and has BAFFLED gemologists and mineralogists to date. Originally, people thought it was a different stone type other than turquoise. Similar stones are howlite, magnesite, planarite, etc. With each inquiry, each similar type has been dismissed. White buffalo turquoise has the same hardness of turquoise, is found in veins when mined like turquoise, and is found is black chert, which is a host rock of…turquoise! A great theory about the stones from this mine is that it is a kind of “albino” turquoise.

            The authenticity of White Buffalo Turquoise is backed by the family who owns the mine; the Otteson’s. The Ottesons own several turquoise mines and have a long history and good reputation mining turquoise in the Southwest. While not always advertising White Buffalo Turquoise as “White Turquoise”-because, let’s face it, it really isn’t-they still call it White Buffalo or White Buffalo Turquoise. For all consumer and market purposes, the material is called “White Buffalo Turquoise”. Personally, after looking at oodles of stones online and in person, there has never been a doubt in mind as to whether the stone is turquoise or not. I call it turquoise.

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STONE TYPES-Turquoise vs. Boulder or Ribbon Turquoise

Boulder or ribbon cut turquoise is just a different way of saying ‘turquoise within a host rock’. Often you can find lovely patterns of turquoise veining within the host rock, or just large streams of turquoise running through. These nature made designs are beautiful and just as rare as stones containing a higher turquoise to host rock ratio.

***BE CAREFUL:***

All of those similar stone types to turquoise are often marketed as such! Low quality stones like white howlite, or magnesite, can be marketed as “white turquoise”. If a price is cheap, that means the materials are cheap! Magnesite often comes in dark to light brown colours with a cream to off-white matrix (think of the beautiful, rare, and valuable Wild Horse Magnesite stone). White howlite is often a dull white colour with veins of a dark grey matrix. These veins are thin and milky. Although the matrix in real White Buffalo Turquoise can get blurry, it is still BLACK, and the colour has a higher saturation and hardness.

            All of the white buffalo turquoise I use is 100% genuine and authentic. I get it from a source in Nevada (not telling!) and I back it all of the way.

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PICTURE TIME!

Below, behold all of the fairly recent past sold orders or commissions I have created using White Buffalo Turquoise or ribbon cut White Buffalo Turquoise. To see any listings or sold listings, click on the pictures:

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Up next, we have all White Buffalo goodies still available in the shop:

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Lastly, all of my White Buffalo Turquoise currently in stock! The pair with the bezel around them are going to be made into sterling Buffalos as dangles for stretched ears in the future:

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Check back the First of every month for a new Rock Appreciation Day! If you have questions about my sources, just ask. Have a request for a specific stone or mine? Any input or questions on this issue? Comment below!

xx Stray Arrow

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