Blue Stones (then and now and later)

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Earlier turquoise trip in AZ – 2 buggies and an FJC
While the Internet is screaming about Muslims who want to murder the innocent for fun and faith, Barack, our leader, feels that eliminating semi-automatic rifles (there are on the order of 200 million in private hands in America) is the solution. My answer was ANOTHER ROAD TRIP. 

Some of you will be asking, “LL, shouldn’t you be doing something productive like working instead of heading off into the badlands on a hunt for blue rocks?” LL responds, “Those who can, do. Those who can’t, go screw off in the 4×4.” Actually I am working because I keep the Motorola 9575 Satphone handy, and can make money while I’m indulging my passions…sometimes.

This time, a dedicated hunt for turquoise. Then I looked at the weather forecast for next Monday, June 20. In Phoenix, it’s forecasted to be a balmy 119 (F) and in Goldfield, Nevada, it’s cooler at 117 (F).  The same day in Newport Beach, it’s expected to reach 90. Ninety at the beach or 119 in Phoenix. The twenty degree spread is compelling me to cancel the trip or at the very least, put it off.
Sometimes the best trail is a riverbed. If you have the rig to make the
transit over the rocks, why not?
And for you rockhounds, this is what I did to find blue stones in Nevada. I went to the Nevada School of Mines and pulled every mining claim for copper since people started making claims in the latter half of the 1800’s. The presence of significant amounts of copper does not mean that turquoise will be present, but it’s a place to start. Turquoise is a hydrated phosphate of copper and aluminum that is formed near the surface. After floods and rains, it’s not uncommon to find turquoise on the ground in areas where it is present.  So going to old copper mine sites that are long abandoned can be a good place to begin your search.
Turquoise comes in different qualities depending on the mix of elements in the material. Chalk turquoise is essentially worthless. It also absorbs the oil from human skin, women’s make up and perfume and even the best quality of stones can change color because of those patterns of wear (not unlike Nephrite/jade).
So the trip shall be delayed. But never fear, the rocks aren’t going anywhere.

10 thoughts on “Blue Stones (then and now and later)

  1. That's interesting, is the type of Turquoise the price difference in squash blossom necklaces and rings?

  2. Much of the "turquoise" out there is outright fake, or it's infused with dye or the seller is using some other technique to present a less valuable stone as being of a particular value. Turquoise goes from yellow-green to dark blue in color, with the color dictating much of the value along with the marbling of the stone itself. You need a jeweler's loop to look at stone in a store to decide whether it's real or fake.

    But much of what's out there in the retail world is 'doctored'.

  3. There are destructive and non-destructive tests that can be used to determine whether a stone is turquoise or a fake. The most common is magnification of the surface structure. Natural turquoise presents as a pale blue stone with flecks or spots of lighter or white material. Imitations have a different texture that is apparent.

    If it's a very expensive piece that you want to test, you may wish to introduce diluted hydrochloric acid onto a small portion, which will cause the carbonates present in magnesite to effervesce. Howlite turns a greenish to dark green color – and you know that it's not actual turquoise.

    However turquoise is a sensitive stone – I mentioned Nephrite above. It shares a lot of the absorption characteristics of very high quality jade. There is a lot of jade in Central California (very high quality). Both can be carved because they're softer stones.

  4. Newport Beach is always worth a little detour. John Wayne knew a good place to park a boat.

  5. How much of the turquoise that they sell in those Indian tourist traps is doctored? Surely the noble savages wouldn't stoop to white eye tricks to make some wampum, would they? That would be heap big crooked.

    If you don't understand some of the indian lingo here, just ask Elizabeth Warren to translate it for you, she's a savvy squaw in this regard.

  6. The stuff sold at the Indian (Native American to you) tourist traps is 100% fake. Usually plastic of some sort. A lot of their stuff is made in either China or Korea.

    Elizabeth Warren is a fine example of a modern squaw, but she speak-em with forked tongue. In the old days, she'd be chewing leather to make soft moccasins. Today she's a parasite, sponging off the government for her living.

  7. The Wild Goose (JW's boat) was very cool too. Everyone in the area liked him. There are some people who can't be replaced. He was one of them.

  8. Even we, out here in God's brown earth will admit that 199 degrees is getting to be a might toasty. Running around in that can kill you in less than an hour. That's not worth the price of a few rocks.

    Me? I'm staying close to my air conditioner.

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