Published on August 22, 2013 by Amy
The Lone Mountain turquoise mine is located near Tonapah, in Esmeralda County, Nevada. Since it is known for producing a high percentage of gem-grade turquoise, it is often referred to as a “sweet heart” mine. Originally established in 1920 by Lee Hand, the claim was initially called the Blue Jay Mining Lode. Later, after noting that so many other mines had been named Blue Jay, Hand changed its name to Lone Mountain.
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In 1927, at a depth of about 40 feet, Bert Kopenhaver, who had leased the mine from Hand, found the beautiful spiderweb turquoise that made Lone Mountain one of the top mines in the Southwest. Although it has change hands several times over the years, the mine still produces a small amount of quality material. The Lone Mountain claim is currently owned by Gene Wadell and operated by Chris Lott.
Also known for exquisite, deep blue stones, the mine has historically produced some of the highest quality spiderweb turquoise in the world. “Fossil turquoise” has also been found in the mine. This was formed when ancient plants and sea shells dissolved, leaving only cavities that were later filled with turquoise deposits. Additionally, turquoise nuggets in moss agate have been found. Because of its extraordinary hard nature, Lone Mountain turquoise has the ability to retain its rich color and is therefore a valuable addition to any jewelry collection.