Previous Page  7 / 8 Next Page
Show Menu
Previous Page 7 / 8 Next Page
Page Background

Volume 6, Issue 2

Page 7


- Usually found as thin seams of turquoise sur-

rounded by a host rock. There are many different colors

and qualities of host rock and, if the rock itself is quite

solid and attractive, some cutters will use this to ad-

vantage. A good example of this comes with vein-type

material that has good hard host rock on both sides.

Based on the orientation, how the rock is cut up will

present very different results. A cutter may follow the

turquoise vein through the rock and use the broad sur-

face of color for the cabochon face, or turn the rock in

the other direction to cut it perpendicular to the vein,

presenting the character of the host rock with a strip of

turquoise color through it. This latter technique can

make stones referred to as "boulder," “ribbon,” or

"vein" turquoise cabochons. One misconception in rela-

tion to the term "boulder" turquoise is that it is some-

times thought to be a type of turquoise when, in fact,

the term is pertaining to a way of cutting the rough ma-

terial. There are a great many turquoise mines that pro-

duce, and/or have produced, vein-type material. Most

of them can be cut in a variety of ways each presenting

very different types of cabochons.

With each type of turquoise formation, there are different approaches for using it to maximum effect, for example, drilling

smaller nuggets for beads or backing "cornflake" nuggets so they can be cut into nugget –type cabochons. There are always con-

siderations to be made based on the type of material to be cut. There are some mines that have produced some very high grade

turquoise over the years, but they never really came into the limelight, or have been nearly forgotten, because they can be ex-

tremely difficult to cut into conventional cabochons. One such mine is Stenich Turquoise from north central Nevada. (




The World of Turquoise, (continued from page 6)