There have been several great books written about American Turquoise, most of them photographic and with basic background on the different mines. But, unless you really are an avid fan of the “Sky Stone,” they don’t do a lot to hold your interest. Now that has changed.
A few years ago at the Santa Fe Indian Market I met Mike Ryan. Mike said he had heard that I had some Bisbee turquoise that might be for sale. I did, we had a great visit, he got hooked on Navajo weaving and, in an offhand way, he mentioned that he was writing a book on early Turquoise mines in the west.
As it turned out, the retired financial advisor had teamed up with Philip Chambless, a turquoise prospector since the 1970’s, and they have written. “The Great American Turquoise Rush 1890-1910”. This is a unique period in the history of turquoise in the country as the source of Persian turquoise, favored by Tiffany’s and others, was drying up.
When the book came out, Jesse Robbins, one of our favorite silversmiths and part owner of a Nevada turquoise mine, sent me a copy. It is a great read and really tells the story of how a hearty group of people set about finding and mining Turquoise in the American West.
You can follow the unfolding story on their Facebook page.