This substantial sterling silver cuff bracelet is 1-1/4" wide with a turquoise stone that is 18 x 21 mm. The turquoise is from the Pilot mine and has a light blue color in one corner gradiating to a deep green in the opposite corner. The matrix is primarily cloudlike white with some reddish brown.
The mark on the inside of the bracelet is sterling and then an artist's mark that says Gordon with some other decoration that look like a star, a snake, and the letter D.
Pilot Mountain Turquoise
The Pilot Mountain mine is located in western Nevada, east of the small town of Mina. As with most turquoise mines, this mine opened as a copper claim. Pilot Mountain turquoise was first mined around 1930 as a tunnel mine. Then it became an open pit mine when heavy equipment was available around 1970. The current owners of the claim have been mining the turquoise since 1989. While Pilot Mountain is considered an active mine, it is a very small operation. The miners go to the mine twice per year, bringing out only about 150 to 200 lbs. of rough stone each time. One of the current owners says one of the interesting parts of mining is “not knowing what you are going to hit next.”
Pilot Mountain turquoise forms in thin seams, with some nugget formations. According to the current owner, the turquoise that has formed in thin seams is high grade with better, deeper blue-green colors. Most Pilot Mountain turquoise is called “grass roots,” meaning the best deposits are found within ten feet of the surface.Pilot Mountain turquoise is highly admired for its deep blue-green color variations. This stone also has very interesting matrix patterns, which range from red to brown to black, most notably a rich tobacco brown. Some of the matrix in high grade Pilot Mountain is beautiful spider web.
Pilot Mountain turquoise is a hard stone that takes a good polish. Because of this hardness, this stone does not change colors with prolonged exposure to skin oils, etc. All of these characteristics make Pilot Mountain turquoise very collectible.