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Godber Dry Creek Turquoise

Photos

First row: #1 Harry H. Begay bracelet sold by Chacodog; #2 Derrick Gordon earrings sold by Chacodog; #3 Derrick Gordon sold by Chacodog; #4 Benjamin Piaso pendant sold by Chacodog; #5 Darrel Cadman pendant sold by Chacodog

Second row: #1 Harry H. Begay ring sold by Chacodog; #2 Harry H. Begay ring sold by Chacodog; Derrick Gordon earrings sold by Chacodog

Godber Dry Creek Turquoise

The original mine was discovered in 1932 by Bob Burton and Joe Potts who first filed claim to it under the name "Last Chance" and later increased the mined area by adding the "Blue Stone" and "Homesite" claims. Burton and Potts then sold the claims to Frank Burnham, who reputedly took more than $100,000 of turquoise out of the ground (a lot of money at the height of the Depression). Burnham re-sold the mine to Walter Godber of Los Angeles in 1934, hence the oft-cited name of this mine as the Godber Burnham Mine. In his 1968 report for the Nevada Bureau of Mines, Frank R. Morrissey of the Mackay School of Mines at the University of Nevada wrote of this stone: "The seams and nuggets of turquoise range from medium to dark blue, mostly of high-quality, spiderweb variety." There is more detail in this report, but there is a clarification we're seeking to make here between this Godber Dry Creek turquoise and the Dry Creek turquoise commonly found on the market today. The pieces pictured above all contain stones mined well before 1968 when Morrissey published his report. And Morrissey speaks of medium to dark blue spiderweb stone such as the stone in this piece. The source of this stone is an old-timer who is now making limited annual sales of his historic stash. What is mined at the Dry Creek Mine today is wholly different in its aspect from this older Dry Creek turquoise. Dry Creek is now mined in "open-pit" fashion using a dozer to do relatively shallow strip mining. This older rock was mined in a shaft which dug down to the shale and a volcanic dike which intrudes into the shale. The old Dry Creek stone is often vivid blue and has a webbing and aspect to it which is wholly different from stone mined near this source  today. Here are a couple of references if you feel like learning more:
Nevada Bureau of Mines Report see page 21
Woods Turquoise website of the current mine owners

 

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