Dry Creek Turquoise (all rights reserved Lantern Dancer Gallery LLC)
Dry Creek Turquoise is one-of-a-kind. Its pale bluish-white color puts it in a turquoise category all its own. A quote from Horsekeeping LLC internet site probably best describes Dry Creek turquoise as “white or very pale blue (in) color with brown flecks in it almost like confetti.” It is also “naturally hard and takes on a nice polish.” (from Pueblo Direct internet site) When it was discovered near Battle Moutain, Nevada, in 1993, by a Shoshone Indian on the Fort Hall Indian Reservation, the Dry Creek Turquoise stone was questionable whether or not it was turquoise. “To date, no other vein of this turquoise has been discovered,” says All Nations Trading internet site jewelry experts – and others.
Dry Creek Turquoise has another name – Sacred Buffalo – sometimes ascribed to it. Although many turquoise jewelry experts hesitate using this name for it because there is another stone – howlite -“a white with black matrix stone” whose appearance mirrors that of the Dry Creek turquoise. It is really a “faux,” or pseudo turquoise – not turquoise at all - that comes from Mexico. Its Sacred Buffalo designation isn't by accident, though, since it also signifies the rarity of the white buffalo. (per Horsekeeping LLC.) Interestingly enough, writers in the Encyclopedia of the Great Plains say that some of the early Shoshones were voracious consumers of buffalo, or bison. The Shoshones, called by many names over the years, depending upon their geographic location and “primary food resource,” –
“sheep-eaters,” “mountain people,” “grass house people,” and “snake people” - are not known for jewelry-making. Therefore, they trade and sell their unique Dry Creek Turquoise finds mainly to the Navajos, who turn them into beautiful jewelry pieces. (This information also from the Encyclopedia)
Dry Creek, many experts tell Christine at her shop has had it's hay-day. To say it is hard to find may be an understatement. At least what it once was with the color and density. However many collectors remember and compare it's popularity and intoxicating color to what we are now seeing from the Sonoran Turquoise mines and Golden Hills. One ole' timer said of Golden Hills when in Lantern Dancer Gallery, "It's the good stuff coming out of the ground now. So you might want to buy as much as you can afford. No one knows how long the vein will last. It's like Dry Creek was in the 80's."
written by: Susie Jones 'journalist' and Christine Jones 'Lantern owner'