Today we’ll discuss Royston Turquoise: Where it comes from, what it looks like, and why it’s one of the most popular turquoise varieties for both jewelers and collectors.
Just forty minutes northwest of Tonopah, Nevada sits the Royston mining district. At first glance, this region may seem desolate and unfruitful. However, these hills hold centuries of rich mining history. The Southwestern lands of modern-day North America have been mined for gemstone and ore for thousands of years. Indigenous inhabitants of present-day Nevada used obsidian, quartz, and jasper, amongst other things, to fashion arrowheads and tools. The first settler claims happened in the Royston mining area in the early 1900s. Currently, many claims within the district are owned by the famous Otteson family. Turquoise production is low, making its value high.
Lush Royston Turquoise is known for its gorgeous greens and blues. Its colors range from light blue to emerald green, with both colors often bleeding into one another, as shown in the photo above. Its matrix can range from golden to dark brown. When I think of Royston Turquoise, I often picture the islands of the Pacific Ocean; The color of the sand and soil, the clear blue water, and the verdant tropical flora. A lot of Royston Turquoise looks similar to the example above.
Not every piece of Royston Turquoise looks alike, though. Specimens can vary wildly. In the photo above, we see an emerald green Royston ring with a warm golden-brown matrix. Greener specimens usually contain more iron or zinc.
Above is another example of the greener variety. These pieces of Royston Turquoise exhibit an olive green color with a substantial golden matrix. This bolo tie with its handsome green turquoise was made by designer Tommy Jackson (I’m noticing a trend). Nevada is famous for producing some of the most attractive green turquoises in the world.
The last example I’ll show is this Royston Turquoise ring by Tommy Jackson. It’s a very unique piece featuring a pale blue color with a dark brown spiderweb-like matrix. Since this piece is blue, we can assume that it contains more copper than iron or zinc.