When Sacred Buffalo turquoise was first discovered in the Dry Creek Mine on the Shoshone Indian Reservation near Battle Mountain, Nevada in 1993, the miners weren't actually sure what it was. This "turquoise" was harder than they expected. After it was assayed, though, their suspicions were confirmed: it was, in fact, turquoise. It was not until 1996, however, that the now-famous Sacred Buffalo / Dry Creek turquoise was finally made into jewelry.
Sacred Buffalo turquoise is one of the few turquoises crafted completely in its natural state. It is not treated or color enhanced.
Turquoise gets its color from the heavy metals in the ground where it forms. Blue turquoise forms when there is copper present, which is the case with most Arizona turquoises. Green turquoise forms where iron is present, the case with most Nevada turquoises. Sacred Buffalo turquoise forms where there are few heavy metals present, which turns out to be a very rare occurence. The lack of any specific color consistency makes this stone distinctive and unique from other turquoises. To date, no other vein of this turquoise has been discovered anywhere else and when this current vein runs out, that will be the last of it. Because this tuquoise is as rare as the sacred buffalo, the Indians call it "Sacred Buffalo" Turquoise.
The Shoshone Indians are not known for jewelry work and, as a consequence, the Shoshones sell or trade the Sacred Buffalo turquoise to the Navajos in Arizona and New Mexico, who then work it into jewelry.
So many geologic chains of events must synchronize to create just one thin vein of turquoise that the mineral can rightly be envisioned as a fluke of nature. Turquoise is the rare and improbable product of an incalculable numberof chemical and physical processes that must take place in the right combination and proper environment over a time span of hundreds of thousands if not millions of years.
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