The Lander Blue turquoise mine in Lander County, Nevada is located between Battle Mountain and Tenabo. Found in 1973 it produced some of the most beautiful spider-webbed turquoise ever discovered. Today it is considered the most valuable turquoise known. Not surprisingly as early as 1975 it had been stated that Lander Blue “has become some of the most valued turquoise today.”
Like a number of the other high-grade strikes, Lander Blue was a very rich pocket discovery, and has been referred to as a “hat mine,” a term used to described small floats of turquoise because they could be “covered with a hat.” There were no extensive zones or long veins. These pockets are not uncommon in nature and once mined out they are gone forever. Lander Blue is almost entirely spider-webbed turquoise with colors from medium to deep blue and a black contrasting matrix. Although some other grades were found only approximately 100 pounds of the beautiful spider-web turquoise was mined.
Like all classic turquoise this one comes with a classic story. RitaHapgood, a one time blackjack dealer in Battle Mountain, while walking with her two sisters found little nuggets on the ground along Indian Creek in the Crescent Valley area of Nevada. After discovering this deposit of high-grade turquoise she went on to claim the site as the Mary Louise Lode Mining Claim, the name Mary Louise belonging to her mother. The mine bordered the Lander Ranch. Later the claim was sold to Marvin Syme and Henry 'Hank' Dorian for the sum of $10,000.00. They brought in Bob Johnson, who provided equipment and began working the claim. The three then named the company the Lander Blue Turquoise Corporation.
Marvin Syme ended up owning a number of turquoise mines in Nevada and later retired to Idaho. Hank Dorian operated the Nevada Club in Battle Mountain for a number of years until his passing and Bob and Dixie Johnson continued to sell Lander Blue turquoise until it ran out.The Lander Blue mine later became part of Dowell Ward’s large string of mines (now belonging to Mrs. Ward).
Today, because of its rarity and value, there seems to be more Lander Blue for sale than was ever mined. With very little provenance available when buying beautiful Lander Blue, this material has truly become a case of ”Buyer Beware.”
Copy & Images © Copyright 2004 Nevada Gem. Used with Permission.