This photo contains 156 cabochons from the King’s Manassa Turquoise Mine, or the King’s Turquoise Mine located near Manassa, Colorado.
Prior to 1890, when the King family rediscovered mine, it was known as the Lick Skillet Mine (love that name). The Manassa turquoise mine produces an incredibly wide range of colors, from deep emerald greens to brilliant sky-blue.This photo shows the turquoises as it is mined, and before the lapidary begins cutting and polishing.
This lot was purchased from lapidary Greg Cordova. He is a 2nd generation lapidary with over 15 years of cutting experience, and is one of the owners of King's Manassa Turquoise Mine. He also owns two claims of the White Buffalo Mine in Nevada.
Greg is also the lapidary who cut this beautiful Wild Horse stone (3rd photo) I purchased recently. I’ll be using it to design a piece for a donation to an equine sanctuary for a fundraiser they’re having later in the year.
Turquoise is a semi-soft stone so the lapidary will back the stone prior to grinding to minimize breakage. After the backing has cured, the stones are placed on dopping sticks to prepare for grinding, shaping and polishing. After setting the backing continues to protect the stone for the wearer by absorbing shock.
John Hartman from Durango Silver has a pretty detailed video on the entire cutting, backing, polishing procedure if you’d like to know more.
I'm very excited as this is the first time I've ever purchased more than a few stones at a time. I've got my work cut out for me!