White Buffalo "Turquoise"

This beautiful white stone is commonly referred to as "White Buffalo Turquoise", however it actually is not a turquoise.  The name was given to the stone by the Otteson's who own many mines in the southwest including the White Buffalo mine.  This "White Turquoise", along with others, is actually one of two substances called Howlite and Magnasite.

Many mines in the United States do have white turquoise materials that will test as actual turquoise, however it is very soft with a hardness of "0" on the Mohs scale.  It is as soft as chalk making it nearly impossible to cut and polish into white turquoise cabochons.  The material can be enhanced or stabilized making it suitable for quality jewelry.  The only problem with enhancing or stabilizing is that stone will lose it's white color and return to it's natural blue or green color. 

Several years back, Dean Otteson, the owner and miner of the Royston Turquoise Mine had been noticing that there was a market for something white in the Southwest Jewelry market. He went to his father Lynn Otteson, who had been scouting and mining Turquoise in the Tonopah area for over 50 years, and asked if he was aware of any White Turquoise in the area. Lynn Otteson knew right where to go. He remembered the White Buffalo Turquoise that he had seen years before. So they unearthed the rare and beautiful treasure. There are critics and competitors who say it isn't turquoise at all. However White Buffalo Turquoise lies in veins like turquoise. Surrounded by in black chert a black rock similar to flint. It cuts and polishes like turquoise.

As soon as they Mined and cut the White Buffalo Turquoise, they took it to the market and it was a hit, people absolutely loved it. As usual, the testing of the material did not come back for months and White Buffalo had become so popular by that time that it's name, White Buffalo Turquoise had become the name of this material and it was set in stone! So today, we must call it White Turquoise or White Buffalo Turquoise in order for consumers to know what we are talking about.

The bottom line is that this beautiful hard white Gemstone has now become the standard for White Turquoise and right or wrong it is called "White Buffalo Turquoise". It was named that by the Otteson's and in respect of their great Turquoise Mining past, we will go along with this name only because it is owned and mined by some of the most famous and historic Turquoise Minors of all times, The Otteson's.

Another "white turquoise", Wild Horse is a stone from Arizona. Wild Horse came out shortly after White Buffalo and was sold by many as White Turquoise. It is not Turquoise but is another white stone that is used in Southwestern Turquoise jewelry. Wild Horse is white in color with brown to reddish brown matrix.

 A beautiful White Buffalo pendant in a classic silver Navajo style setting.   

A beautiful White Buffalo pendant in a classic silver Navajo style setting.

 

  Above is a unique cuff bracelet with three large White Buffalo pieces set inside a cluster of red coral. Made by Navajo artist Calvin Martinez. 

Above is a unique cuff bracelet with three large White Buffalo pieces set inside a cluster of red coral. Made by Navajo artist Calvin Martinez.