Sacred Buffalo White Turquoise, what is it?

Sacred Buffalo
White Turquoise, what is it?

by Beverley Burklow

NOTE: This is where Corbin Harney (Western Shone Spiritual Leader) who passed over July 2007, called home. His Spirit Totem was the Buffalo.-Gregor

form white turquoise pendant, bracelet and
ring set

Sterling silver sacred buffalo white turquoise shadow box bracelet, pendant, and ring set

turquoise varies from a creamy white to a
pale robin’s egg blue or pale with a greenish

is white turquoise?

turquoise compared to regular turquoise.

is white turquoise?

is a very debated question. Many claim to have
the white turquoise, but, unfortunately, not all are
being truthful.  There are also many that
misunderstand what this stone really is and looks like
and where it can be found. Many people
confuse white buffalo turquoise, which isn’t really turquoise at all, with the “sacred buffalo
also known as Dry Creek Turquoise and white turquoise. However,
they are not one and the same. I am going to attempt to try and
explain about the white turquoiseDry Creek Mine - white turquoise
so that, hopefully, you can be a more informed shopper. You can find
many conflicting stories about white turquoise and this
is my attempt to share with you what I do know about
this mysterious stone.

in 1993 stones were found in a turquoise mine that did
not resemble the deep color of turquoise that we have
grown to know and love.  It was pale and even
white like porcelain. In fact, the owner of the
mine referred to it as porcelain and tried to market it
by that name years ago.  Here is a very well know
article about the discovery of white turquoise as
reprinted in it entirety here from an article from the official publication of
Valley Mineral and Gem quoting an article from Club Rockhound Gazette 12/00 via Glacial, Drifter, Via ACHATES
Jan-Feb 02:

When discovered in the Dry Creek Mine
(Note: not it’s name today)
in the Shoshone Indian Reservation near Battle Mountain, Nevada in
1993, they (the discoverers) were not sure what it was. Because of its
hardness, it was decided to have it assayed. Their suspicious proved
correct. It was, in fact, white turquoise. It was not until 1996,
however, that it was finally made into jewelry. The Shoshone Indians
are not known for jewelry work and, as a consequence, the Shoshone sell
or trade the white turquoise to the Navaho in Arizona who work it into
jewelry. Because white turquoise is as rare as the white buffalo, the
Indians call it “White buffalo” turquoise. Turquoise gets its color
from the heavy metals in the ground where it forms. Blue turquoise
forms where there is copper present (most Arizona turquoise). Green
turquoise forms where iron is present (most Nevada turquoise). White
turquoise, where there are no heavy metals present, turns out to be
rare. To date no other vein of white turquoise has been discovered
anywhere else. When this current vein runs out that will be the last of
it. From Rockhound Gazette 12/00 via Glacial Drifter, and others, Via ACHATES Jan-Feb 02

at one time this mine talked about in this article was
referred to as the “Dry Creek Mine,” but that
is not its name today. There is another mine in
Nevada that is today called the Dry Creek Mine also
known as the Godber or Burnham mine currently owned by the Woods family
located near Austin, Nevada. They are not one and
the same and are many times confused as such.

Many debate if there really is a white turquoise and not
being a gemologist myself I cannot say for a fact that
there is, but I do trust the man, now deceased, that owned the actual mine
where we get our “sacred buffalo” white
turquoise stones that all this debate is over and the
silversmiths that have an exclusive to this white

The owner of the mine says it is real turquoise and it is the only mine that has it.  He owned the
mine that is referred to in the above article. I
have spoken with him personally and I believe every
word he told me to be the truth.  He told me that he had what was
discovered and assayed to be white turquoise and that there isn’t much of it
around now.  Up until his recent death, he operated the mine himself.
He told me that, “years ago he couldn’t even give it away
because no one wanted it because of it’s lack of

Stan only mined this mine occasionally, and all he
did mine went
to one man only, one of our silversmiths. Recently,
they purchased the last sacred buffalo turquoise
that was mined prior to Stan’s death, so the
availability of this stone is getting even rarer
still.  It is my understanding that his widow
and sons, are not interested in trying to mine what
little bit of this stone that was left since his

While Stan was living he
gave our
silversmith the first option to purchase all
stones mined.  It seems to me that
until recently neither Stan, the mine owner or the
silversmiths with the exclusive rights to these
stones realized how
much in demand this stone is.  That is just my
observation.  Our silversmiths do refer to it as
Dry Creek Turquoise and the “Sacred
Buffalo” Turquoise. It is genuine white turquoise
and the owner of the mine confirmed this to me.
All I can promise you is that we sell the stones that
come from this mine and is known as “white
turquoise” or the “sacred buffalo”
turquoise and is reported to be genuine white
turquoise.  We are one of the fortunate few that
do have this available.  If you would like to
own a piece of this stone that there is so much debate
about, we can offer you that.

After talking with the owner of the mine, I believed him to
be telling me the truth.  He had no reason to lie.
He isn’t trying to market his stones to the public or
he wouldn’t have made a deal to exclusively sell to one
man years ago and still honor that promise.  Stan,
the owner of this white turquoise mine, seemed to me
to be an honest and hardworking man.  He was
mining this vein himself, because he enjoyed it so
much and did so until his recent death.  I
believe he was around 78 when he died recently.
Our silversmiths are honest and hard working, their
goal being to provide quality, beautiful sterling
silver jewelry with beautiful and quality gemstones.
Sacred Buffalo white turquoise is just one of the
gemstones that they work with. They have no desire
to try and deceive anyone.

Because of the exclusive purchase agreement between my
silversmiths and the mine owner, and the sudden
popularity of this rare stone, there
have arisen some terrible marketing deceptions to fool
the uneducated public seeking to own this rare
stone.  They are trying to sell you something that they know is not what
they represent it to be. Actually, there has been so
much of the fake stuff marketed now that many people
and retailers don’t even know what the real sacred
buffalo turquoise as referred to in the article
looks like anymore.   I myself have run into
them.  Because of all this dishonesty, I am
almost afraid to even claim that I have the stones
referred to as white turquoise in that geological
report. However, out of fairness to you I have
tried to tell the story of this stone and let you
decide. These are just my personal opinions and
thoughts based on what I have learned in my quest to
make sure I was offering you the real deal.  To
learn more about this stone see the article below.

of page

about white turquoise

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 number of 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.

I have heard of howlite, quartz and calcite
and many others
referred to as the “white buffalo.”
These are not a turquoise, but many get this confused
or are misled into believe that stones like howlite are white
turquoise.  Howlite is very white with a black
matrix and can easily be misrepresented as white
turquoise. To learn more about howlite, please
refer to the link “howlite and sometimes quartz
and calcite
” above. There is one Nevada
mine selling calcite and quartz with trace amounts
of turquoise as the sacred buffalo white turquoise,
but it not.  They even have adapted the story
about the sacred buffalo turquoise and how it came
about.  I am amazed at how confused this has
all gotten.

The mine that was discovered in 1993 is not the Dry Creek
Mine of today located near Austin, Nevada.  I
cannot emphasis this enough.  I cannot reveal the
name of the mine today or it’s true location because of
a promise I made to the owner, who is now deceased but
I extend my promise to his surviving widow and sons.  It is located near
Battle Mountain in Nevada, is privately owned and up
until his recent death was still
operational.  At this time the family has no
desire to mine the vein any further and my
silversmiths have purchased all that was mined at
the time of the owner’s death.  They desire to maintain their
privacy and rightfully so.  The owner had told me,
that the vein was almost depleted and true white
pieces of turquoise are still being found, but are few
and far between.  He said that
“the stones from this mine are truly rare.”
He explained that he had an exclusive agreement to only sell to one
person and thankfully enough is
fortunate enough to be able to have an association with
these silversmiths.  I have personally talked with
the owner of this mine and the silversmiths and have done my best to relate
that information to you without revealing the identity
of those that wish to remain anonymous.

of page

Sacred Buffalo Turquoise

ranges from pure white to a pale blue, mostly a
pale robin’s egg blue.  The matrix can run from a
very dark brown to a rusty color to a golden brown.
Some pieces have a lot of matrix and others have little
matrix.  Oddly enough, though white turquoise is
super popular now, some years back they tried to find a
market for this white turquoise, which they referred to
as porcelain due to it’s white appearance, but at that
time few wanted.  It couldn’t be dyed so they
didn’t do too much with it.  Before his death
recently, the mine owner said the he didn’t find too
many of the coveted truly white pieces now a days, but
there was a time he just “threw it down.” Now
people are begging for this rare stone.  It has
been through the efforts of our silversmiths offering
the “Sacred Buffalo white turquoise” to
the public that white turquoise has become so popular.

White turquoises has become so popular and in such high
demand that people contact us from all over the world
looking for this wonderful stone.  Unfortunately,
because of it’s new found popularity; people that do
not have access to it are marketing many other stones,
such as howlite, and trying to convince unknowing
buyers that it is white turquoise.  This is the
whole reason I have written this article.  I too
was confused, but I set out five years ago to learn
the truth and am trying my best to bring it to the
public and still honor peoples right to privacy and
honor my promises to them.

This mine that was found in 1993 and is referred to as the
“Dry Creek Mine” in the article above is not
an underground mine as many might think.  It is
actually mined from the surface. It is located in
Nevada near Battle Mountain, but don’t try to locate
it.  It is privately held and not someplace you
can drive to.  It is private property and not set
up for tourisms.  The gentleman that owned it sold
his white turquoise to one man, exclusively, by
a verbal agreement.  This gentleman is one of the
silversmiths that we get most of our pieces from.

Many people trying to locate the mine think they will find
a quaint old time mine with lots of little jewelry
stores selling white turquoise.  According to the
Director of the Battle Mountain Chamber of Commerce
many people contact her because they can’t locate the
Dry Creek Mine.

of page

“I hate to see people make long trips to see something
that is not accessible.  White turquoise has
become the rage and many people have driven hundreds of
miles just to visit the Dry Creek Mine only to be
greatly disappointed when they can’t”, says the
Director of the Chamber of Commerce of Battle Mountain,

If you wish to find out more about the Battle Mountain
Chamber of Commerce go here:

Battle Mountain Chamber of Commerce

I have had contact with those that have located the Dry
Creek Mine that was formerly the Godber or Burnham
mine, and confirmed that though they mine some great
pieces of natural turquoise, they do not have what is
known as the white turquoise, and the owner doesn’t
claim to be mining white turquoise either.  I want
to make that clear.  It is the referring to the
mine as the Dry Creek Mine in the article above by the
Geological Society that causes this confusion.  I
have been told that many mines were referred to as the
Dry Creek Mine.  That is apparently the name of
the area the mine is in.

It is our desire to bring you the authentic white turquoise
otherwise known as the “sacred buffalo” as
referred to in the above article and help you to be a
more informed buyer.  I have not seen an assayed
report, nor am I a geologist, chemist, or
gemologist, so I cannot tell without a shadow of a
doubt that it is “white turquoise” especially since
those in the geological society can’t even agree,
but what I can tell you is that this “white
turquoise” that has been written about in several
articles including the one in the Rockhound Gazette
and on many web sites and that started this entire
debate on white turquoise is what we have to offer
here on our web site.

I will be more than happy to
try and answer your questions.  I am not a
gemologist, but an informed person just trying to let
you know the truth.

Even those with turquoise mines have trouble telling it
apart.  It is only through having it examined by
the experts that you can truly know for sure or
purchasing from people you trust to be truthful with

I know that this all sounds so mysterious and I would love
to be able to tell you everyone’s names and locations,
but I made a promise and I am committed to that
promise.  Honestly, keeping my word means more to
me, than being able to prove myself right.

Many well-known and honest gemologists don’t
believe it really exists, but then again, many in the
geological community say it does and say it was assayed
and verified to be white turquoise.  So if you
believe that the geological community and that report
published by them above is true then white turquoise
does exist and from everything that I can confirm about
it, we carry that white turquoise.  You weight the
information, do your homework and you decide.  I
wish you good luck.  Please feel free to contact
me if you would like to know more about this stone.

Categories Shundahai Network BlogTags , , , ,

21 thoughts on “Sacred Buffalo White Turquoise, what is it?

  1. I will admit to being completely spoiled by this stone in Nevada like the Dry Creek Mine. 7 hours later, we arrived in Nevada. The owner left after there cause she wasn’t feeling well.


  3. The only White Turquoise that I have been able to find comes from China,
    gregor blog editor

    1. I have what I believe to be a White Turquoise large cabochon ring. It is creamy white with navy denim looking veining! Not certain as to where the stone was originally acquired.


  4. It is very common to have stones misrepresented. It is an unfortunate practice.

    If you don’t need the stone to be real, it is easy to find dyed howlite or even dyed turquoise made to look white.

    If you need the stone to be real, it is much more difficult. Try to buy from somewhere that has a guarantee – and a good return policy. After buying, get it tested. If it is fake or dyed, return it.
    Rinse and repeat as many times as needed.

    I don’t know the true story so I can not tell you whether this story is true or not. But I do know you can get stones tested and that will help you find the stone you want.

  5. While looking at the jewelery selection in a store in Sacramento, the sales person asked me if I wished to look at white turquoise, as I was not finding the appropriate gift. I bought a pair of earings for my wife, not knowing what I really bought. These rather large stones are oval and about an inch long. They are basically white with some black/brown lines. No matter what they are………they are nice, but I wish I knew how to identify white turquoise for future purchases???

  6. I’m going to support you all the way on your white turquois story.
    Because – I have some – set in the traditional way.
    I have been a stone cutter, and worked in jewelry for degades; not only do I have my own experience and passionate interest in stones; I am also fortunate to be gifted with 3 friends – who are world famous in their arts – as my teachers.
    After years – decades of examining stones – you get to know the ‘right feel’
    if there is no other way to put it – for the ‘authentic’ – dyed, heat treated etc stones just don’t feel right.
    Also – since turquois and jades have always facinated me – they are soft materials that ‘adopt’ what is near them for their colors – even their transparency, hardness and so on.
    White turquois, certain shades of jade and even amber can be mistaken for each other – even in their natural state – touch them – that will tell you the difference.

  7. I would like to know how can i find a place to buy a piece of the white turquoise in an individual stone or just several different size stones for personal collection of turquoise Thank you John Pascarella

    1. For White Buffalo Turquoise, visit We have been in the turquoise mining business for decades.

  8. I am a journalism student at the University of Montana and I am considering doing a story on white buffalo turquoise. I have been having trouble finding facts about this mine. Your blog is the first site I have found that is trying to sort out if this mine is legit or not. Most of the sites are jewelers, and half of them claim the mine is shut down, the other half claim it is still operational. Most of the sites site the Rockhound gazette article you display above.
    Could you clear some things up? What is the relation of the mine to the Shoshones? I thought the mine was privately owned and operated. Another claim is that the Shoshones sell the turquoise to the Navahos, who make it into jewelery. And, indeed, many of the jewelry stores on the web who claim to sell it are in Arizona. But why do the Navahos have a monopoly if the mine isn’t actually owned by Native Americans.
    You wouldn’t believe the myth surrounding the stone. I bought a pendant from my jeweler in Southern Idaho, and she claimed that the stone was sacred to the Indians and that they have been hoarding it for religious purposes. She had never seen it before and bought a lot of it at a rock show in Arizona. I trust my jeweler, and while I believe she was misinformed, I don’t believe she was deceiving me. But my conversation with her demonstrates that even knowledgeable people have no idea what to make of these stones.
    I have a lot more questions for you, but maybe it would be better to address them in an e-mail. I hope you don’t mind talking to me but I’m trying to figure out what kind of story this could be. Thank you, and I hope you get back to me soon via e-mail.

    1. The mountain in question is owned by the Newe (Western Shoshone) people by the virtue of the TREATY OF RUBY VALLEY 1863. This was a treat of friendship and peace. The Newe were never a defeated in battle, this was only a treaty to allow movement through Newe property. The purpose of this was to deliver gold to finance the Civil war for the North. The government claimed that the treaty was nullified by assimilation. The mine is on a sacred Mountain That wishes to place a open pit mine on it. The same as putting an open pit mine in the Vatican. The mine is foreign owned . There is no turquoise mined only leeched gold.
      Barrick Gold Corporation is the world’s largest gold company and operates mainly on Indigenous lands for the extraction of gold. This company has refused to accept its social responsibility to protect Indigenous peoples’ land, sacred areas, water, and air pollution. Barrick has carried out many violations of Human Rights, and abusively opposed the struggle of Indigeous lands and people. Barrick is now beginning construction of an open pit cyanide mine directly on Mt. Tenabo a Western Shoshone spiritual and cultural area. Shoshone opposition to this mine has been ongoing and has gained global attention.


    1. You’re absolutely correct, Billy. I’ve been a graduate gemologist for 36 years & that’s the bottom line. Turquoise is primarily a copper mineral. Copper gives it its color. No blue = no copper = it’s NOT turquoise. Any assay of white turquoise will not find copper & it therefore cannot be called turquoise. End of story. And sorry, a geologist cannot argue that simple scientific fact.

    2. So Billy, what roads would those be? and did they crush the rocks up?

  10. ,*; I am very thankful to this topic because it really gives useful information .:-

  11. Fascinating article and comments, thanks folks I am referencing this page as an info source on “the gemstone list” gemstone website.
    One test worth mentioning – under UV light, howlite glows bright blue, whereas blue turquoise does not. I’m not sure if this test has been done on any white turquoise material but it might be worth investigating.

  12. Excellent beat ! I wish to apprentice while you
    amend your website, how can i subscribe for a blog site?
    The account helped me a acceptable deal.
    I had been a little bit acquainted of this your broadcast provided bright clear concept

  13. I have a matching set of a very large pendant (stone measures 1.75″ by 1.5″, triangular in shape, and the pendant measures 2.5″ by 1.75″) earrings, bracelet, and ring that I purchased several years ago at an estate sale. The stones are polished, white with black and brown matrix. The metal is not marked sterling or 925, but I do think it is sterling. All pieces are marked on the back with what looks like JH or JB stamped into the metal. Would it be possible for me to send you pictures to get your opinion as to whether it is white buffalo turquoise rather than howlite? I have seen cheaper white stones that are rough and almost imitation in appearance. Theses stones seem to be a much better quality than any other white stones that I have seen. I’m not interested in selling my set, I’d just like to know more about it if possible for my own interests. The people at the estate sale couldn’t tell me anything about it. I appreciate any info or help you can give me. Thanks!!

  14. Hi there, the image at the top of this blog submit is launching a little unusual for me personally? I used sending an e-mail but it really bounced back again.

  15. Hello There,

    Thanks for useful information.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close