Photo of Emily Otteson with Lynn Otteson and Tony Otteson

The Otteson Family: Three Generations of Turquoise Prospectors

The Otteson family history is filled with stories about prospecting, mining and capturing the beauty of turquoise.
What is the History of Turquoise?
People have prized the sky-blue hues of turquoise for thousands of years. The Egyptians used it in jewelry, inlays and scarabs in 3000 B.C., adorning King Tut's burial mask with this alluring stone. The ancient Persians embellished their palace domes with turquoise, and in North America, the Apache
believed attaching it to the hunter's bow improved accuracy.
People believe turquoise has a calming and grounding energy, connecting heaven and earth. It is also considered a symbol of wisdom and hope.
What is Turquoise?
Turquoise, an opaque mineral, is a hydrated phosphate compound of aluminum and copper. Most people think of its blue-green hue, but there are more than 30 types of turquoise, Its color can vary from white to powdery blue to greenish-yellow. With ties to ancient history worldwide, you may wonder, "Where is it located?"
Turquoise is found in its natural state in dry climates around the globe in countries such as:
▪ United States
▪ Mexico
▪ China
▪ Iran
▪ Chile
▪ Tibet
Why is Turquoise Valuable and Genuine?
The scarcity of turquoise has increased its value. As natural supplies are depleted, mines around the world have suspended operations. However, in the southwestern United States, you can find operating mines, including Otteson's mines. They still produce the high-quality stones used in jewelry.
The deep blue color with dark black or red spiderwebbing is the most prized form of turquoise. It represents the stone in its purest state with only traces of copper and aluminum.
Otteson Family History
Veins of turquoise run deeply through the Otteson family history, Lynn Otteson, the patriarch, began mining as a teenager- One of the Otteson's first mines in Nevada was a Royston Claim he leased from Lee F. Hand in 1944. Lynn had a wife and baby in Colorado but was determined to care for his family
while keeping his dream alive. He traveled between Colorado and Nevada to mine turquoise part-time.
Finally, in 1960, he moved with his family to Tonopah, Nevada, and the Otteson family put down roots there to continue mining.
Lynn's original dream became a reality and grew into a family tradition - today, the second and third generations of Ottesons mine and process high-quality natural turquoise, fulfilling Lynn's vision.
Emily Otteson, Lynn Otteson & Tony Otteson
Meet the Crew:
Tony Otteson: 3rd generation turquoise miner and son of Tommy Otteson
Tony with his daughter taking a lunch break at the mine.
Emily Otteson: married into the family in 2009 and has learned the ropes of turquoise mining.
Together Tony and & Emily are raising the next generation of miners: 
Circa 2014
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