Damale turquoise has an interesting history. This American turquoise is also spelled Damaile or Damele. The name comes from the Damele family who owned the mine.
The Damele family raise unique horses at the Dry Creek Ranch outside of Austin, Nevada. In 1973 Benny Damele discovered the Damele mine in this area. It is on the flats before the foothills of a scenic mountain range.
This area of east central Nevada has several other well known mines besides the Damale. These include the Carico Lake, Dry Creek and Godmer mines. The Damale mine began to be mined when Clyde Wright bought it. He mined it for 18 years before selling to Tony Cotner, under whom the Damale really began to be recognized.
The small Damale mine is noted for the Variscite and Faustite that it produces. These resemble turquoise, but are slightly different compounds. For instance Variscite has a more translucent and glassy appearance than the Damale turquoise, and is also harder than the turquoise. What little material the mine produces today is mainly the beautiful deep green to lime green Variscite.
Much Damale turquoise is hard, and it polishes to a high shine. It comes in many colors like yellows,gold, green and grays. Ther are elegant black and brown spiderweb matrices. Sometimes there are Birdseye webs, and smoky black and graey comes in the green colors at times. Zinc is what turns the turquoise yellow green, and makes it harder.
Most of the Damale turquoise and other gems are known for their spiderweb matrices. Damale Spiderweb turquoise that is sold today usually came from older rough. It could be found from collectors, different turquoise dealers, and Tony Cother. The rare yellow green color as well as the scarce supply from the small mine, lead to collectors wanting to snap up Damale turquoise.
Yes, Damale turquoise has had an interesting history. This unique gem is as fascinating as its name. All of this contribute to its being a very collectable turquoise!