Little Blue Bell Mine

 The Little Blue Bell mine is on private property.  It was part of the American Turquoise Mines worked between 1895-1912. This mine has some of the finest blue turquoise found in the Cerrillos Mining District. We gained permission to work it from the property owner. Our plan was to find the bottom of the mine, chase the vein and check the tailing pile to retrieve the color from this old mine.

We raked through the tailings pile to find the rocks that had turquoise on them. We called this technique "chicken pickin".

We brought the rock we collected home to the workshop for processing into cabs. 
To start the cabachon work we saw off the color from the rough rock, shape the cabochons on lapidary equiptment. Finding the bottom of the mine was too deep so we opened up a hole in the tailings 30'x30'x16' deep. We brought the color home in buckets and have gone through it piece by piece. The following photos show some of our beautiful cabochons.
Once we have made the cabochons we set them in silver to make jewelry to sell in our shop, the Casa Grande Trading Post. All of our jewelry is hand made.

Going through tons of tailings was a lot of work but it was a labor of love. This was an honor for us. We had fun working with our family and we have the turquoise now.      
We enjoy going through it piece by piece. We love the turquoise from the Little Blue Bell mine and it compliments our green turquoise from the Little Chalchihuitl mine as well as our White Angel mine, silver jewelry with stones from all three mines can be found at the Casa Grande Trading Post in Cerrillos, New Mexico.