The Little Chalchihuitl

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Photos of our Cerrillos Turquoise mine - The best mine in New Mexico! 

 

 The Little Chalchihuitl - The Best Turquoise Mine in New Mexico!

The photos on this web page show you the workings of our Cerrillos Turquoise mine. A mine shifts and moves around as you work to remove the color. We work the vein up or down and often chase the vein deeper into the earth. Side or stringer veins will also take us in different directions.  When working with loose material you have to  be  willing to adapt to the  pattern of the natural  earth - many plans of ours have shifted as we follow the  route of  the  turquoise vein.

Our Cerrillos turquoise mine work is all cut and relieve work to gather the precious stone. Myself, friends and family have spent many hours under the warm New Mexican sun to gather Cerrillos Turquoise the past few years. When we collect a few pounds of rough stone, we then cut and shape the turquoise at the Casa Grande Trading Post in Cerrillos. Most of the action happens in our small lapidary shop located on the property. Many hours are needed to cut the stones into shape. Many more hours are needed to set the stones in silver for the jewelry we make by hand and sell in our shop. 

We love to do this work and hope you will enjoy the insider view also. 

Please call or e-mail us if you are interested in any of our products - Todd  Brown.

  

Above: Expanding the mine to go after the turquoise - Notice the rock stacked to the sides. 

Most was moved using shovels, buckets and many hours of hard labor.

 

 Above: Greetings from the mine....early workings of the Little Chalchihuitl mine on a nice day.


Above: Man meets chipping hammer...it's like cutting cold butter!
Cutting and relieving to expose the vein. 
 

 Above: Mine workings showing 40' of cut and more rock moved to find the sweet color.

 

  

 Above: Break time! - Bracing the mine walls with wood beams... 

"The vein of Cerrillos turquoise was recently re-discovered by my father Todd Brown, who for much of his life has walked the hills of Cerrillos picking through the tailings of old mines and otherwise risking life and limb, all in the search for the treasured Cerrillos Turquoise. He has carved out a niche for himself and his family in the sleepy town of Cerrillos by turning the rough stones that he was able to find in the hills surrounding Cerrillos into beautiful jewelry. His work and his story are known far and wide, and if you have ever visited his shop than you know why. One of his life long dreams came true a few years back when, digging through the tailings of an old mine he discovered a small vein of turquoise that others had missed. Knowing what that could mean he filed a claim and started digging with pick and shovel, and hammer and chisels all the while following a thin vein of turquoise that was ever widening. As the days passed and the hole got deeper he became more and more ecstatic because he had finally found what he had been looking for all those years......  

A solid vein of Pure Cerrillos Turquoise that was all his.

 Its taken a lifetime to find, but will not last long. Once the vein of Turquoise is exhausted, that’s it...there’s no more...My father, through his diligence over the years found what many accomplished geologists, and rock hounds were unable to find. He now has one of the LAST AND ONLY working turquoise mine in the Cerrillos hills. What a feat! Get it before it's gone!! " - Joe Brown (second oldest son)

Above: Rough Cerrillos Turquoise direct from the mine. World famous for the unique green color.
You can purchase small pieces of our Cerrillos Turquoise in the raw natural state by contacting us. 

 

 Above: Laying out the mine claim with a nice view of the Cerrillos Hills landscape

 

 

Above: A closer look at the mine with wooden bracings. 

Above: Father and son Andy are happy to remove a large piece of the vein


Thanks for visiting our mine! 

- Todd and Patricia Brown