Ora Grande Mined Silver, Turquise and Gold 1900’s Old West New Mexico

Roadrunner Emporium Fine Arts Gallery is proud to present a vintage sterling silver and turquoise Oragrande Squash Blossom silver beaded necklace from our estate collection. This piece was specially commissioned for a local family over 50 years ago. This estate piece showcased as a part of the Roadrunner Emporium local craftsmen’s showcase of fine vintage arts crafted from materials within the region of Southern New Mexico.

Oro Grande where the turquoise was mined was originally a mining town named Jarilla Junction due to its proximity to the Jarilla Mountains, established in 1905, the town was renamed Oro Grande (Spanish for big gold) in 1906 and is not far from similar mining towns (now completely abandoned ghost towns) named Brice and Ohays.

The population soared to approximately 2000 as the result of a gold rush that occurred in 1905, but quickly collapsed almost to the point of depopulation when the gold deposits proved much less abundant than expected.  

There are still numerous abandoned mines in the area where turquoise, silver and gold deposits were speculatively mined until the 1970s. Speculators still occasionally roam the lands once owned by several prominent families in prospect of random finds of turquoise nuggets, silver copper and gold. The most famous mine of the area was called the Luckey mine where copper, gold and silver were mined. All of mines now fall under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Land Management or are on lands around Oro Grande as part of a military reservation under the control of Fort Bliss.

 Oragrande mines pictured above around 1906 and example of turquoise locally mined in Ora Grande. Turquoise was found in over 50 localities in the district. The turquoise is associated with kaolin, limonite, pyrite, gypsum, jarosite, and other clay minerals in thin seams along fractures and as nodules in altered quartz monzonite or monzonite and is typically within 7.6 m of the surface. Colors ranged from blue to green and some deep blue stones tended to fade slightly over the decades from the Ora Grande mines in a natural state when not sealed or polished.

Roadrunner Emporium Fine Arts Gallery, Antiques and More, 928 New York Avenue, Alamogordo, New Mexico is honored to showcase this work of art and it’s history for future generations to enjoy as a part of our nod to history in our beautifully restored 1900’s First National Bank building.

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