“Villa Grove Turquoise” Randy Christensen, Silversmith
Randy Christensen grew up in the small Southern Colorado town of Manassa, home to several turquoise mines in Colorado. So it’s no wonder as to why at such an early age he took an interest in turquoise. While still in High School Randy decided to try his hand at cutting turquoise. He would buy rough Morenci Turquoise in Gallup, NM and then hone his skills at cutting the turquoise, after which he’d sell the pieces he had cut to various jewelers. However, it was not until the 90’s that Randy decided to become a silversmith. This began as a hobby while he maintained full-time employment with United Power. But eventually the orders began pouring in and what began as a “hobby” soon became a full-time job in itself just to keep with the orders.
The Villa Grove Turquoise Mine that Randy acquires most of his turquoise from is located in the North end of the San Luis Valley. Randy contacted the then owner George Musick in the early 80’sand they quickly became friends working the mind in the summer. They were only able to gather small nuggets, because they lacked the costly machinery needed to mine the high-grade vein.
Randy purchased the Mine in 2000 from Mr. Musick, whom passed away several years ago. Randy retired from work at United Power, and is focusing on his true passion in life jewelry. There has been no Villa Grove Turquoise on the market for 25 over years. The past two summers Randy has began mining the turquoise for his jewelry, and will be venturing to the mine this summer with the necessary equipment to mine the high- grade vein
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