Cripple Creek

3 comments Apr 20, 2017
The Cripple Creek mine is a gold mine in Colorado. 
It is located at the base of Pike's Peak about 45 miles to the southwest of Colorado Springs. I have been to Pike's Peak, all the way to the top. The view is amazing. 
Gold was discovered here first in 1891 and 500 mines and claims were active during the gold rush. Several mines are still active today.
The Mollie Kathleen mine at Cripple Creek offers a tour where you descend into the earth 1000 feet! 
It is also said that this old mining town is very haunted. There are companies that offer ghost tours or "Ghost Walks" as they call them of the cemetery and the jail house. Wouldn't that be fun?
Photo courtesy
I am interested in Cripple creek because of the byproduct of these gold mines. TURQUOISE! Yes, there's turquoise in them thar hills! 
The Cripple Creek Mine produces a wonder pale blue turquoise that has been prized for many collectors and tourists alike. 
My sweetheart, Cory lived in Cripple Creek for a while as a kid. He still has an old paper cup with a child-sized handful of turquoise that he collected when he lived there. How did he find said turquoise? In the street! When the snow got too deep, they would bring in gravel for the roads. The gravel came from the gold mine and in those tailings would be turquoise. He remembers walking the streets up and down looking for that pale blue that shined through the black gravel. I wonder if they still do that...
I am amazed that he has kept this cup all of these years through all of his travels. 
Some of the turquoise has turned a dark green because turquoise is porous and reacts to environment. 
Now, when I am out searching for the best vintage jewelry, with the best examples of turquoise, Cripple Creek mine turquoise is a specimen that I watch for. 
With vintage turquoise, we can learn all about each mine, but unless we have provenance for a particular piece to prove its origin, we have to attribute characteristics of particular mines to specimens. Often times there is no way to know for sure from where a stone originated. A mine can also have a green vein and a few years later, a blue vein with matrix. It is very difficult to keep up on it all. 
For me, I look for high quality pieces that have good natural color. Any of these pieces could be attributed to the Cripple Creek Mine:
Which is your favorite?
I love studying the characteristics of the stones that were produced from mines years ago. I have collected books and sales catalogs from the past in my quest to learn. 
I will continue to learn...always!
Though I usually use specimens from my private collection for articles, this time the rings above are available on my website. 
You can click the photo which will take you to the ring pictured. 


  • Linda April 21, 2017 at 8:19 pm

    Michele rankin, I am dying to go back to Colorado. I love it there.
    Thank you Terri Wood. I plan to share more here on my journal. There is so much to tell!

  • Michele rankin April 20, 2017 at 7:30 pm

    Turquoise is my all time favorite stone, these are beautiful rings.. been to Cripple Creek several times, I have aunts that live in Canyone City..

  • Terri Wood April 20, 2017 at 4:32 pm

    Enjoyed the information you shared above.

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