King’s Manassa Turquoise
The King’s Manassa Turquoise mine is one of the oldest in Colorado and one of the better known. First discovered by Southwestern Indians, turquoise was used by the Indians for personal adornment in religious ceremonies and in many of their rituals.
The King’s Manassa turquoise mine is located in Manassa, Conejos County Colorado. The site was originally mined by ancestral pueblo people and was rediscovered in the 1890’s by gold prospector I.P.King.
In 1930 W.P. “Pete” King, grandson of the discoverer began to work the mine while living in a tent, he spent the winter looking for the blue stone. For many years Pete and his family worked the mine. In the late 1930’s Pete discovered the largest vein of turquoise ever to be found. It was later named the “Harmon Day Streak”. When World War II broke out Pete left the mine to serve his country. When Pete returned he moved to Albuquerque, N.M. and spent the next 40 years with the Navajos making turquoise jewelry.
Pete’s son, Bill King acquired the mine in the 1960’s but didn’t mine it full time until the 1980’s. The King’s mine produces some of the best blue green turquoise on the market today. The King’s Manassa turquoise is best known for its rich, brilliant green and golden matrix.
The mine was closed for a number of years and had not been worked. Recently the mine changed hands again and they have begun to work the claim. The King’s Manassa mine is now producing what geologist and collectors have stated is the Rolls Royce of turquoise.