Fodor's Expert Review Turquoise Museum

Old Town Museum/Gallery

Just west of the hubbub of Old Town, this museum may be inside a small strip mall, but visitors will forget that once they focus on the beauty, mythology, and physical properties of turquoise, a semiprecious but adored gemstone that many people associate with the color of New Mexico's skies. A guided 45-minute tour begins by entering via a simulated mine shaft (albeit a shallow, low-tech one), and leads to one-of-a-kind showpieces and examples from more than 65 mines on four continents. Displays show how turquoise forms, the importance of individual mines, and uses of the stone by Native Americans in prehistoric times. At the education center you can learn to distinguish the real McCoy from plastic. The museum's proprietors are a multigenerational family of longtime traders, and know whereof they speak; if you retain nothing else, do remember that only turquoise specified as "natural" is the desirable, unadulterated stuff. There is an active silversmith's shop adjacent to the display... READ MORE

Just west of the hubbub of Old Town, this museum may be inside a small strip mall, but visitors will forget that once they focus on the beauty, mythology, and physical properties of turquoise, a semiprecious but adored gemstone that many people associate with the color of New Mexico's skies. A guided 45-minute tour begins by entering via a simulated mine shaft (albeit a shallow, low-tech one), and leads to one-of-a-kind showpieces and examples from more than 65 mines on four continents. Displays show how turquoise forms, the importance of individual mines, and uses of the stone by Native Americans in prehistoric times. At the education center you can learn to distinguish the real McCoy from plastic. The museum's proprietors are a multigenerational family of longtime traders, and know whereof they speak; if you retain nothing else, do remember that only turquoise specified as "natural" is the desirable, unadulterated stuff. There is an active silversmith's shop adjacent to the display area; a small gift shop sells historic and contemporary pieces.

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Museum/Gallery Local Interest–Sight Family

Quick Facts

2107 Central Ave. NW
Albuquerque, New Mexico  87104, USA

505-247–8650

www.turquoisemuseum.com

Sight Details:
Rate Includes: $10, $9.55, Closed Sun., Tour reservations recommended

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