The McNulty Estate
In the late 19th Century, the American Turquoise Company of New York, began the modern era development of turquoise mining with most of the production being shipped directly to Tiffany Co., NY. In the 1890s, Tiffany’s literally created the mainstream value and demand for quality American turquoise. The story of the American Turquoise Company mining during this frontier era has been published in 2006 by Patricia McCraw, the great granddaughter of the Superintendent, J.P. McNulty, which reads as a fascinating Wild West adventure.
Serious mining of the turquoise Hills ceased in about 1920s and has not resumed to this day. Although much turquoise has been recovered at the mines by the present owner, Douglas Magnus and The Millennium Turquoise Mines, Inc.
Douglas Magnus is a Santa Fe jewelry designer/producer since 1972. Specializing in turquoise from various locations, but emphasizing stones from his own mines, he is producing one-of-a-kind treasures in 18k, diamonds, and of course, the finest turquoise from Cerrillos.
The McNulty Estate Turquoise
In 2006, Magnus was fortunate to be offered for purchase, the turquoise of the J.P. McNulty Estate, all of which was personally collected by McNulty in the early 20th Century and represents the best of the Tiffany and Castilian Mines production, the likes of which may never be seen again.
Now these rare examples of ‘High Grade’ Cerrillos Turquoise are being prepared for setting in a special collection of Douglas Magnus jewelry – marked “McNulty Estate”, “Tiffany Mine”, “Cerrillos Turquoise”, or “Castilian” and offered on a limited basis until supplies run out.
Each item of jewelry is uniquely handmade and carries with it the heritage of its ancient and modern history. Douglas Magnus is proud to be the last in the long line of artisans to use this esteemed gemstone.
These are some of the boxes of turquoise purchased by Magnus. This is prime top-quality hand picked nuggets from the old miner McNulty himself."
From the Tiffany and Castilian Cerrillos Turquoise Mines
The ancient turquoise mines of the Cerrillos District have a rich and colorful history stretching back fourteen hundred years and they are America’s oldest gemstone mines. The stone was considered sacred by the Anasazi, Toltec and Aztec peoples and can be seen in their most elaborate ceremonial objects.
Little mining occurred during the Spanish period from the 1600s to 1800s,
but it has always been rumored that Spanish Crown Jewels included Cerrillos turquoise.