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Just north of Las Vegas a real fortune awaits. The unforgiving Great Basin Desert may not seem like an ideal place to strike it rich, but buried beneath the barren landscape is a treasure worth millions. The challenge is knowing how to find it.

For three generations the Otteson family has been unearthing some of the most sought-after turquoise in the world. Turquoise Fever follows the clan as they battle inhospitable conditions and intense dangers from their base of operations in Tonopah, Nevada. From detonating explosives on treacherous slopes to the pressure of meeting the demands of international buyers, every day is a wild adventure and there is always a thin line between failure and success. – INSP

 For 3 Generations,
We’ve Been Mining
Some Of The Most Sought-After Turquoise In The World.


Lynn Otteson and The 2nd Generation Of Turquoise Miners – Left To Right: Danny, Tommy, Dean, Dixie & David Otteson

Lynn Otteson and The 2nd Generation Of Turquoise Miners – Left To Right: Danny, Tommy, Dean, Dixie & David Otteson

Our History

Our father, Lynn Otteson mined on and off in Colorado since he was a teenager, and leased his first mine - the Lick Skillet (Manassa King) mine from Pete King just a few miles east of his hometown in Sanford.

His first Nevada mine was a Royston Claim leased from Lee F. Hand in 1944, traveling back and forth from Colorado to mine it part-time. His dedication to his family and dreams were undeniable. One time Mom and Dad (with baby, David) caught a ride from Colorado to Ely, Nevada (about 160 miles north of Tonopah) then hitchhiked all the way from Ely to Tonopah.

Another time Dad partnered with a man who had a vehicle to mine the claim. When they had mined a big enough load of Turquoise, his partner (who had the only vehicle amongst them) offered to take the Turquoise to the Gallup/Albuquerque areas to sell it and split the proceeds. Unfortunately, his partner never returned with the Turquoise – Dad’s share of the proceeds which would have provided food and water for the family – and left them (Mom, Dad and baby David) stranded at the Royston mine without a vehicle. Dad had to walk 25 miles into town to ask for help. Years later, Dad told us that he ran across his “ex-partner” years after the incident and “got even.” Just how he got even – we’ll never know.

Then, in the summer of 1960, Dad’s dream finally became a reality when he moved the family from Colorado to Tonopah, Nevada – and our family has mined claims here ever since.

Lee F. Hand – a well-known Nevada Turquoise Miner – discovered Royston Turquoise in 1902 and controlled over 30 claims in the Royston District of Nevada – originally consisting of four old Turquoise Claims: Bunker Hill, Easter Blue (8-10 miles to the north), Oscar Wehrend and Royal Blue. This district includes some of the oldest and most active mines in Nevada.

Today, the Royston District is primarily controlled by the Otteson family – who has mined numerous claims within the district on and off through the decades – frequently partnering with friends and members of our family. We continue to prospect for turquoise as our Dad once did, and we’ll continue to add these claims to our growing list of the Otteson family owned and operated mines.

For three generations, we have proudly mined and processed some of the most sought-after high quality natural turquoise on the market today. To learn more about each of our mines click here.

Lynn Otteson catching a ride into the mine in an excavator.

Lynn Otteson catching a ride into the mine in an excavator.