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The first comprehensive history of turquoise in America covering over a century.

Part One The Great American Turquoise Rush 1890–1910

Part Two Turquoise in America 1910–1990

Part Three The Stories of Turquoise, 1990-2020

The Callais Collection

The Callais Collection is the personal turquoise collection of Mike Ryan II.

Select cabs from the collection will be available for sale here on the site.

Visit the store for current availability.



Mike Ryan II

Mike retired from a thirty-year career as a financial advisor, author and teacher in 2011 and reawakened a passion for turquoise first begun in the 1970’s. He had some experience from writing a technical book, Asset Allocation and the Investment Management Process and a book about money, The Colors of Money. His interest in turquoise led him to Philip and they decided to complete a book project Philip had been working on for over twenty years. The result was The Great American Turquoise Rush, 1890-1910 about the early days of turquoise mining in the southwest. Continue...


Philip Chambless

Philip has lived in the mountains outside El Morro, NM since the 1970’s and is a full-time turquoise prospector, lapidary and jewelry designer. He has researched the history of turquoise for more than twenty years. As his interest in turquoise grew in the late 1980s he moved to Santa Fe where southwest jewelry was going strong. It was during this time that his old buddy Douglas Magnus acquired the so-called Tiffany Mines at Cerrillos. His interest in owning a turquoise mine drove him to seek out his own, but Philip is red/green colorblind, making it hard for him to see the turquoise in its dusty native state. Continue...

Ryan and Chambless aren't only Turquoise historians, they are also storytellers who shoulder the responsibility of telling the real stories, the meaningful, must-hear truths, straight from the mouths of the families and individuals who brought Turquoise into the mainstream. This thoroughly-researched volume paints a fascinating picture of the growth of an industry that has become part of the fabric of America.

Dan Hyman

Wright's Indian Art

During my formative years, I traveled to the mines with my parents, who were doing turquoise mining ventures. I was curious about the business and wondered why no one had written a book on turquoise history, a book I could use to further my knowledge about the wonders of this misunderstood gem. This book fills that void, written with keen scholarly insight into why this stone inspires such passion among collectors and dealers.

Josh Chaney
Chaney’s Turquoise Direct

Here in their second book on turquoise, authors Mike Ryan and Philip Chambless have become America’s leading turquoise scholars with years spent on the turquoise trail gathering the real facts of the great American turquoise story. I enjoyed every moment I was on the trail with Mike and Philip, and now it’s your turn to sit back and enjoy the true history of turquoise in America. 

Bob Brucia,

Nevada Gem

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It is a story full of desire, greed, love, and compassion. It is a human story.

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