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“Entertaining and Informative” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Turquoise Museum

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Turquoise Museum
2107 Central Avenue NW, Albuquerque, NM 87104 (West Old Town)
(505) 247-8650‎
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Ranked #34 of 122 attractions in Albuquerque
Type: Specialty Museums
Attraction Details
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
1 review
“Entertaining and Informative”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2013

We only went to this museum as part of a tour for the International Balloon Fiesta. I had my expectations low and was pleasantly surprised. The presentation covered where turquoise is mined, the various varieties of turquoise, and how to tell real from fake turquoise (and the difference between "natural" and "genuine" -- I learned something valuable here). The presentation was interspersed with bad jokes -- the kind of bad jokes that are so bad that they are kind of entertaining. The museum exhibits are ok, but 30 minutes is plenty to take it all in. If this destination is a part of your tour, its not bad.....but I don't know whether I can recommend visiting it on your own.

Visited October 2013
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30 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
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English first
Vancouver Island, Canada
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 7, 2013

This museum is a great stop if you plan on purchasing any turquoise while in the south west. The museum is small, but is loaded with relevant exhibits about the stone. Exhibits range from mining, to the different varieties of color, and even some samples of fakes and educates you on what to look for and ask before you buy. While it is not your "typical" museum we did find our visit worthwhile and do appreciate the fact that they are trying to keep it "in the family".

Visited September 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“A must see”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 2, 2013

If you are visiting Albuquerque and have purchased turquoise on your travels or wish to do so, be sure to visit this museum. There are set times for tours and these are the only times that the museum is open. The collection of turquoise is amazing but what made the visit so interesting and informative was Jacob who with humour, candour and obvious knowledge led our group through the various parts of the museum from mine, to historical collection, to workshop. As visitors from Australia, we learned to ask whether turquoise for sale is natural and where it has come from and to ask the seller for a certificate to verify this. Picking out real turquoise from a tray of specimens of real and artificial stones was a sobering experience. If you wish to purchase the real thing, there is a gift shop there but there is no hard-sell at all. We enjoyed the whole experience of this visit very much.

Visited September 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bloomington, Indiana
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Bizarro World”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 23, 2013

We visited the museum on a day when the normal tour guide was off and his father was giving the tours. He let it be known that he was an expert on turquoise, even though he didn't like turquoise, and we were all morons about turquoise.

Once all the members of the tour were accounted for in the retail shop front of the building, the door was locked behind us (in violation of fire code) and we were taken down a "mineshaft" to the cold dark museum where our guide pointed us to the vault room and we were turned loose to read long descriptions of various mines and types of turquoise printed in a variety of fonts and sizes on curling paper signs. Our tour guide stood around drinking coffee ignoring us as we wondered around. I inquired about the locations of the the emergency exits since we were locked in this crypt, which really ruffled his feathers.

I did learn a bit about turquoise during our visit but at what emotional cost? My mom and I still laugh about this experience. I will ask her a question about turquoise then interrupt her screaming "WRONG!" when she tries to answer. I can only hope that the regular tour guide actually likes his job but the place is still a turquoise dungeon.

The family should donate the collection to a legitimate museum, close down the strip mall location, and be done with it.

Visited June 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Raleigh, North Carolina
Top Contributor
251 reviews 251 reviews
86 attraction reviews
Reviews in 127 cities Reviews in 127 cities
212 helpful votes 212 helpful votes
“Everything you wanted to know about turquoise but were afraid...”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 7, 2013

Don't be put off by the its unassumingly plain exterior in a strip mall. The inside is a treasure trove of turquoise with everything explained relating to the world of this fascination stone. The tours are at 11:00 am and 1:00 pm. You should make a reservation on their website. But after an orientation to the museum, which is larger inside than it looks outside, you are free to roam to learn the most. The father and son who run the place are available to guide you. We certainly learned a lot!

Visited May 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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