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“Too many jokes”
Review of Turquoise Museum

Turquoise Museum
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Turquoise Guided Museum Tour
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Self Guided Tour
Ranked #23 of 223 things to do in Albuquerque
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: The Turquoise Museum and its collection of turquoise have been used as a source of information and pictures for over 22 years. Uncover the mystery of turquoise, delve into its’ rich history, learn about the different mines, specimens, and stories of colorful characters at The Turquoise Museum in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Authors of books, magazines, articles, and research papers have all used the museum as a source of information. Its rich repository of turquoise specimens from over one hundred mines, educations, and histories make it a must see in its’ travel exhibits and permanent location in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The museum is still privately owned and operated to this day. The Museum is open for two Guided tours Monday through Saturday, at 11am and 1pm. reservations are recommended space is limited. The Museum is closed Sundays, Holidays and Special days please call for before you come.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Wheelchair access, Activities for older children
Level 4 Contributor
39 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Too many jokes”
Reviewed 7 November 2013

This was my second visit to this interesting and informative museum but the only visit with a tour guide. Jacob, our guide, was charming and knowledgeable and gracious enough to give us a demonstration on stone polishing. I wished, however, that there was less joking and more information extracted and presented from the various exhibits that otherwise would require a great deal of reading in a very short time. The gift shop has nice pieces in a wide range of prices.

Visited November 2013
2 Thank yolanta j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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211 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
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English first
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Entertaining and Informative”
Reviewed 23 October 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
Thank buccigrossi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver Island, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
6 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 October 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
1 Thank Christine F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
139 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“A must see”
Reviewed 2 October 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
1 Thank Carmen D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bloomington, Indiana
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Bizarro World”
Reviewed 23 May 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
4 Thank KCC_003
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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