American Turquoise: Collecting with Confidence, March 12


Jean Tittle

The QC Education Committee’s Final Kino Lecture of the 2017-18 season will be held on Monday, March 12, 2018, from 7:00-8:00 p.m. at the Madera Clubhouse Ballroom.

How does a classically trained opera singer end up owning a turquoise jewelry business in Tubac, AZ? For Jason Winfield, owner and operator of Lone Mountain Turquoise Company, the answer is easy: family.

A 2002 music performance graduate of Northern Arizona University, Jason trained and travelled in the opera world for ten years before marrying his college sweetheart, Barbara, who had earned a degree in geology. They decided to put down roots in Tubac in order to be near to his paternal grandmother, Grace Winfield a former resident of Green Valley.

The Winfield family has been involved in the turquoise business since 1951 when Jason’s grandfather, Menless Winfield, decided to leave his job as a “roughneck” in the oil fields and buy his first of several turquoise mines throughout the Southwest. Jason’s father, Robert Winfield (a Vietnam Army Veteran, Bronze Star and Commendation with V for Valor honoree), married his wife Michelle in 1972. They moved to Gallup, NM to begin a family and open a turquoise business, selling his father’s superior quality Lone Mountain Turquoise to Native American jewelry artists. Robert and his wife eventually opened a trading post 20 miles south of Gallup.

Jason and his brother, Justin, both met their future wives while singing in the choir at NAU. Justin and Rebecca are the current owners and operators of Winfield Trading Company, the top wholesale business dealing in Native American art and jewelry. Buying directly from over 3000 Native Artists, Justin supplies major galleries and museums throughout the United States-The Smithsonian, The Heard, The Gilcrease to name a few.

Jason’s father and mother reside in Gallup and have stayed involved with the turquoise business even after the Lone Mountain Mine was sold in 1978. Robert has been a jewelry judge at the annual Heard Museum Native American Show and Michelle has judged jewelry at the annual Gallup Intertribal Festival. Plan to attend this informative lecture where the Winfield Family will share the history of turquoise, how to recognize genuine American turquoise, how to collect Native American Jewelry with confidence.

Please Note: Jason will not be appraising or evaluating any personal jewelry brought at the time of the lecture. If you have Native American jewelry you would like to have evaluated, please see the Crossing’s article, “Native America Jewelry Evaluation by Experts Jason, Barbara, Robert and Michelle Winfield.”

All profits for this final lecture go to TWOQC’s Scholarship Committee Fund which benefits senior girls at the two Sahuarita high schools as well as women in transition wishing to further their educational goals. The Kino Lecture Series is co-sponsored by Quail Creek’s Education Committee (Chair: Bonnie Hyra) and TWOQC’s Scholarship Committee (Chair: Suzan Bryceland).