Catch the Fever: What you need to know about Turquoise Fever

Turquoise Fever:


For the Otteson Family, Working Together Is a Blast—Literally!

Get ready for explosions (We’re talking actual dynamite!), drilling, drama, danger, tears, tense business deals, laughter, and the love of a tight-knit family who risk their lives daily to find the motherlode of precious turquoise.

That’s right, all that glitters is not gold. The bling is blue, and this family knows how to find it.

In INSP’s new docuseries, Turquoise Fever, airing Wednesday nights at 9PM ET, starting August 14, you’ll meet the Ottesons: Donna, Danny, Tommy, and their extended family, who for 60 years, and three generations, have been mining the precious blue stone in remote desert areas around Tonopah, Nevada. Their claims produce some of the most valuable turquoise in the world, some stones worth more than gold. 


Here’s a quick look at the Otteson family.

Donna – When Donna’s husband, Dean passed away in 2016, she stepped up to assume his role. Those may have been some big shoes to fill, but now, as the matriarch of the Otteson mining empire, she is the heart and soul of this diligent, determined, hard-working clan.



DannyDanny is Donna’s brother-in-law. As a second-generation miner, Danny learned the industry ropes from his late father, Lynn Otteson, and keeps the tradition alive by teaching his sons, Lane and Tristan.



Lane and Tristan – Danny’s sons, third-generation miners.

A perennial optimist, Lane is passionate about turquoise mining, and he’s had one of the best teachers around—his dad.




Like his older brother, Tristan has been going to the mines with his dad since he could walk. Now working a mine with Lane, he’s developed a unique approach to the family business.



Tommy – Tommy is Danny’s brother. He spent most of his life mining in Nevada with his father Lynn Otteson. He’s dedicated to passing his expertise on to future Otteson miners, including all ten of his children.



Tony and Trenton – Tommy’s sons, third-generation miners.

Tony is the analytical one and has a system for how to run the business. He’s mastered every phase of the turquoise industry—from mining to creating stunning jewelry with the stones.



Trenton is a strong, hard worker. A master prospector, he has a gift for finding turquoise.




Emily – Tony’s wife. Emily jumped into the turquoise mining lifestyle with a passion and works at a variety of jobs for the company—from internet sales to digging in the mines.




JaKell – Trenton’s wife. JaKell’s sense of style and background in fashion makes her the perfect person to advise the family on the latest trends and designs in the jewelry industry.



Experience it Yourself!

The hunt for rare and valuable White Buffalo turquoise. A wealthy high-end jeweler on a tight deadline. A treacherous climb to a clifftop site. Crumbling walls, nearly impenetrable rock and, “fire in the hole!” In the sweltering daytime heat, freezing overnight temps, trekking to outlier mines accessible only on horseback, every dig can make or break the family business, every climb up a rocky slope brings the risk of injury, every blast, a risk of their lives. It could add up to nothing…or deep within the pit, a flashlight might reveal that coveted blue streak.


Check Out these Turquoise Fever Quizzes:

Strike Out or Strike it Rich Operation Otteson