The Bisbee Turquoise mine, near Bisbee,
Arizona, is one of the most famous Turquoise mines in America.
||Bisbee Turquoise has developed
a reputation as a hard, finely webbed, strikingly brilliant blue
stone of a high quality. High-quality Bisbee Turquoise
is a hard, strikingly brilliant blue stone often with red-brown
spider webbing, dendrites or hard chocolate brown colored
matrix distinctive to the area near Bisbee. Bisbee Turquoise
can be found in many different shades of color and quality, from
a soft pale blue to brilliant deep and most every shade of blue
in between. Green Turquoise is also found in Bisbee, but gem-quality
green is rare. Bisbee Turquoise is most well known for its deep
blue color. The second thing Bisbee Turquoise is known
for most is its unique "Smoky" matrix pattern that can
only be found in Turquoise from this mine.
Bisbee Turquoise was
originally discovered by the Phelps Dodge Company while mining
for copper in the 1950's. It was found in an area of the Bisbee
mine at what is known as the Lavendar
Pit. They found the deposits of Bisbee Turquoise
until the mid to late 1960's. During the time that the largest
quantities of turquoise were being extracted from the mine,
the company made no organized effort to recover it. It simply
got loaded into large dump trucks and hauled off to the "dumps".
Almost all recovered turquoise was picked up by company employees,
taking it home in their lunch boxes, etc. Though this activity
was prohibited, it was rarely enforced. For several years (mostly
the early to late 70s), these individuals locally know as "dumpers",
were the only source for this fine American Turquoise.
a slide show of beautiful Bisbee Turquoise Cabochons.
In March of 1972 a miner named Bob Matthews was given
the only lease ever granted for rights to mine Bisbee
turquoise. He was said to have recovered more than 2,000 pounds
of good to excellent turquoise by 1974.
jewelry being made with Bisbee Turquoise today is from
long-time collectors of the stone, miners, old stashes and collections
that are getting harder and harder to find every year. This is
truely a rare Turquoise as there really was never that much of
it to begin with and if there is any left in the mine it will
take an act of God to get it out. Recently, the Phelps Dodge made
the claim that there is no more turquoise in the dumps and covered
them up with over 50 feet of dirt and dead rock.
Whether this is true or not? Well I am sure some Bisbeeites know.
One thing is for sure, there is not many American Turquoise mines
producing Turquoise anymore, and there never were many Turquoise
mines that produced the
neat Bisbee Turquoise story
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We buy Bisbee Turquoise Jewelry, Bisbee Turquoise Cabs,
Bisbee Turquoise Rough or other rare
Bisbee Minerals such as Bisbee Chatoyant Malechite..... Please contact
Dillon or John Hartman
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