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Arizona Turquoise Mines

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Turquoise Mine List

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Example Pictures are not necessarily the highest of grade, rather a good example of a common look from a particular mine.

Bisbee Turquoise Examples - Arizona Turquoise

Bisbee Turquoise
The Bisbee mine "the Lavender Pit", near Bisbee, Arizona, is one of the more famous of the American mines because Bisbee turquoise (also known as "Bisbee Blue" registered name) was one of the first put onto the market. The turquoise mine is part of the Bisbee copper mine (The Copper Queen), the main operation of the site. Bisbee turquoise has developed a reputation as a hard, finely webbed or dendrite, high blue stone, known for its "chocolate brown" matrix. Bisbee Turquoise also comes in a beautiful dark green color. Most of this turquoise has already been mined and what is left is in limbo due to circumstances with the copper mining in the open pit, it is one of the most highly collected stones. Most jewelry being made with this stone today is being made via the orders of the current owners of the mine, the rest (such as ours, which is all hand cut and mounted by Durango Silver Co.) is found through old "stashes" or collections that have been obtained.

More Bisbee Turquoise Information | Bisbee Jewelry

Castle Dome
Most of Arizona’s turquoise mines are actually large open pit copper mines that the turquoise deposits are leased .The company or person with the lease is called in to mine the turquoise when they hit a pocket of it as they are copper minnig. This is a mine that was very active back in the 1970’s. Being in Albuquerque in the turquoise business in the 1970’s was very interesting, lots of stone! We bought turquoise from people that would show up at our shop, we would buy it out of their trunks of cars, pick up truck beds, hoods of cars in parking lots.

Arizona Turquoise - Castle Dome Turquoise example

Ithaca Peak
The Ithaca Peak mine is located in northwestern Arizona above the Kingman mine. The Ithaca Peak mine is famous for its beautiful blue with pyrite matrix. This material is outstanding. It is owned and operated by the Colbaugh's. It is fairly rare to get good Ithaca Peak as main production is focused on Turquoise Mountain. When you do get good Ithaca Peak it is very pricey!

More Ithaca Peak Turquoise Information

Arizona Turquoise from the Ithaca Peak Mine
Kingman Turquoise Examples from Arizona

The Kingman mine in northwestern Arizona was one of the largest turquoise mines in North America. The terms "Kingman" or "high blue" refer to the blue color usually displayed in this stone. It has become a color standard in the industry. The mine became famous for its rounded, bright blue nuggets with black matrix. Few turquoise mines produced nuggets, especially of this quality. Old natural Kingman Turquoise is rare. The Colbaugh's own this mine and the Turquoise Mountain mine, their company name is Colbough Processing. They have recently gone back into the section of the Kingman mine and are digging and bringing our some new Natural Kingman Turquoise.

More Kingman Turquoise Information | Kingman Turquoise Jewelry

Morenci Turquoise is mined in southeastern Arizona. It is high to light blue in color. Morenci has an unusual matrix of irregular black pyrite that, when polished, often looks like silver. Morenci turquoise is well known because it was one of the first American turquoises to come on the market. It is very difficult to obtain now because the mine is depleted. It is a collectible turquoise.

Morenci Turquoise Jewelry

Morenci Bracelet - Arizona Turquoise
Sleeping Beauty Example - Natural Arizona Turquoise

Sleeping Beauty
The Sleeping Beauty mine is located near Globe, Arizona. Its turquoise is noted for its solid, light blue color with no matrix. Sleeping Beauty turquoise is the favorite of the Zuni Pueblo silversmiths for use in petit point, needlepoint, and inlay jewelry. This mine is one of the largest in North America and is still operating.

Sleeping Beauty Turquoise Jewelry

Turquoise Mountain and "Birdseye"
Turquoise Mountain and "Birdseye" turquoise come from the same mine in northwestern Arizona near the Kingman mine. The mine was closed in the 1980s. It is light to high blue, with both webbed and non-webbed matrix. "Birdseye" describes stones from this mine that show areas of light blue circled with dark blue matrix, resembling the eye of a bird. It is a beautiful addition to one's collection.

More Turquoise Mtn. Information | Turquoise Mtn. Jewelry

Natural Arizona Turquoise from Turquoise Mountain

Blue Bird Turquoise Mine
The Blue Bird Turquoise mine is a small "ma and pa" operation that nobody knows a whole lot about. We have however been able to back up the mines existence through several reputable gem dealers, miners and artists. We have bought around 50 lbs of the material over the years. It is wonderful medium sky blue to dark blue with quarts and ocassionally pyrite inclusions. VERY PRETTY stuff. Infact I would say it is some of the best true blue turquoise we have purchased. We first bought some at a gemshow in Durango, Colorado and since have only found it at obscure little gemshows where the true miners show up. Definately worth owning.


Example Pictures are not necessarily the highest of grade, rather a good example of a common look from a particular mine.

I will continue to add to this list and eventually attempt to have a listing of all turquoise mines that have existed in Arizona. I need your help! If you know of another legitimate mining operation or old mine claim in Arizona, contact me at:

Western Silver Information | Durango Silver Co.

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