Arizona is most famously known as the copper state but is also home to some of the world’s most beautiful and sought-after turquoise. The state has a long and rich history of turquoise mining, and ironically, miners initially discarded turquoise as a byproduct of copper mining. Today, Arizona is still a significant producer of turquoise, and its mines produce a wide variety of colors and qualities.
Here is a brief overview of some of the most popular types of turquoise found in Arizona:
Bisbee Turquoise is one of the world’s most admired types of turquoise. Miners from the Phelps Dodge Company discovered the turquoise in the 1950s while mining for copper. They found the deposits in the Lavender Pit of Bisbee Mine in the Mule Mountains of southeastern Arizona, and it was thought to have no value and sent to the dumps. Still, some employees recognized its beauty and secretly stored the stone in their lunch boxes. It is known for its striking deep blue color and chocolate-colored matrix pattern.
Sleeping Beauty Turquoise
Sleeping Beauty Turquoise is another highly sought-after type of turquoise from Arizona. Initially discovered by Native Americans during the Anasazi period in the hills near Globe, Arizona, miners began to mine it in the 1950s. Its namesake comes from the mountain range where it is located. Sleeping Beauty Turquoise is known for its robin’s egg blue color and lack of matrix.
Kingman Turquoise is a light green or blue turquoise with a brown matrix. However, the most sought-after Kingman turquoise is bright blue with a black or silver matrix. Navajos originally mined the turquoise in 600 AD as part of the Native American Turquoise trade network, and was rediscovered in the 1800s. It is found in the Cerbat Mountains 14 miles northwest of Kingman, Arizona.
The Morenci Turquoise is a dark blue or green turquoise with a black matrix. The webbing also consists of pyrite, AKA “Fools Gold,” when polished, the pyrite often looks like silver. It is found in the Morenci Mountains of southeastern Arizona and has been mined for centuries by the Apache Indians.
These are just a few of the many types of turquoise found in the United States. Every kind of turquoise has its unique characteristics and beauty, and it is often paired with silver and used in Native American Jewelry designs. If you are looking for an exceptional piece of jewelry, consider investing in some Arizona turquoise.
Here are some additional facts about Arizona turquoise:
- Arizona is the leading producer of turquoise in the United States.
- The Colbaugh family opened the first turquoise mine in Arizona in the 1880s.
- The most famous turquoise mine in Arizona is the Sleeping Beauty mine.
Precious Metals Refinery buys Native American jewelry containing silver and Arizona Turquoise. If you are looking to sell your Native American jewelry, we are happy to provide you with an appraisal. Give us a call or stop by any of our locations today. We pay the most for your used or unwanted jewelry!