A Diversity of Gemstones. Arizona is worldfamous for its turquoise, peridot, and petrified wood. The state is also famous for copper, and a variety of copper minerals are mined as gemstones. These include azurite, chrysocolla, and malachite . Other Arizona gem materials include agate, amethyst, garnet, jade, jasper, obsidian, onyx, opal, and petrified wood.
A noted Arizona locality for wulfenite is the Red Cloud Mine whihc has crystals that are deep red in color and usually very wellformed. Other know Arizona gems and minerals include Calcite, Chrysocolla, Diamonds, Fluorite, Galena, Gold, Gypsum, Malachite, Molybdenite, Pyrite, Quartz, Topaz, Opal, Copper and Silver.
Turquoise is now produced as a byproduct of giant copper mining operations like the one at right, in eastern Arizona. When a pocket of the bright blue mineral is uncovered, the turquoiserich stones are extracted by hand, and many are cut locally.
County, large masses in Longfellow, Manganese Blue and Shannon mines. Yavapai County, in ores of Bradshaw Mountains. AZURMALACHITE (carbonate of copper). Cochise County, blue azurite and green malachite, an ornamental stone in copper mines of Bisbee district. Mohave County, as impregnation of porphyry at John Kay mine, Mineral Park.
Locating Opals. As Arizona is overmined, making sure you have time to go to several different locations may help maximize efficiency. Identify a rocky area known for opal mining. Southern Arizona is most ideal. Blue opals have been found here in recent decades. Also, one of the most wellpreserved old mines is located in southern Arizona at Martinez Canyon.
Bisbee was discovered in 1880 to be a copper, gold, and silver mining town, then quickly became one of the popular towns for turquoise mining. Bisbee turquoise was originally discovered in the 1950s while workers were open pit mining for copper. The Bisbee turquoise mine is one of the few most famous turquoise mines in Arizona.
Blue Bell Mine (Blue Bell Mine and QuarryPatented claims 1528Blue Coat veinBlue Buck claim), Mayer, Big Bug District, Bradshaw Mts (Bradshaw Range), Yavapai Co., Arizona, USA. Area structures include massive sulfide lenses parallel to foliation. The foliation and transposed bedding in metavolcanics trends N20E to N30E.
Turquoise. This enchanting mineral ranges in color from blue to green, and has been cherished for thousands of years by many cultures. Ancient civilizations in both North and South America traded in turquoise from mines in what is now Arizona.
Arizona Turquoise Mines. 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.
One of the greatest producing mines in Central Arizonas Bradshaw Mountains was the Blue Bell Mine, located nine miles south of Humboldt on 180 acres of land in the Big Bug Mining district. A replacement deposit in Yavapai schist, the ore consists of chalcopyrite and iron pyrites.
Indeed, the largest gem and mineral show in the world is held in Tucson every year. Minerals such as azurite, malachite, chrysocolla, and turquoise are renowned for their rich blue and green hues, and have brought fame to mines and regions throughout Arizona.
Air blows out of the mine year round at almost frostbiting temperatures, even in the summer! A CuAgAu mine located in the NW¼ sec. 20, T.11N., R.1E. (Battle Flat 7.5 minute topo map), 2 miles NE of the Peck Mine, about 4 miles South of Mayer, at an approximate altitude of 5,800 feet.
The mineral is found in the famous Morenci and Clifton Mines of the Copper Mining District, Shannon Mountains in Greenlee County of Arizona. Another well known location for azurite is the Copper Queen Mine and the Czar mines situated at the Queen Hill, Bisbee in Warren District of Cochise County.
Mineral # 500 New Cornelia Mine, Ajo, Pima County, Arizona 15.5 x 7 x 5 cm $ 45 Light blue crystalline seams on and through a reddish brown host rock: Azurite Mineral # 501 Morenci Pit, Greenlee County, Arizona 4 x 3 x 2.5 cm $ 25 Azurite crystals with matrix : Azurite, Malachite, and Chrysocolla Mineral # 502 Morenci Mine, Glenlee County, Arizona
Arizona is perhaps the best state in the U.S. for rockhounding. There are dozens of rare gems and minerals that you can dig for. Some of the most popular include turquoise, opal, amethyst, jasper, peridot, azurite, malachite, wulfenite, and vanadinite. Many of these minerals are very valuable and are popular with collectors and jewelers alike.
Leaders of states in the U.S. which have significant mineral deposits often create a state mineral, rock, stone or gemstone to promote interest in their natural resources, history, tourism, etc. Not every state has an official state mineral, rock, stone and/or gemstone, however. In the chart below, a year which is listed within parentheses represents the year during which that mineral, rock, stone or gemstone was officially adopted as a state symbol or emblem.3
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.
In 1986, California named benitoite as its state gemstone, a form of the mineral barium titanium silicate that is unique to the Golden State and only found in gem quality in San Benito County. ^ Colorado is the only state whose geological symbols reflect the national flag's colors: red (rhodochrosite), white (yule marble), and blue (aquamarine).3
The Sleeping Beauty mine was located near Globe, Arizona. Its turquoise is solid, light blue color with no matrix. Sleeping Beauty turquoise is the favorite of the Zuni Pueblo silversmiths for use in petite point, needlepoint, and inlay jewelry. This mine is one of the largest in North America and is now closed.
Click on the following link to see Minerals from Morenci Click on the following link to see Minerals from Bisbee Click on the following link to see Minerals from Tiger Click on the following link to see Minerals from Ajo. All minerals on this page are from the various mines in the Bisbee, Arizona area.
The Mineral azurite. Azurite owes its name to its beautiful azureblue color, which makes it a very popular and wellknown mineral. Large, wellformed, and deep blue crystals from Tsumeb (Namibia), Bisbee (Arizona), and Milpillas (Mexico), make exquisite collector's minerals that are regarded as some of the finest mineral masterpieces in nature.