Learn a little about Bisbee Turquoise
Bisbee Turquoise is one of the most beautiful types of Turquoise that has ever been taken out of the ground in North America. It's striking true blue color ranges are spectacular and the chocolate matrix that the Turquoise is found in, extentuates it's beauty. Bisbee Turquoise is some of the finest Arizona Turquoise and there is no Turquoise on earth that is comparible to Bisbee Turquoise, as it has it's own unusual charicteristics that are unique only to itself.
The Bisbee Mine was originally founded in the mid 1870's and by 1975 when it was closed had become the largest and richest mine the world has ever known. Taking out over 8,000,000,000 pounds of copper the mine was given the name "The Copper Queen". The Bisbee Mine also produced nearly 3,000,000 ounces of Gold, 77,000,000 ounces of Silver and billions of pounds of lead and zinc! The Bisbee Mine also produced a variety of outstanding minerals including Malichite, Azurite and of course Turquoise that are by products of the metals and minerals that are native to this Mine. However, mining at Bisbee did not include mining for gemstones, any Turquoise or other gemstone materials were discarded by the mining companies and prohibited to be taken out by the minors due to liability reasons.
In the late 1950's, a deposit of Turquoise was found in the Lavendar Pit region of the Bisbee Mine. Most of this Turquoise was hauled off to an area where they dumped their waste and over burdens from the mining project. Individual Minors recognized the beauty of the Bisbee Turquoise and would sneak small amounts of the Turquoise out in their lunch boxes and/or what ever other means they could muster. It was not long after Bisbee Turquoise was discovered in the Mine that it was introduced to the Southwestern Jewelry Industry. By the early 1960's, Bisbee Turquoise had become the finest Turquoise the market had ever seen and demand for it went through the roof. Again, the mining of Turquoise at the Bisbee Mine was restricted and only small amounts were able to be taken out and sold to the Jewelry industry.
In 1972, the one and only lease ever given to work the dumps from the Lavendar Pitt was awarded to Mr. Robert Matthews of Durango, Colorado. Bob and his associates worked the dumps hard for approximately two years to recover less than 2,000 pounds of good to excellent quality Bisbee Turquoise. Due to mining restrictions and the cost of recovering the Bisbee Turquoise from the dumps, mining slowed down and ended by 1980. Only small amounts of Bisbee Turquoise have surfaced since and this has been from Mine Robbers that sneak into the guarded Mine late at night to hunt for bits and pieces of this fine mineral, Bisbee Turquoise!
There is very little Bisbee Turquoise available today and due to it's rarity and exceptional beauty it is very valuable. Durango Silver Company had the great fortune to purchase the remaining collection of Bob Matthews and his partner Cecil Michelson in 2002. We have continued seeking small parcels of Bisbee Turquoise from individuals and have accumulate one of the largest collections of Bisbee Turquoise known. From the facts above, this is not a giant amount of Turquoise and Bisbee Turquoise remains nearly as rare as hens teeth!
If you are a coniseur of fine quality Turquoise, you may want to join the Durango Silver Co Newsletter. We put out a by-monthly letter to our members that includes great articles on American Turquoise, Southwestern Turquoise Jewelry, News from the Southwest and new products available to our followers. We also have a monthly drawing from our members to give away Free Turquoise Jewelry from our company. We do give away Free Bisbee Turquoise Jewelry occasionally!
Above are two photos of rough Bisbee Turquoise. The photo on the left is a selection of rough Bisbee Turquoise from the Durango Silver Company collection. This is all high grade Bisbee Turquoise. The photo on the right is of Dillon's wife, Nattarika holding a one pound Bisbee Turquoise rock from the Durango Silver collecton.
Above are two photos of Bisbee Turquoise Cabochon examples. Bisbee Turquoise has a wide range of color from a beautiful light sky blue to a deep dark midnight blue which is very rare and seldom scene. Beautiful green colors are also found in Bisbee Turquoise and some rare occurances of blue and green combinations in the same stone. Bisbee Turquoise is known for it's chocolate brown matrix, however, red colored spiderwebbed matrix is also found, but rarely. For more information and photos of Bisbee Turquoise, go to our sister site: BisbeeTurquoise.com.
Bisbee Turquoise Jewelry Examples
Above are two examples of Bisbee Turquoise Cabochons cut by Dillon Hartman of Durango Silver Company. The stone on the left is a Red Spiderweb in deep blue Bisbee Turquoise Cabochon, this is the rarest and most valuable of all Bisbee Turquoise. The stone on the right is a good example of a light blue Smoky Bisbee Turquoise Cabochon. This beauty was hand cut by Dillon Hartman.
Bisbee Turquoise is tricky to cut from rough material and is not for all stone cutters. Each rock must be seriously studied prior to cutting into slabs as if it is cut in the wrong direction, great losses will occur. Cut properly, the yeild from Bisbee Turquoise rough is great as it is very hard and most all of the material that came out of the mine was not blasted, so it if free of fractures. Bisbee Turquoise as in all gemstones will obtain natural fractures if it is dried to quickly when it is removed from the earth. We will often leave small natural fractures in the cabochons so we can get larger stones for certain types of Jewelry.
Bisbee Turquoise Jewelry
Southwest Turquoise Jewelry with Bisbee Turquoise is some of the most outstanding Turquoise Jewelry on earth. Those who are fortunate enough to own a piece of Bisbee Turquoise Jewelry are blessed. We have a rule of thumb at Durango Silver Co that if a piece of Turquoise Jewelry stands out from 8' away, it is a winner! Most Bisbee Turquoise Jewelry stands out 28' feet away - it is usually that good!
Here are two 14ky Gold Bisbee Turquoise Rings made by John Hartman, a master gold and silversmith, of Durango Silver Company. They were made with the lost wax process by applying layer after layer of wax with dental tools to create a natural flowing of gold to surround the gemstone. John makes custom Bisbee Turquoise Lost Wax Rings by special order for his favored clientle.
Here are two stunning Bisbee Turquoise Rings in Sterling Silver. The Mans Turquoise Ring on the left is a Inlay Bisbee Turquoise Ring by Dillon Hartman. Dillon makes a lot of Inlay Turquoise Jewelry for Durango Silver and Bisbee Turquoise is his specialty. The Ring on the right has a red matrix Bisbee Turquoise Stone and was made by John Hartman. We seldom let our Bisbee Turquoise Stones out to be made as we covet them with an iron hand.
Here are two Bisbee Turquoise Rings made by John Hartman. The Ring on the left has a Bisbee Turquoise Stone accompanied by a Sugilite Stone. John likes to do a lot of Victorian styled designs as he has been an antique collector for most of his life and that has appearently rubbed off on him. The Bisbee Ring on the right has a nice deep blue Turquoise Stone with red and brown matrix. The Bisbee Turquoise Stone is bezel set with an unusual Ring Shank with ancient rock art designs.
Above are two marvelous Bisbee Turquoise Pendants. The Pendant on the left was Navajo handcrafted in Sterling Silver with Bisbee Turquoise Stones. It is designed in an upgraded Navajo Cluster design that the Navajo Indians are so noted for. The Bisbee Turquoise Inlay Frog Pendant was made by Dillon Hartman. He picked out some outstanding deep clear blue Bisbee Turquoise that makes this pendant really pop!
Here are two good examples of Bisbee Turquoise Bracelets. The Southwestern Style Navajo made Bracelet on the left has a wonderful Smoky Bisbee Turquoise Stone with exquisit Navajo filigree silverwork, it is an outstanding piece of Turquoise Jewelry and with a Bisbee Turquoise Stone it is Museum quality Turquoise Jewelry. The Inlay Turquoise Bracelet on the right has channel set Bisbee Turquoise Stones individually hand set into it. Durango Silver Company makes a lot of Inlay Turquoise Jewelry and we always try to have Inlay Bisbee Turquoise Jewelry items on hand as well.
For more information, Bisbee Cabochons and Bisbee Turquoise Jewelry as they become available, Join our Newsletter! We put out a by-monthly letter to our members that includes great articles on Bisbee Turquoise, Bisbee Turquoise Jewelry, News from the Southwest and new product specials that are only available to our followers. We also have a monthly drawing from our members to give away Free Turquoise Jewelry from our company. We do give away Free Bisbee Turquoise Jewelry occasionally! You can become one of our members and friends by signing up just below this paragraph.
Bisbee Spiritual Powers
Turquoise has a long history of having healing powers, in fact, examples of Turquoise used by early medicine men date back well over 7,000 years. Turquoise is known as the Skystone by many civilizations, it brings health, happiness and fortune to the bearer and it has been used for its metaphysical healing powers by healers worldwide, historically.
The Bisbee Mine in Bisbee, Arizona is one of the most diverse mineral rich mines on Earth, from various types of Crystals to a wide variation of green to blue Gemstones, including Turquoise. We actually have examples of Bisbee Turquoise with crystal formations next to the Turquoise.
We believe that as Bisbee Turquoise runs in such mineral rich ground and in the same area as many other Gemstones that are known for spiritual healing, it has to have more inherent energy than any other Turquoise on Earth. We believe Bisbee Turquoise is the most important strain of Turquoise for the use of healing and for spiritual purposes.