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Bisbee Arizona Turquoise Beads and Jewelry: My New Discovery

I'm ashamed to confess I'd never heard of Bisbee, Arizona, before recently, let alone the fact that it's famous for its turquoise. Being an urbanite from the American midwest and having mostly worked on my bracelets, earrings and necklaces with my precious stock of faceted rondelle and pillow-shaped Sleeping Beauty turquoise beads (see the design for my Sleeping Beauty turquoise bracelet ) for the last several years, I naively never quite realized that Arizona turquoise didn't all come from the Sleeping Beauty mine or the Kingman turquoise mine.

As it is, Arizona is famous worldwide for its gem-quality turquoise, oft used by the Navajo people, for jewelry making. And there are more turquoise mines than I had any notion of.

There's Morenci turquoise with its silvery pyrite matrix, and now I've recently discovered Bisbee, Arizona turquoise beads.

Bisbee turquoise has no new stock - it's apparently all been mined long ago - at least, all the rock that's accessible. It's not all flawless, hard and gem quality, but each grade has its own absolutely gorgeous beauty. Much of it is gem quality and natural, though some of the lower grades have been stabilized.

Read my article about the fascinating history of Bisbee turquoise, as the turquoise itself was never "mined" in the traditional sense, but rather scavenged from copper mines by the miners.

Bisbee turquoise is another beautiful and rather rare Arizona gemstone to integrate into both rustic and elegant designs.

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