Although its origins come from the far east (Persian and Turkistan) Turquoise is a stone synonymous with the Southwest and the Native American culture. In modern times, people have believed it to be a stone of life, good health and often have healing properties. The Native American tribes don’t believe in many of these metaphysical properties, they do believe in Mother Earth and the life that comes from her. They understand that Turquoise is from her and thus it is life.

Bisbee Turquoise Earrings

Most of the Turquoise we see today is from the Southwest. An unusual fact is that is not mined directly. Meaning that most mines that produce Turquoise are either Copper or Iron Ore. The operation of mining these other minerals unearths the Turquoise in large mounds of dirt, rock, and stone. Only after the mining operation has finished gathering all the minerals in a certain area can the Turquoise be gathered from these large mounds. So, to own a turquoise mine is to own a closed copper, iron ore, or silver mine.

One of the most famous of these is the Bisbee mine in southern Arizona. It was one of the largest Copper mines in the world at one time. The Turquoise was called” Bisbee Blue”. The term refers to the turquoise that comes from copper mines in this region. Turquoise from Bisbee has a reputation as a hard, finely webbed stone with high blue color, ranging from sky blue to a dark lavender blue. This Navajo bracelet from the 1970’s is a great example. It is some of the most desirable Turquoise by collectors today.

At Spirit of Santa Fe, we have hundreds of exquisite pieces of Native American jewelry featuring some of the finest Bisbee Turquoise you can find.

Bisbee Turquoise Bracelet