Posts Tagged ‘Turquoise Hunt’


At 47 degrees Fahrenheit year round, the Queen Mine is the coolest place to be in the summer anywhere in Arizona.  The Queen Mine operated from 1877 – 1975. It has seven levels with 143 miles of passageways. The Mine has natural ventilation due to the many shafts and drifts.

Outfitted in hard hat, miner’s headlamp and a yellow slicker, thousands of Bisbee visitors descend into the Queen Mine Tour each year—heading underground and back in time. Tour guides, retired Phelps Dodge employees, lead the group 1,500 feet into the mine and recount mining days, techniques, dangers and drama.  Adding a personal touch, the miner-turned-tour guides help visitors experience what it was like to work underground.  Some of the tour guides are already in their 80’s.  So, come visit soon.

Old Bisbee Map

Five tours depart each day, seven days a week, from the Queen Mine Tour Building, located immediately south of Old Bisbee’s business district, off the U.S. 80 interchange.

9:00am, 10:30am, Noon, 2:00pm, 3:30pm
$13 for adults
$5.50 for ages 4-12
(taxes are included)
Children under 4 are free.

Prices subject to change
Tours last approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Read about the  Queen Mine Tour history and the Bisbee mining history.

Browse through the beautiful rocks at the gift shop inside the Queen Mine Tour building.  You can also pick up brochures and maps at the Bisbee Visitors Center next to the gift shop.  Our volunteers are willing and ready to help you plan a wonderful visit in Bisbee.

Bisbee Mining and Historical Museum is another “must see” while you’re in Bisbee.  It’s part of the Smithsonian Institution’s Affiliations Program, the first museum in the southwest to be designated – and distinguished – as an Affiliate since 1998.  Once a year the Mining Museum also sponsors a Turquoise Hunt where rock hounds can hunt for the valuable Bisbee turquoise – the Bisbee Blue.  (2013 Turquoise Hunt is cancelled, call around mid year 2014 regarding 2014 Turquoise Hunt.)





A blog about Bisbee and Bisbee events by Gym Club Suites:

About us:  Originally built in 1903 as the YMCA, it is a registered historical landmark.  Renovated in the 1980′s into a 17-unit apartment building; now it is a popular vacation rental for long and short term stays.

For more info: www.gymclubsuites.com

To view our suites:  http://ow.ly/1TcVv

For Bisbee Events:  http://ow.ly/1SNm7

Follow us on Twitter:  www.twitter.com/BisbeeAzLodging

Facebook Page:   www.facebook.com/GymClubSuites


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On October 7th and 8th, 2011, the Bisbee Mining and Historical Museum will again sponsor the Bisbee Turquoise Hunt.  

History of Bisbee Turquoise 

In the 1950’s and 60’s, Phelps Dodge, in order to expose the high grade copper ore,  extracted  lower grade ore along with deposits of turquoise into dump trucks and hauled them aways.  Miners and company employees who recovered these precious stones from the dump, against company rule, were the only source of this famous Bisbee turquoise.  In 1972, Phelps Dodge leased the right to recover the turquoise from the dump to Bob Matthews who sold most of the tuquoise to Durango Silver, CO.  Durango Silver now owns the largest collection of Bisbee turquoise.

Bisbee Blues, a registered name for Bisbee turquoise

“High-quality Bisbee Turquoise is a hard, strikingly brilliant blue stone often with red-brown spiderwebbing, dendrites or hard chocolate brown colored matrix distinctive to the area near Bisbee.”  (from Durango Silver’s website) 

Click on the link to see a slide show of Bisbee turquoise http://ow.ly/2huoj from bisbeeturquoise.com.

2009 Turquoise Hunt

Some of the biggest turquoise recovered from last year’s Hunt were found by professional jewelers.  Unlike amateurs who were happy to find tiny pieces of turquoise by flipping over rocks and digging into dirt, they scanned the ground for big ones.  And, they found big ones.

This one was found by Olin, a jeweler from Phoenix.  This was his second time to the Bisbee Turquoise Hunt.  You’ll see why when you see the picture below.

A darker turquoise, potentially worth $1000 when cut.

This one was found by Bisbee’s own Rock Man, Bruce Mead. 

A larger rock measuring 4+ inches across, potentially worth $300.


Why don’t you join the professional jewelers and spend a couple of hours hunting for treasure?   Oct 7th, 2011, Friday, is open only for members ($20) of the Mining Museum.  Oct 8th, Saturday, is open to the public ($30) .  For more information, contact the Bisbee Mining and Historical Museum 520-432-7071.

Turquoise Links:

Bisbee Minining & Historial Museum Newsletters http://www.bisbeemuseum.org/bmhm/newsletters/bmnewsletter02.pdf


Finders Keepers, 81 Main Street, Bisbee    http://www.fkeepers.com/bisbeeturquoise.html

Natural turquoise vs stabilized turquoise http://www.collectorsguide.com/fa/fa098.shtml

Durango Silver’s page on Bisbee Turquoise & Youtube video on Bisbee Turquoise http://www.bisbeeturquoise.com    http://ow.ly/2Orh6



October 7-8 Weekend Events in Bisbee

Besides the Turquoise Hunt, other events this weekend are:

Farmers Market:  8am – 1pm Saturday.  Enjoy music by Nowhere Man and a Whiskey Girl under the “Social Tree”.  http://www.bisbeefarmersmarket.org/#!market-news

Wine Tasting Fest:  4-7 pm Saturday.  Sample more than 50 Old and New World wines.  This event is guaranteed to be an afternoon of great food, music and fun.  www.bisbeerotaryclub.org or 520-432-3554.

Bisbee After 5:  5-8pm Saturday Oct 8th, 2011.  Enjoy special sales and promotions, enter to win a raffle worth $200+, enjoy live entertainment and artist receptions until 8pm.   http://bisbeeafterfive.blogspot.com/



A blog about Bisbee events by Gym Club Suites:

About us:  Originally built in 1903 as the YMCA, a registered historical landmark;   renovated in the 1980’s into a 17-unit apartment building;  now it is fully furnished for travelers to Bisbee and Southeast Arizona a place to curl up for the night ~ a home away from home, instead of just a hotel room.

For more info: www.gymclubsuites.com

To view our suites:  http://ow.ly/1TcVv

For Bisbee Events:  http://ow.ly/1SNm7

Follow us on Twitter:  www.twitter.com/BisbeeAzLodging

Like us on Facebook:  www.facebook.com/gymclubsuites

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