The Morenci turquoise mine provides high return of beautiful blue color, which varies from light to very dark blue. This blue is a similar shade to turquoise found at other Arizona mines, such as Kingman or Sleeping Beauty. However, Morenci turquoise is a harder stone and often has a richer color than other Arizona turquoise. The matrix consists of iron pyrite or “fool’s gold” that when polished often looks like silver. This matrix makes Morenci turquoise a prized and sought after stone for valuable Native jewelry pieces.
Morenci Turquoise Mine
The Morenci turquoise mine is located in Greenlee County, Arizona. The Morenci mine was initially mined for its copper deposits. Equipment operators would “lunch box” blue high-quality turquoise away from the mine and sell to collectors. The turquoise found at Morenci eventually became worth more than the copper.
From 1956 to 1984 the turquoise rights were granted to William” Lucky “Brown, who also owned the Villa Grove Mine in Colorado. Production was mined in large quantities and sold through the family-owned station in New Mexico and Arizona. The Morenci copper mine is the largest in the United States and still produces more than 750,000,000 pounds of copper per year.
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