Originally discovered by the Phelps Dodge Company while mining copper in the 1950's in Bisbee, Arizona in an area known as the Lavender Pit, the turquoise was dumped and most of the material that came out of the mine, was carried out by miners in their lunch boxes. Though this activity was prohibited, it was rarely enforced. In March of 1972, a miner named Bob Matthews was given the only lease ever granted for rights to mine Bisbee Turquoise. He was said to have recovered more than 2,000 pounds of good to excellent turquoise by 1974. Bisbee is a hard, finely webbed, brilliant blue turquoise with a distinctive smokey reddish-brown matrix.
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