If you want to check out a beautiful town that’s loaded with
galleries, take a trip southeast from Tucson to a town called
Bisbee. Bisbee, AZ is an old copper mining town up in the hills that
was re-populated by artists, poets and other furry creatures back
in the 1970s, when the copper mines closed and much of the town was
vacated. Between the culture and the hilly terrain it is much like a
miniature San Francisco.
Some very gemmy copper minerals (like chatoyant malachite and
azurite, Bisbee Blue Turquoise, and gem chrysacolla) used to be
scavenged from the mine tailings back in the day, but Phelps-Dodge
has put an end to this practice and Bisbee is no longer the lapidary
source that it once was. Still, it’s highly worthwhile.
If you do travel to Bisbee, pay a visit to Will Estavillo’s gallery
while you are there- Will is a great guy and a fellow Orchidian, and
you will be glad that you dropped in.