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Bisbee area collecting

Posted by Stephen Pegler  
Stephen Pegler March 29, 2012 10:59PM
We are are from the Phoenix area and are planning a three day weekend trip to Bisbee in mid-April mostly just to see the Bisbee/Tombstone area. However, I am a dedicated mineral collector so I thought I would check out any collecting areas still available anywhere near Bisbee or Tombstone. I realize that the major mines are all closed in the area but I was wondering if there are any decent collecting opportunities between I-10 and the Bisbee area. Dumps, minor abandoned mines, etc. I'm not going to be able to spend a lot of time prospecting and collecting - I've been going out collecting almost every weekend this spring before the hot weather hits and my wife is a little tired of it (to say the least). We will be driving a high clearance Jeep GC so we can deal with bad roads.

I don't mind paying for fee collecting if there are any such operations in the area. I'd rather do that than just find yard rocks (I've got all those I can stand). We will no doubt go to the Copper Queen mine tour to look but don't touch or dig. We have never gone on that tour before. I have also heard of another underground mine tour somewhere in the area that is less "touristy". Does anybody know about that tour? In researching the Bisbee area on the Internet, I am frankly surprised that a town that has such an incredibly rich mining and mineral history has so few references to mineral collecting and rock shops. It seems like it's all eating and drinking places and doodad shops.

Any advice on good mineral collecting locations in the general area would be greatly appreciated. I'm a digger rather than a buyer of minerals but I would also like to visit any good rock shops in the area. Also, any advice on other mine tours in the area would be appreciated. I'll gladly trade information on central Arizona collecting locations for southeastern Arizona mineral collecting locations.
Don Saathoff March 29, 2012 11:52PM
RE: Mine tours.....I don't remember if its the Goodenough or the Toughnut, but one of these mines in Tombstone ran very "loose" tours some years ago.

David Garske March 30, 2012 03:53AM
I had a mineral store in Bisbee for 27 years. Collecting or even trespassing today can bring arrest anywhere on mine property. Several years ago quite a few people would sneak onto mine property, trying to find enough specimens to make a meager living (profession was called dumping). Because of liability laws today most mining companies do not allow collecting.
Stephen Pegler March 30, 2012 04:22PM
Do you know of any good mineral stores still open in Bisbee?
Phil Richardson March 30, 2012 06:52PM

You should try and stop by the Clarion Hotel, Phoenix Tech Center, off of I-10 at Elliot Road, Friday night April the 13th. The Flagg Mineral Foundation is hosting its annual Arizona Mineral Sympsium there, and 23 collector/dealers will be open, and 'tailgating', from 5:00 pm until 10:00 pm occupying courtyard/poolside rooms. It is free to the public and with many of the collector/dealers present specializing in Arizona minerals, there should be plenty to see, and possible a specimen or two tempting enough to want to take home. If you are interested in the lecture series, it is all day Saturday, April the 14th. There will be an attendee field trip Sunday, the 15th. You can find out more information by going to, clicking on 'I want to go underground' and then click on activities.

Stephen Pegler March 30, 2012 08:29PM
Yes, I have already sent in my money for the Symposium. Looks like a great program. I'm going on the Reymert Field Trip also. See you there.
Ian Merkel March 31, 2012 02:58PM

The Wizard Shop is a great mineral/jewelry shop in Tombstone. The owner collected much of the material from Bisbee over decades. They also have magnificent fire agate from slaughter mountain.

Also, there was a turquoise locale in Gleeson that was accessible a few years ago, but I have not been in many years.

Good luck!
David Garske April 01, 2012 08:13PM
I had the only store in Bisbee specializing in minerals, haven't really been back. Since collecting has been forbidden there are no new specimens available to store owners, and the old miner's collections in general were sold years ago. However the Queen Mine Tour gift shop has a good general mineral selection.
jacob dennis December 23, 2012 10:37AM
Hello my name is Jacob Dennis I am I have been out collecting around different states since I have been in my early teens many reply nice finds in my collecting and show times. Collecting minerals has been a relly get time.but now I am into the recovery of minerals and fossils . I have been in the Bisbee sera for months now azurite has been the most fun for me here
Stephen Pegler December 23, 2012 01:50PM
Have you been able to collect in the old mines around Bisbee?
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