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Azurite, November 2012 Mineral of the Month

Azurite, 2012 MOTM

Mineral Name: Azurite
Specimen Number: 077
Record ID: 6024
Locality Nickname: Bisbee, Arizona
State: Arizona
County: Cochise
Town: Bisbee
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The Phelps-Dodge Company was co-founded in 1834 by William Earl Dodge as an import business dealing in cotton and metal ores.  Dodge’s grandson, Charles Hoadley Dodge (Princeton class of 1879) became involved in the family business as his father, William Earl Dodge Jr., expanded the scope of the company to include one of the largest copper mining operations in the country at the famous deposits of Bisbee, Arizona.  Charles assumed control of the company after his father’s death, and directed it through the World War I years, an extremely profitable period in the company’s (by then Phelps-Dodge Corporation) history.  However, Charles felt it wrong to profit personally from the war, and founded the Charles H. Dodge foundation to award grants to many charitable and educational institutions, including the Y.M.C.A.

Shortly after his graduation from Princeton, during the time he was helping run the company, Charles generously donated a large number of mineral specimens to his alma mater.  Among these were a few spectacular English barite specimens, but the majority were examples of colorful copper ores from the mining operations at Bisbee.  In recognition of election month in the United States, we present here a fine specimen of azurite (hydrous copper carbonate, Cu3(CO3)2(OH)2,) from the Bisbee mines. If you use your imagination, the specimen is very roughly shaped like the map of the lower forty-eight states.  However, that the fact that the specimen is entirely blue is coincidental and carries no political implications – we unfortunately have no noteworthy specimens combining blue azurite and red cuprite!