Arizona: A State of Wealth

Audible stories from Prescott Valley’s newest print voice, TG Magazine.

Arizona is a rich state, and not just in terms of culture and community: the country itself is full of resources. Arizona’s long and varied history is closely linked to its country. The word Arizona is derived from the Aztec word “arizuma”, which means “silver-bearing.” Arizona is also known as the “copper state”, another reference to its lush landscape, which in certain places can look deceptively dry or barren.

But that’s just a misconception: Arizona mines more copper than all other states combined. On the southeastern side of the state, near the city of Morenci, Arizona, the Morenci Mine produces more copper than any other location in North America and is second in the world in terms of copper production – Chile has slightly more. The copper extracted from the Morenci mine is sent around the world, but some of it remains local, such as the dome of the Capitol Building in Arizona (fun fact: the amount of copper used for the Capitol Building in Arizona used equals the amount used in 4.8 million cents!)

If you’ve lived in Arizona for a long time, or know someone who has, chances are you know another famous Arizona export: turquoise. Turquoise is a rich, creamy, and sometimes mottled stone that is colored a delightful mix of blue and green. It is the state gem of Arizona and is widely used in jewelry making. Not to be confused with howlite, another mottled stone that is sometimes colored from its natural white to turquoise to mimic the official state stone. Turquoise can be found all over the world, but holds a special place in the hearts of many Southwesters (Tip: Want to make sure your turquoise isn’t howlite? Very simple: dip a cotton ball in acetone and rub something over the stone. If it’s turquoise, nothing happens. If it’s howlite, the paint will dissolve with the acetone, including the natural white howlite). A mix of hydrated copper and aluminum phosphate, turquoise represents wisdom, luck, and serenity, which makes it the perfect stone to represent the wealth of Arizona. In Tibet and Nepal, which also have naturally turquoise, it is known as the “sky stone”.

The state motto for Arizona is Ditat Deus, which means “God enriches” in Latin. No matter which part of Arizona you are from or which part of the state you prefer, Arizona is truly a state that is abundant in beauty and joy, both from the nature and from the people who make it their home.

Prescott, Arizona offers beautiful weather and numerous treasures for everyone. Making this state your permanent home is a smart move that offers an abundance of activities and gorgeous views. Learn more about life in this beautiful state by visiting

1 Arizona Office of Tourism and the Arizona Centennial Commission staff

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