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Sleeping Beauty Turquoise

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Natural Sleeping Beuaty Turquoise


From it's humble begginings Sleeping Beauty Turquoise from Arizona has become one of the most important Turquoise mines in the world. Sleeping Beauty Turquoise was first found by the Native Americans during the Anasazi times. At this time the Turquoise was mined with hand tools and little bits were collected at a time. The baby blue or "Robin's Egg" blue Turquoise was mainly used as beads and on shells that the Native American tribes of the Southwest had traded for with the Native American tribes of central and south America. Sleeping Beauty Turquoise also made its way to Pueblo Bonito during the Anasazi times along with Turquoise from other deposits in the Southwest. Pueblo Bonito served as a trade center for Anasazi Turquoise for North American Tribes, Central American Tribes and South American tribes. Since this time, the Sleeping Beauty mine was developed by Anglo peoples in search of Copper and other meetal ore. The Turquoise was under contract by Monty Nichols. Nichols is said to have "Torn down a mountain" to find the famous Sleeping Beauty Turquoise, which is a figure of speech, not an actuality to show how much work the miner has done to get the stone that has become an icon in the gem industry.

Sleeping Beauty Turquoise Bracelet

The famous Sleeping Beauty Turquoise was actually re-discovered by accident. The mine was opened to pull copper and gold and it wasn’t until relatively recently (1900s) that the first Turquoise stones were discovered by Anglo miners. Even in rough form, the stones are vibrant and bright, even more blue than the bright Southwestern sky overhead. The miner Monty Nichols began marketing Sleeping Beauty Turquoise as an affordable Turquoise. The Sleeping Beauty Turquoise mine was producing plenty of stone which in the early days was mainly tumbled into nuggets, cut in half, backed and sold as "nugget cut" cabochons. If you look in pawn shops and in classic Turquoise books and magazines you will see a ton of this jewelry, which is mostly Sleeping Beauty Turquoise Jewelry or Kingman Turquoise from Arizona. Due to the amount of Turquoise the miner ended up running into he was able to sell the Turquoise at an affordable price in order to promote the mine and to make the Sleeping Beauty Turquoise name a house hold name. The gemstone got its name from the mountain where it is mined, which resembles a sleeping woman laying on her back with arms crossed.


Today, every person who has been to the Southwest or lives in the Southwest knows the name Sleeping Beauty Turquoise and exactly what it looks like. Sleeping Beauty Turquoise is revered and highly sought after due to its pure sky blue color which shows very little to no veining or webbing. The highly sought after stone has made a tremendous impact on the history of Turquoise over the years. For this reason, and the fact that the Arizona Turquoise Mine recently closed in the fall of 2012, the Turquoise has jumped in value, and is now selling for prices simular to it's high grade counterparts from Nevada, USA. It’s pure color and natural strength make Sleeping Beauty Turquoise characteristics a favorite for jewelry makers and artists around the world. It is one of the most prized forms of turquoise for jewelry and adornment and is often stable enough to be polished and used for turquoise jewelry without any treatment or stabilization. To this day, however, the only stone that replicates the stunning beauty of Sleeping Beauty Turquoise is that of the old Persian Turquoise mines, which are nearly impossible to get Turquoise from and are rumored to be closed. Sleeping Beauty Turquoise is truly a gem of the Southwestern United States and it appears at this time that this amazing Arizona Turquoise won’t be around forever, especially outstanding quality material like the natural stuff used in these Sleeping Beauty Turquoise earrings.

Sleeping Beauty Turquoise Earrings Sleeping Beauty Turquoise Earrings

Sleeping Beauty Turquoise Mine



Natural Sleeping Beauty Turquoise Rough

The Sleeping Beauty Turquoise Mine located in Globe, Arizona is considered to be one of the most important American Turquoise mines in the world. The Sleeping Beauty Mine's history began with its storybook name "Sleeping Beauty". Some say the mountain from which the sky stone comes looks like a sleeping lady with her arms crossed.. The mountain was named long before it was mined, but once the mine opened it adopted the iconic name. In the gem industry as with any other industry, not only the quality and beauty of a product sells it, the name also sells it, and what better name could you have for Turquoise?

The name describes the beauty of this Turquoise, even in the rough state, look at the natural Sleeping Beauty Turquoise nugget to the left.


The Sleeping Beauty Turquoise Mine history started with the Anasazi Indians, but we will stick more to the current history which began more than 40 years ago when it was originally mined for gold and copper. The Sleeping Beauty Mine, which at the time had a few other names, "Pinto Valley" and "Castle Dome", closed in the early 1960s and over the last decade was reopened to mine copper and Turquoise. Up until recently the Sleeping Beauty Turquoise Mine was one of the world’s largest producers of natural Turquoise. The mine closed in late 2012. The Sleeping Beauty Mine history was made through its impeccable Turquoise and the hard work of Monty Nichols. Arguably the largest producer of Turquoise in the world, the Sleeping Beauty Turquoise Mine was one of the largest producer of Turquoise in the United States.

Sleeping Beauty Turquoise Ring

Sleeping Beauty stones are some of the most desirable gemstones produced in the world. Sleeping Beauty stones are unique in color and quality anywhere from chalky-blue "robin's egg" blue to sky-blue to deep-blue Turquoise. The dark the rarer the stones are. However, with Sleeping Beauty Turquoise, deep blue is not really the desireable color. As far as Sleeping Beauty goes, jewelers and gemologist are looking for the "perfect" Turquoise, for that sky blue color, not too light, not to dark, with no matrix, which mimics that old Persian Turquoise look, these are the most valuable Sleeping Beauty Turquoise stones.

The process of mining Turquoise is simple to understand but takes a lot of work and time and varies with each miner. The Turquoise begins in the ground and is uncovered by removing the top-layer of ground first with hand tools to find the vein, then with jack hammers and heavier equipment.

Natural Sleeping Beauty Turquoise Bead Necklace

Sleeping Beauty Turquoise Earrings

Once removed from the earth it’s then moved to the “pickers” who sift through each piece sorting between rock and turquoise. The turquoise is then taken to the “chippers” who chip the rock away from the stone and the stone is then sorted by shape, quality and color. Turquoise comes from the ground either in a flat piece, a nugget or large chunk. The over burden is removed with heavy equipment.

Once the stones are cleaned up and sorted, the Sleeping Beauty Turquoise stones are sold mainly to jewelers in the United States, then shipped all over the world to jewelry manufacturers. The desired color of stone is largely dependent upon the buyer and the type of jewelry they are making. For example, Egyptians prefer the dark-blue Turquoise where as the Italians prefer the light-blue Turquoise, Americans prefer the medium sky blue which is considered the "perfect" Turquoise in relation to Sleeping Beauty.


Whether or not the gemstone is stabilized before it is shipped also depends on how hard the natural Turquoise is. Only a small percentage of the natural Sleeping Beauty Turquoise is hard enough to be gem grade as with all gem mine material. Natural Turquoise demands the highest price, however most jewelers with never get their hands on it due to the price. The most common Turquoise used in jewelry today is Stabilized Turquoise. For most buyers this is a better product because it is cheaper and it is much more durable. The Sleeping Beauty Turquoise Mine offers natural Turquoise or Stabilized Turquoise depending on the preference of the buyer. Stabilizing the stone makes the Turquoise resilient to color change and more practical for use in Turquoise Jewelry.

Over the years, the Sleeping Beauty Turquoise Mine has made a name for itself through its storybook name, gold and copper production, and now top-quality Turquoise. The production of the sky blue Turquoise is in popular demand and although China’s production of Turquoise may have rivaled the Sleeping Beauty Mine at one time, the quality was unmatched.

Sleeping Beauty Turquoise Cluster Bracelet

Sleeping Beauty Turquoise

Natural Sleeping Beauty Turquoise from the Hartman collection

Durango Silver Company prides ourselves in our ultra high quality, hand picked, natural Sleeping Beauty Turquoise jewelry and Sleeping Beauty Turquoise beads. Durango Silver Company has direct access to Sleeping Beauty Turquoise through the former mine own as well as other large Turquoise distributors whom we call friends. We gaurantee our Sleeping Beauty Turquoise to be the finest. When you are looking for the best that the Sleeping Beauty Turquoise mine has to offer, look no further.

Checkout our Sleeping Beauty Turquoise Jewlery collection now! Click Here

You may also want to read about:

Arizona Turquoise | American Turquoise | Blue Turquoise Jewelry | Sleeping Beauty Turquoise Jewelry | Sleeping Beauty Turquoise Earrings | Sleeping Beauty Turquoise Pendant | Sleeping Beauty Turquoise Ring


Learn more about Turquoise and Turquoise Jewelry by following the links in our Learning Center to other informational pages that we have written on different topics related to Sleeping Beauty Turquoise. In addition, we would like to invite you to join our E-Mail Newsletter - about once every other month we send out a Newsletter to inform our members of what's happening with Durango Silver Company, new products, specials for our members and more. We also have a monthly drawing from our member base to give away free Turquoise Jewelry from our company. Please take a moment to become one of our friends by signing in below. We hope you have enjoyed this information page on Turquoise and you think of Durango Silver Company when you want to buy a beautiful piece of natural authentic American Turquoise. Thank you for reading our brief history of Sleeping Beauty Turquoise.

Learn more about Sleeping Beauty Turquoise Rings