Few gemstones have captivated the world in the way turquoise has. And among this stone, even fewer can match the flawless appeal of Sleeping Beauty Turquoise. Join us to learn the rich history behind this growingly scarce gem.
A Princess Wakes
Sleeping Beauty Turquoise is such a beautiful gem; you would think it was sought out on purpose. You couldn’t be further from the truth! This variety of turquoise was discovered entirely by accident. The mine, located in Globe, Arizona, originally began operation in pursuit of copper. It wasn’t until copper miners began unearthing rough of exceptional color that gem production began. While it’s quite common to find deposits of turquoise and copper alongside one another, no one was prepared to find this stunning gemstone.
Mine owners at the time immediately began shifting operations to include turquoise production. Turquoise excavation began at the mine in the 1970’s. During that era, many mines became exhausted. Of course, this did nothing to decrease demand. Jewelers of that time were searching hard for a clean turquoise, consistent in color and reliable in supply. Sleeping Beauty Turquoise entered the market at an excellent time! It was immediately popular in the gem community, thanks to its natural beauty, nearly flawless appearance, and consistent color. In particular, Italian cameo-makers Torre del Greco were big fans.
Happily Ever After?
It might not be the fairy-tale ending that many were hoping for, as the production of Sleeping Beauty Turquoise ceased in 2012. It was truly the end of an era, as this stone was the definitive turquoise for decades. As copper’s price began to climb in the world market, the current owners of the mine made a tough choice. Ceasing production of the gem would allow them to pursue this lucrative opportunity full tilt.
With this new scarcity introduced, the price of the stone began to rise exponentially. Rough from the mine used to sell for as low as $10 per carat in a wholesale atmosphere. Nowadays, if it can be found, rough can go for as much as $50 – or even higher as demand commands! Despite growing production on a global scale, turquoise of American origin still commands a premium from collectors and consumers. There’s preference for natural and untreated stones, something not always immediately available from large suppliers such as China.
Sleeping Beauty Turquoise Basics
- Best-known for its consistent, robin’s egg blue color and limited veining.
- Ranks 5 to 6 on the Mohs scale.
- Originates from the Sleeping Beauty Mine in Globe, Arizona.
- Birthstone for December.
- May have been stabilized through the Zachery process.
- Learn more through our Education Center.
Once Upon a Time
Our comprehensive network of dealers and suppliers allow us to continue offering this gorgeous gemstone at a generous price! Begin your journey now.