Sleeping Beauty Mine located in Globe, Arizona is considered to be one of the most important turquoise producing mines in the world. The Sleeping Beauty Mine history began with its storybook name; some say that from a distance the mountain looks like a sleeping woman – and with a little imagination it does. The mountain was named long before it was mined, but once the mine opened it adopted the iconic name.
The Sleeping Beauty Mine history started more than 40 years ago when it was originally mined for gold and copper. The Sleeping Beauty Mine closed in the early ’60s and over the last decade was reopened to mine copper and turquoise. Now the Sleeping Beauty Mine is the world’s largest producer of natural turquoise. The Sleeping Beauty Mine history was made through its impeccable turquoise. Arguably the largest producer of turquoise in the world, the Sleeping Beauty Mine is the largest producer of turquoise in the United States.
Sleeping Beauty stones are some of the most desirable stones produced in the world. Sleeping beauty stones are unique in color and quality anywhere from chalky-blue to sky-blue to deep-blue turquoise.
Closed to the public the mine is in full operation producing some of the world’s most coveted turquoise. The process of mining turquoise is simple to understand but takes a lot of work and time. The turquoise begins in the ground and is uncovered by removing the top-layer of ground. 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.
Sleeping Beauty turquoise stones are shipped all over the world. The destination of the stone is very specific as the color and clarity dictates where the stone is shipped. The desired color of stone is largely dependent upon the area. For example, Egyptians prefer the dark-blue turquoise where as the Italians prefer the light-blue turquoise.
Whether or not the stone is stabilized before it is shipped also depends on where the stone is being shipped to. The Sleeping Beauty 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 Mine has made a name for itself through its storybook name, gold and copper production, and now top-quality turquoise. The production of the stone is in popular demand and although China’s production of turquoise may rival the Sleeping Beauty Mine, the quality is unmatched.