Sleeping Beauty Turquoise

The Sleeping Beauty Turquoise mine is home to some of the most stunning turquoise in the world. Located right outside Globe, it’s named after the rock formation which suggests a woman asleep on her back. Although the mine was closed in 2012, it remains a landmark and a popular place to visit if only for the photo opportunity. When it shut down, there was a rush to snag any of the last rough open to the market. Since then, the price of the turquoise from the mine have skyrocketed. However, travelers can still find some options at boutiques around town.

Sleeping Beauty turquoise is considered the most well-known (and the beautiful name doesn’t hurt, either). A bright blue similar to a robin’s egg, there’s minimal matrix. Collectors adore it, and locals proudly wear their necklaces, rings, bracelets and more. Antiquing and jewelry shopping in the area is wildly popular. Scoring a piece for yourself is a lovely reminder of your time spent in Globe.

The Gem of Globe

Although turquoise never went out of style, it’s enjoying a revival thanks to festival wear and the adoption of Native American design in contemporary fashion. Origin is the leading factor in valuing turquoise. The mine is more important than matrix or trump. While the Khorasan Province in Iran was the leading location for centuries, the American Southwest surpassed Iran in the twentieth century—specifically Arizona.

Surprisingly, Italy played a big part in making Sleeping Beauty so popular. In the 70s and 80s, Italian cameo designers fell in love with it. The specific blue complemented coral perfectly, and in Italy Sleeping Beauty was the ultimate American gem.

Today, Sleeping Beauty still harbors turquoise, but the new owners have decided not to mine. It’s led to the price shooting up from $10 per count wholesale to nearly $50.