The Castle Dome turquoise mine is located about 30 miles from the Sleeping Beauty mine, near Globe, Arizona. The Castle Dome mine has not been in operation since the early 1970s. The turquoise deposit had been depleted. Castle Dome was operated as an open pit mine. The site has since been reclaimed, meaning it has been filled in and replanted with native plants and grasses.
The owner of Castle Dome turquoise purchased the stockpile of rough stone from his uncle. Most stones retrieved from the mine were small, found in very thin “corn flake” formations. There were a lot of fingernail-sized nuggets found in the mine as well. In the 1960’s copper miners of the Castle Dome mine would gather unusual blue stones and put them in their lunch buckets. They would then go to a convenience store in Globe, Arizona. Here, an ex-forest ranger would buy these stones and pay them cash. It is from this old stockpile that Silver Sun got our Castle Dome turquoise.
Castle Dome is known for its incredible bright blue color. Castle Dome is distinguished from Sleeping Beauty by its more vibrant blue and the presence of more matrix. The matrix in Castle Dome turquoise is light brown to gold in color. This stone is unique because of the honey brown crust that is present before it is cut. Most of the remaining Castle Dome turquoise has been stabilized and cut into beads. The natural stone is extremely rare and hard. Castle Dome beads are a beautiful statement whether worn as a single strand or multiple strands.
Our last purchase was only 60% of a pound, found in the safe of Hubbell Trading Post.