The Sleeping Beauty mine is seven miles outside Globe, AZ. Sleeping Beauty turquoise is noted for its solid, light blue color with no matrix. The host rock is granite. Sleeping Beauty turquoise is the favorite of Zuni Pueblo lapidaries and silversmiths for the purity in color. This mine was one of the largest in North America.
Now, one of the most prolific mines in the US has been closed! The Sleeping Beauty mine produced well, about 1600 pounds a month, according to information obtained from the miner/owner in 2010. The tons of tailings piles, which produced most of the turquoise, have even been exhausted. The beautiful, solid color of Sleeping Beauty is especially beloved by many Europeans. A great amount of this turquoise was exported to Italy & France alone.
In its hey-day, the Sleeping Beauty mine yielded only 4% of natural, unaltered turquoise. A high percentage was enhanced, a process that only added value to the lesser grade Sleeping Beauty turquoise. After the mine closed prices began to rise. Wise people bought all they could. In one year prices have tripled. Calls come from China and Japan daily. Sadly we have no rough. There is a stampede for all Sleeping Beauty. Look for the scramble to intensify.