The Sleeping Beauty Turquoise mine is located near Globe, Arizona, east of Phoenix. Sleeping Beauty Turquoise is known for its solid sky-blue color and lack of host rock matrix webbing. However, natural Sleeping Beauty turquoise can come in a variety of shades, including green on rare occasion, and even include a dark host rock and pyrite.
Like many of the older turquoise mines, the claim was originally for producing copper and gold in the late 1800s, and the turquoise was a surprise byproduct. The Sleeping Beauty mine is located near Castle Dome and Pinto Valley mines, which are all along the south slopes of the Porphyry Mountains. Large amounts of copper and turquoise have originated from this area in Arizona. This copper in the soil is what creates the bright blue turquoise.
The Sleeping Beauty mine skyrocketed to popularity in the 1970s and has become one of the most famous turquoise mines in the Southwest. The pale, clear blue colors offered by the Sleeping Beauty mine have become a staple in Native American jewelry. Because Sleeping Beauty turquoise typically has no distinct webbing, the solid blue stone can be easily imitated in plastic or non-turquoise materials claiming to be Sleeping Beauty. For this reason, it is important, as always, to be confident that you're purchasing the turquoise from a reputable business.
While the Sleeping Beauty mine produced a bountiful amount of turquoise over the years, the Sleeping Beauty mine was closed around 2012, due to rising costs to access the turquoise deposit. All Sleeping Beauty turquoise that you see available on the market was mined prior to this date.