Interesting fact 📝: one of the largest pieces of turquoise ever found was a massive nugget weighing 245 pounds. It was discovered in 1982 in a mine in Polk County, Arkansas.
Turquoise has been widely valued for its rich green and deep sky blue coloring and has been a part of ancient cultures for centuries. It has also cemented itself as one of December’s three birthstones.
But did you know that there are various types of turquoise mines? One of the most popular one is called Sleeping Beauty turquoise, and just like the beautiful princess of the same name, it's breathtakingly beautiful.
Wondering what makes Sleeping Beauty turquoise so special? Keep reading this for all of the details below. 🏼
What Is Sleeping Beauty Turquoise?
Sleeping Beauty turquoise is named from the mine in Globe, Arizona where it was discovered around the 1960s to 1970s. The mine where it was found was primarily used to search for copper and gold deposits. Its discovery was purely by accident, but a very happy accident nonetheless! 💙
Copper and turquoise are often mined together in the same areas. Since copper production is part of what contributes to the formation of and blueish hue of turquoise.
It’s called Sleeping Beauty turquoise because the mountain where the mine sits looks somewhat like a silhouette of a sleeping woman lying down from a distance. The same name as the fairy tale damsel! So, the color of this particular turquoise rock may also resemble her dazzling blue eyes as they open to meet her Prince Charming. ✨
What Are the Features of Sleeping Beauty Turquoise?
Turquoise is often distinguishable based on its colors and patterns. These traits often relate to where it was mined which gives it its features.
While most standard turquoise is prized for its unmistakable deep greenish blue coloring and ornate patterns and matrix markings and lines throughout, Sleeping Beauty turquoise is unique for its diminished or complete lack of a matrix pattern. It also possesses a lighter blue coloring, resembling the sky or a Robin’s egg in appearance.
A matrix sometimes incorporates bits of copper into the turquoise during the formation process. So it will have copper-toned flecks or lines on its surface.
While some may gravitate towards the more mottled and marked matrix variations of turquoise because it gives the stone more character and uniqueness, Sleeping Beauty turquoise is spotless-looking. This makes it more ideal for artists who are seeking a pristine turquoise stone.
Sleeping Beauty turquoise rates between a 5 and a 6 on the Moh’s Hardness Scale which rates the durability of precious and semi-precious gemstones. For reference, a diamond is the hardest substance on earth with a Moh’s rating of 10, the absolute highest possible hardness.
A piece of turquoise like Sleeping Beauty turquoise, should not scratch as easily as stones with lower ratings, but they can still become damaged without proper care. ❗️
Some forms of turquoise stones must undergo the Zachary Process of hardening and enhancing them, also known as stabilization. The Zachary Process uses certain chemicals to upgrade pieces of turquoise that may not fully be up to quality standards, it then heats the stones up and coats them with resin or wax to seal in the color and preserve them
Another great feature of Sleeping Beauty turquoise is its natural durability. Sleeping Beauty turquoise is stable enough that some pieces on their own do not need any further stabilization. This makes them even more appealing.
What Makes Sleeping Beauty Turquoise Valuable?
Besides its distinct features, Sleeping Beauty turquoise is also becoming more of a rarity amongst turquoise types. Due to increasing mining regulations and rising costs, the mine was shut down in 2012. It did reopen under new ownership but its main focus is now on copper since copper is seen as a more useful and profitable resource.
The discontinuation of mining Sleeping Beauty turquoise has led to it becoming a more valuable and desirable turquoise form. This drove the demand for it which also drove the price up as a result. Therefore the Sleeping Beauty turquoise value is at a much higher level as well.
The true price cannot be pinpointed exactly as it fluctuates depending on many variables. Turquoise stones follow the same principles as diamonds do for determining their cost. Namely “The 4 C’s” known as color, cut, clarity, and carat.
So, in order to determine the true Sleeping Beauty turquoise value and overall cost, you need to take into account its:
- Overall Size (Carat)
- Pure Blue Tones (Color)
- Shape and Smoothness and Cabochoning (Cut) 🤌🏻
- Absence of Flaws and Inclusions (Clarity)
Turquoise undergoes a cutting and polishing process, just like a diamond. They are usually smoothed into a more rounded crown top, a domelike shape more frequently referred to as a cabochon cut.
Just as with a diamond, the larger and more flawless a piece of Sleeping Beauty turquoise is, the more it will cost, and you're guaranteed to have a pristine quality of sleeping beauty turquoise!
How Can I Be Certain Sleeping Beauty Turquoise Is Authentic?
The biggest tipoff for a possible fake piece of Sleeping Beauty turquoise is the price. As we discussed above, Sleeping Beauty turquoise is more rare and valuable now.
So, if you happen to find a piece with an unbelievably low price tag, it is more than likely a fraud or forgery. Remember, you’re paying for quality. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. 😅
Another key area to examine whether or not you’re dealing with authentic Sleeping Beauty Turquoise is on the stone’s surface itself. Check to see if there is any chipping or visible flaking to indicate a false coating applied to mimic a proper polishing. You may slightly scratch it with your fingernail to see if it peels off.
Fakers may also try to recreate the blue coloring and not quite hit the mark one way or the other. If it is too unnaturally blue, even for turquoise, it may be an imitation. Look for any spots of uneven or overly saturated color that could point to a poorly dyed stone as well.
Always try to buy from a reputable seller, especially online where you can’t examine it in close detail. Find sites with good, clear pictures with detailed product listings so you can inspect every possible detail and make the best-informed decisions about your purchases. This will help ensure you are receiving genuine items. ✅
If they have honest reviews from other customers, always read these to see what the customer experience is like. You want to be certain you are receiving the best quality possible and that the seller stands by their products and their reputation.
How Can I Buy Sleeping Beauty Turquoise?
While Sleeping Beauty turquoise is more rare, it is still available to purchase.
Other Sleeping Beauty turquoise selling sites offer calibrated loose cabochon stones. These are pieces that are specially cut and measured to fit standard-sized jewelry settings and mountings, so you can create your own Sleeping Beauty Turquoise rings, necklaces, bracelets, and more jewelry pieces.
You can buy sets of Sleeping Beauty cabochons to make a pair of earrings or a Sleeping Beauty bracelet. Mix and match them or use these cabochons to create a fully coordinated set of Sleeping Beauty turquoise jewelry piece.
Another option for buying Sleeping Beauty turquoise is with strings of turquoise beads. Make your own colorful beaded bracelets, earrings, or a sensational Sleeping Beauty turquoise necklace with a cascade effect. ✨
Chunky nugget beads give Sleeping Beauty turquoise jewelry pieces an eclectic textured flair with a whimsical vibe. You can even sew them onto purses, hats, jackets, t-shirts, and sweatshirts for an even more artistic style that is truly one-of-a-kind. Sky's the limit!
Find Stunning Sleeping Beauty Turquoise Cabochons and More at Turquoise Moose
Sleeping Beauty turquoise is a remarkable natural creation. It exudes beauty and splendor thanks to its distinct features. If you’re interested in buying Sleeping Beauty turquoise cabochons and beads, you can check out our collection.
Contact us here to reach out with any further comments, questions, or concerns.
Subscribe to our Newsletter for more updates. 💚