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Sleeping Beauty Turquoise
There are rumours floating around that the Sleeping Beauty mine in Globe Arizona has closed, we contacted the mine headquarters directly to get the real story. Unfortunately, the rumours are true. The mine has been closed to turquoise mining since august 2012 and there has been no word that it will ever open again.
The Sleeping Beauty Turquoise mine is located seven miles outside of Globe, Arizona. This stone is recognized for its solid, light blue color with no matrix. Usually, the host rock is granite. Sleeping Beauty turquoise is the favorite gemstone of choice of the Zuni Pueblo silversmiths. Throughout the history of Native American jewelry making, silversmiths have used it to create petit point, needlepoint, and inlaid jewelry. The Sleeping Beauty Turquoise mine is one of the largest turquoise mines in North America today.
Monty Nichols, owner and miner of the Sleeping Beauty mine, believes the mine is producing approximately 1600 pounds of turquoise a month; however, only 4% of it is considered to be natural. Most of the turquoise from the mine, 80-90%, is somewhat altered. It may be enhanced, which is more expensive than stabilization, and sold to large distributors in this country and Europe. Today, most of the turquoise that is removed from the mine comes from the tons of tailings piles that have been accumulating throughout the years.
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