Blogs: On Your Market / Colored Stones

This Sleeping Beauty Turquoise Is Downright Dreamy


Though one of the birthstones of December, turquoise is practically synonymous with summer. It’s probably down to its gorgeous blue, twinning with the ocean and a clear sky, that makes it feel like summer ensembles are incomplete without it.

In many cases, that might be all a customer needs to know. Or at least, all they think they need to know. But depending on the shade of blue in their turquoise, or whether they prefer to see spots or veins or would rather no matrix, as those features are called, it might interest them to know a bit about the varieties available on the market.

Tresor turquoise earrings
Drop earrings in 18k white gold with 89.18 cts. t.w. Sleeping Beauty turquoise and sapphires and 0.04 ct. t.w. diamonds, $3,960; Trésor

One of the most sought-after is Sleeping Beauty turquoise, for obvious reasons. In a quenching sky blue and with virtually no markings—no matrix—it’s the dream stone of turquoise lovers, rivaling even that of Persian turquoise, another beloved variation. Noted for its crisp, clean appearance, it’s used in a lot of fine jewelry and looks right at home alongside diamonds and other colored gemstones.

Nayla Shami Sleeping Beauty turquoise pendant
Drop pendant in 18k yellow gold with Sleeping Beauty turquoise, $840; Nayla Shami Jewelry

Though noted by its appearance, Sleeping Beauty turquoise is attributed to one very specific place, perhaps another reason for its allure.

Syna Mogul Sleeping Beauty turquoise ring
Mogul ring in 18k yellow gold with 11.5 ct. Sleeping Beauty turquoise and 0.35 ct. t.w. champagne diamonds, $8,250; Syna
Emily P Wheeler turquoise pendant
Sleeping Beauty pendant in 18k yellow gold with 6.1 ct. Sleeping Beauty turquoise, 1.81 cts. t.w. diamonds, 1.19 cts. t.w. sapphires, and blue enamel; $9,800; Emily P. Wheeler

Named for the mountain range where it is located, which looks like a sleeping woman with arms crossed from a distance, the Sleeping Beauty mine in Globe, Ariz., is the source of this gem—and one of the best known producers of turquoise in the world.

The Sleeping Beauty mine closed in 2012, and, as one would expect, price increases for Sleeping Beauty turquoise followed.

Ashley Zhang antique turquoise ring
Antique band in 18k yellow gold and platinum with Sleeping Beauty turquoise, 0.1 ct. t.w. old mine–cut diamonds and 0.005 ct. t.w. single-cut diamonds, $900; Ashley Zhang

Though it’s no longer being mined, you don’t get the feeling of a shortage, at least not yet. Noted in multiple locations (read many, many) on the show floor at JCK Las Vegas, this is a divine, valuable gemstone, adored for its stunning attributes before its limited edition-ness, but not yet hitting that 2020 toilet-paper-scarce status just yet. None of the sellers I spoke to at the show seemed concerned with its availability, more so they were, as is appropriate, appreciative of its lovely aesthetic.

Melinda Lawton Sleeping Beauty turquoise necklace
Necklace in sterling silver with Sleeping Beauty turquoise and diamonds, $3,950; Melinda Lawton Jewelry

Though its name suggests the act of sleeping, it’s precisely what one shouldn’t do on this spellbinding gem.

Top: Rock Candy ring in 18k yellow gold with Sleeping Beauty turquoise and enamel, $8,072; Origin 31

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By: Brittany Siminitz

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