The Sleeping Beauty turquoise : as precious as it is rare
HARPO is a French jewelry house, selling only Native American jewelry and crafts from the South West of the USA. For over 50 years, we've been offering exceptional jewelry in sterling silver and genuine American turquoise, all proudly handcrafted by talented Native American artisans and craftswomen.
When you buy HARPO jewelry, you need to understand that behind each piece lies exceptional jewelry-making expertise and above all, a creative Native American nation whose cornerstone is turquoise.
"Sleeping Beauty" : an iconic name and history
Sleeping Beauty turquoise takes its poetic name from the shape of the mountain from which this intense blue stone is extracted. The mountain is located near the town of Globe, Arizona, USA. Indeed, looking at this mountain from far away, you can see the profile of a woman lying down.
The mountain had been named like this for many moons, and when the mine was open it took the same name as this beautiful pick.
The Sleeping Beauty Mountain excavations were initially focused on copper and gold, but mining stopped in the early 1960s. When it was reopened a few years later, mining turned to copper and turquoise. The mine ceased all operations in the early 2010s. During these few decades of operation, the Sleeping Beauty mine was the largest producer of American turquoise, and the stone has since become a mythical turquoise.
Today, with the mine closed and no plans to reopen, this turquoise is only found in small quantities and is only used by native silversmith to create jewelry with small cabochons of Sleeping Beauty turquoise. The fact that the turquoise is not mined makes it as rare as it is precious and sought-after. Genuine Sleeping Beauty turquoise jewelry is a fine investment and a guarantee of authenticity.
The Sleeping Beauty turquoise : such a specific blue !
Sleeping Beauty turquoise has an intense and uniform blue that has conquered crowds around the world. This beautiful genuine turquoise comes in nugget form with a light white matrix, sometimes with small amounts of quartz or pyrite.
Interestingly, the raw nuggets of genuine Sleeping Beauty turquoise are a very soft, almost pastel blue, but once the nuggets have been cut and polished, their blue is darker and more intense. This color is what American turquoise professionals call "Robin's eggs blue". Indeed, the robbin's eggs have a blue shell that is naturally and surprisingly close to that of the raw Sleeping Beauty turquoise.
The Sleeping Beauty turquoise in Native American jewelry
How this genuine turquoise is enhanced by the Zuni...
At HARPO, we absolutely love Zuni creations, we are always mesmerized by the finesse with which they are crafted by talented Native American jewelers.
Zuni artists are specialists in essentially two jewelry techniques: inlay work and needle point.
For Inlay, the artists compose an abstract or realistic design and finely cuts the stones they will use according to the design they wish to create. Most often, Zuni artists use blakc-jet, coral, mother-of-pearl and Sleeping Beauty turquoise in their jewelry creations.
to discover our inlay jewels
Needle Point is the time-consuming and meticulous work of cutting genuine turquoises into fine baguettes, small drops or pretty cabochons. "Needle point" literally refers to the finesse of the needle and it's easy to see why when you see the meticulousness of the Zuni Needle Point creations we have at HARPO.
As with marquetry, Needle Point jewelry in great savoir-faire made by Zuni in Sleeping Beauty turquoise.
to discover our Needle Point jewels
So, if you want to treat yourself and invest in a superb piece of jewelry in genuine turquoise and sterling silver, you'll find at HARPO, among others, incredible turquoise rings, turquoise bracelets, turquoise pendants, turquoise earrings by Zuni, illustrating these beautiful point techniques.
Here, for example, is a piece made using these two emblematic techniques:
…and by Navajo silversmiths
The Navajo also create beautiful sterling silver jewelry set with Sleeping Beauty turquoise. Their creations highlight the more imposing and sometimes rougher aspects of this American turquoise.
At HARPO, you'll find beautiful Navajo creations set with Sleeping Beauty turquoises on which the dies can be seen, such as sterling silver belt buckle, bracelets, rings, pendants, bolo ties...
It's another style, just as beautiful and revealing of Native American craftsmanship and above all, of their jewelry know-how.
Sleeping Beauty turquoise and silver jewelry
At HARPO, we have sterling silver and genuine turquoise jewelry for everyone, emblematic of the many skills of Native American jewelry.
Looking for a genuine Sleeping Beauty turquoise and silver ring? You can choose from several styles:
- A signet ring inlaid with Sleeping Beauty turquoise, coral and black-jet on sterling silver.
- A beautiful rosette ring (called "Cactus Flower") using the Needle Point technique, set with genuine Sleeping Beauty turquoise on sterling silver.
- A more or less imposing sterling silver ring with Sleeping Beauty turquoise cabochons polished or left in their rougher form.
Are you more into bracelets? Whether for men or women, you'll find nothing but beauty at HARPO:
- Fine sterling silver bracelets entirely inlaid of Sleeping Beauty turquoise.
- Cactus Flowers cuffs in Sleeping Beauty turquoise and sterling silver for an iconic piece of Native jewelry.
- Solid silver bracelets set with perfectly calibrated and polished Sleeping Beauty turquoise cabochons, for an exceptional haute-joaillerie finish.
- Imposing bracelets in sterling silver and raw Sleeping Beauty turquoise, to return to the essence of Native jewelry from the 70s and 80s: strong, distinctive pieces that are instantly recognizable.
Would you rather adorn your neck with HARPO jewels? Well we are delighted to offer you pendants set with Sleeping Beauty turquoises, as well as beautiful necklaces (ranging in size from chokers to long necklaces) made of small nuggets of Sleeping Beauty turquoises. We also offer a wide selection of pendants in all styles:
Opt for a Navajo work, made up essentially of rough Sleeping Beauty nuggets with exposed dies, or for a Zuni pendant for a beautiful work of meticulous sizing and polishing of Sleeping Beauty turquoise cabochons. In both cases, the genuine turquoise is mounted on sterling silver, for a beautiful rendering, representative of the many facets of Native American jewelry-making know-how.
Browse our collections and treat yourself:
Native American jewelry in genuine turquoise and sterling silver
is for everyone!