How to Think about Turquoise

Understanding Turquoise Will Take Time

Silver Cluster Cuff Bracelet Featuring #8 Turquoise by Michael Schmaltz at Perrry Null’s

It is hard to be certain about Turquoise. As soon as you go down the path of deciding, “Hey, I like Turquoise Jewelry” the first thing you’ll notice is that there are basically two kinds of Turquoise you will find in jewelry – Cheap Turquoise and Expensive Turquoise; and the crazy thing about this is in the beginning you will not be able to tell the difference between the two.

Look For Turquoise Experts


Silver Kingman Turquoise Ring by Kirk Smith at Sunwest

You’re likely to wonder about the trustworthiness about the people who are selling high priced turquoise and you may determine that someone is simply charging way too much, and then you will go ahead and buy the cheap stuff….only later to find out that the turquoise you bought isn’t really turquoise, or that it has been stabilized…filled with plastics and what not.

This may get you to stop buying turquoise or it just might upset you enough to dig deeper into the marketplace for turquoise and try and figure it all out. This is when you will run into your next problem about turquoise… who do you trust… because it will seem like you are gathering up a lot of conflicting information, and you will be right about this…there is a ton of conflicting information out there about turquoise.

Study Turquoise and Do Your Homework


Blue Gem Turquoise Bracelet by John Hartman at Durango Silver

Here Are 4 Things I Think Are True About Turquoise: 

  1. No one can with certainty, when looking at a single piece of turquoise, identify where that piece of turquoise came from.
  2. Experts in Turquoise can only make educated guesses about mine origins of any finished piece of turquoise.
  3. If you were there when the turquoise was mined, then you can be certain about what to call your piece of turquoise.
  4. The very best turquoise is more expensive.
Having said all of the above, all is not lost, you can learn about turquoise and if you wish, even buy the best, most accurately identified turquoise; but your education will take time and effort, and your purchase price will at first seem too high. It turns out, and this is almost always true…The Best Turquoise Is Expensive. The reason for this is that the best, non stabilized high or gem grade turquoise is rare.

Buy Only The Best Turquoise

Here are some random thoughts about turquoise:
  • Turquoise is not like marble. It does not for the most part exist in nature the way that marble does. In other words when you find turquoise in nature it generally exist as a small part of a matrix of other material from which a miner or a stone cutter has to extricate the turquoise. Ever wonder where the veining and patterning in turquoise comes from, well it comes from the matrix of rock that the turquoise was first mined from. The green and or blue stuff is the turquoise the rest is some kind of rock or mineral.
  • The bigger the chunk of turquoise, the more likely that it is stabilized. The reason for this is that it is simply too soft to stay together all by itself…it would in a very short time begin to chip and crack and so on.
  • American Turquoise seems to have the market edge when it comes to color, hardness of material and the other characteristics that are favored by jewelers. Some places I have researched seem to suggest that there is a greater chance that turquoise purchased from other parts of the world are more likely to have been color enhanced or stabilized. But my experience suggest that there is plenty of mis-labeled turquoise right here in the good old U.S.A

In closing: I would just like to say that there is so very much to know about the subject of Turquoise that there is no way that my little article could hope to cover the entire topic. I am in no way an expert in turquoise, and may never be more than an informed novice. That’s how vast the subject of turquoise is. My fond hope for you the reader, is that you endeavor to find the type of turquoise you love, and that you learn as much about that kind of turquoise as you can…the more you learn, the more your passion will drive you to understand, what forces of nature create the best turquoise…



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