Are Turquoise Stones Valuable

8 min read Jul 02, 2024
Are Turquoise Stones Valuable

Are Turquoise Stones Valuable? A Comprehensive Guide

Turquoise, with its captivating blue-green hues, has captivated humans for centuries. This gemstone, cherished for its beauty and purported healing properties, is often associated with spirituality, protection, and good fortune. But are turquoise stones valuable? The answer, like many things in the gemstone world, is complex and depends on a variety of factors.

What Makes Turquoise Valuable?

Several key aspects contribute to a turquoise stone's value:

  • Color: The most sought-after turquoise boasts a vibrant, evenly distributed blue-green color, often described as "robin's egg blue." A deeper, more saturated blue typically commands higher prices.
  • Clarity: High-quality turquoise is free from inclusions, cracks, and imperfections. These blemishes can detract from its brilliance and value.
  • Hardness: Turquoise is a relatively soft gemstone, ranking 5-6 on the Mohs hardness scale. This means it's susceptible to scratches and damage, making pristine specimens more valuable.
  • Origin: Some turquoise deposits are renowned for their unique color and quality. For instance, turquoise from the Kingman mine in Arizona is highly prized for its vivid blue hue.
  • Treatment: Many turquoise stones undergo treatments to enhance their color, clarity, or stability. While these treatments can increase the stone's visual appeal, they often lower its value.

Types of Turquoise and Their Value

Are turquoise stones valuable? The answer depends on the specific type of turquoise.

  • Sleeping Beauty Turquoise: This highly sought-after turquoise from Arizona is known for its vibrant blue color and high quality. It often commands premium prices.
  • Kingman Turquoise: Another Arizona turquoise, Kingman is famed for its deep blue hue with hints of green. This variety is also highly prized by collectors and jewelers.
  • Cerro Azul Turquoise: Originating from Mexico, this turquoise is known for its rich blue color and often features black matrix.
  • Bisbee Turquoise: This Arizona turquoise is renowned for its captivating green and blue hues. It's often favored for its intricate patterns.
  • Iranian Turquoise: Turquoise from Iran is known for its distinctive greenish-blue color.
  • Navajo Turquoise: This turquoise, mined in the American Southwest, is often characterized by its rich blue and green colors. It's often used in Native American jewelry.

Identifying Genuine Turquoise

Are turquoise stones valuable? Before purchasing turquoise, it's crucial to ensure its authenticity. Some common methods for identifying genuine turquoise include:

  • Hardness Test: Genuine turquoise is relatively soft and can be scratched with a steel knife.
  • Color Test: Turquoise's color shouldn't fade when exposed to sunlight or chemicals.
  • UV Light: Genuine turquoise often fluoresces under ultraviolet light.
  • Specific Gravity: The density of genuine turquoise is typically between 2.6 and 2.8.

Imitations and Treatments

Turquoise is often imitated or treated to enhance its appearance. Be wary of:

  • Dyed Howlite: This white stone is often dyed to resemble turquoise, but it lacks turquoise's hardness and durability.
  • Plastic: Some turquoise imitations are made entirely of plastic.
  • Stabilized Turquoise: This type of turquoise has been treated to make it more stable and less prone to cracking.
  • Resin-Filled Turquoise: This turquoise has been filled with resin to enhance its appearance, which can reduce its value.

The Value of Turquoise in Jewelry and Art

Are turquoise stones valuable? Turquoise's captivating beauty has made it a popular gemstone for jewelry and decorative arts.

  • Jewelry: Turquoise is commonly incorporated into necklaces, earrings, rings, and bracelets.
  • Native American Art: Turquoise is deeply embedded in Native American culture, where it's often used in intricate beadwork, jewelry, and ceremonial objects.
  • Decorative Arts: Turquoise can also be found in decorative objects like vases, bowls, and sculptures.

Investing in Turquoise

Are turquoise stones valuable? Some people consider turquoise a good investment. However, it's important to understand the factors influencing turquoise's value:

  • Rarity: Rare turquoise varieties, such as Sleeping Beauty or Kingman, tend to appreciate in value over time.
  • Quality: High-quality, untreated turquoise with good color and clarity is generally more valuable.
  • Demand: The demand for turquoise fluctuates, influenced by fashion trends and economic conditions.
  • Origin: Turquoise from renowned deposits, like Arizona or Iran, can be more sought-after and valuable.

Conclusion

Are turquoise stones valuable? The answer depends on various factors, including the turquoise's color, clarity, origin, and treatment. While some turquoise can be quite valuable, it's important to understand the market and purchase from reputable sources. Turquoise's beauty and cultural significance continue to make it a sought-after gemstone. Whether you're a collector, jewelry enthusiast, or simply appreciate its unique allure, turquoise stones offer a captivating blend of color, history, and value.


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