Genuine Turquoise

7 min read Jul 01, 2024
Genuine Turquoise

The Allure of Genuine Turquoise: A Guide to Identifying and Appreciating this Precious Gemstone

Turquoise, with its captivating blue-green hues, has captivated humans for centuries. From ancient civilizations to modern-day jewelry enthusiasts, genuine turquoise has held a special place in our hearts and adornments. But with the rise of imitations and synthetic alternatives, discerning genuine turquoise from imposters has become increasingly important. This guide will delve into the unique characteristics of genuine turquoise, providing you with the knowledge to confidently identify and appreciate this precious gemstone.

What is Genuine Turquoise?

Genuine turquoise is a naturally occurring opaque gemstone, a hydrated phosphate of copper and aluminum. Its distinctive blue-green color comes from the presence of copper, while the presence of iron can cause variations ranging from sky blue to greenish-blue and even blue-green with brown veins. The unique beauty and intricate patterns found in genuine turquoise contribute to its value and desirability.

Identifying Genuine Turquoise: A Closer Look

Genuine turquoise is renowned for its distinctive characteristics. Here's a guide to help you differentiate the real from the fake:

  • Color: The most recognizable feature of genuine turquoise is its vibrant blue-green hue. However, color alone isn't enough to guarantee authenticity.
  • Matrix: Genuine turquoise often contains a dark matrix, which is the rock or mineral surrounding the turquoise. This matrix can vary in color and pattern, adding to the stone's unique beauty.
  • Hardness: Genuine turquoise is relatively soft, with a Mohs hardness rating of 5-6. This means it can be scratched with a steel knife. However, its fragility also contributes to its beauty.
  • Texture: Genuine turquoise has a smooth, waxy texture. It may also feel slightly porous or grainy.
  • Fluorescence: Some genuine turquoise exhibits fluorescence under ultraviolet (UV) light, appearing brighter and more intense.

Common Imitations and Synthetic Alternatives

Due to its popularity and value, genuine turquoise is often imitated. Here are some common imposters to be aware of:

  • Howlite: This white stone can be dyed blue or blue-green to resemble genuine turquoise. However, howlite is much softer and can feel chalky to the touch.
  • Glass: Cheap glass beads can be colored to resemble genuine turquoise. Glass is typically smooth and lacks the unique matrix found in genuine turquoise.
  • Plastic: Synthetic turquoise made from plastic is easily detectable. It's lightweight and lacks the natural depth and complexity of genuine turquoise.
  • "Stabilized" Turquoise: This refers to turquoise that has been treated to improve its color and hardness. While not technically fake, "stabilized" turquoise may have a different feel and look than genuine turquoise.

The Value and Importance of Genuine Turquoise

Genuine turquoise has been prized for its beauty, durability, and spiritual significance for centuries. From ancient Egyptians who used it in amulets to Native Americans who incorporated it into intricate jewelry and ceremonial objects, genuine turquoise has held a profound cultural and spiritual significance.

Genuine turquoise is a highly sought-after gemstone, especially pieces with vibrant color, unique matrix patterns, and historical significance. However, the value of genuine turquoise can vary greatly depending on the quality, origin, and craftsmanship.

Caring for Your Genuine Turquoise

Genuine turquoise is a delicate gemstone that requires careful handling. Here are some tips to ensure its longevity:

  • Avoid contact with harsh chemicals: Cleaning agents, perfumes, and even hand lotions can damage genuine turquoise.
  • Keep it away from extreme temperatures: Heat and cold can cause genuine turquoise to crack or change color.
  • Store it separately: Genuine turquoise is susceptible to scratches and abrasion. Store it in a soft pouch or jewelry box away from other gemstones.
  • Clean it gently: Genuine turquoise can be cleaned with a soft cloth and mild soap. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or ultrasonic cleaning.

Conclusion: The Beauty and Authenticity of Genuine Turquoise

Genuine turquoise is a captivating gemstone that continues to enchant people around the world. Its distinctive blue-green hues, intricate matrix patterns, and historical significance make it a highly sought-after gem. By understanding the characteristics of genuine turquoise, you can confidently identify and appreciate this precious stone, ensuring you are investing in authentic beauty and cultural heritage.

Remember, when acquiring genuine turquoise, it's always best to purchase from reputable sources that can provide documentation and guarantees of authenticity. With proper care and appreciation, your genuine turquoise will continue to be a treasured heirloom for generations to come.


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