Considering that one gram represents five carats of turquoise and that the price of turquoise ranges from $0.5 to 1000 per carat, turquoise is undoubtedly a good investment. In addition to its scarcity and stunning look, turquoise is a highly sought-after gemstone, impacting its price.
Genuine turquoise is quite difficult to come by. Natural turquoise is quite difficult to come across in a store. The great majority of turquoise that is now accessible is counterfeit. That is why genuine turquoise is considered a rare and valuable gemstone. Real turquoise may fetch up to $1000 per carat if it is high quality.
It is important to understand the fundamentals of turquoise structure and formation environment to comprehend why the price range is wide.
Table of Contents
What Is Turquoise and Where Does It Originate?
Cultures have prized turquoise worldwide for millennia, which explains why the opaque stone can be found in societies’ history and contemporary art in Asia, South America, Africa, and North America, among other places.
Turquoise may be found at heights ranging from 3,000 to 8,500 feet (914 to 2,590 meters) above sea level, and it is often found in dry, arid areas. Only a few places on the planet have the right conditions for the formation of turquoise.
Mines like Lander Blue, Bisbee, Number Eight, and Lone Mountain are among the most well-known turquoise quarries in the United States, and they are located in the Southwest.
Other regions, like Tibet, China, Iran, Egypt, and Kazakhstan, create high natural turquoise, while others do not.” Iran, Northwest China, Egypt, Mexico, and the southwestern section of the United States are the most popular locations renowned for high-quality turquoise.
Although mines may be discovered in various states, New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, and Nevada are the states where you are most likely to locate them.
Apart from Nevada and a few mines in Arizona, many of the turquoise mines in the southwestern United States have been depleted of their precious metal. Historically, Nevada has been the most important producer of American turquoise in the United States.
Because turquoise is largely composed of copper, it should be no surprise that several copper mines are located in both Arizona and Nevada.
Because of the mix of dry temperatures and copper-rich regions, these areas are hotspots for producing high-quality turquoise.”
What is High-Quality Turquoise?
We’ll start with a different color: Although the color is not the most important aspect in calculating how much turquoise is worth, it is an excellent place to start when estimating how much turquoise is worth.
It is generally accepted that if the turquoise is bright blue or what is commonly referred to as “Robin’s Egg” blue, it indicates that the turquoise is of superior quality.
The texture of high-quality turquoise is another distinguishing characteristic. The surface of high-quality turquoise is clean and fine, and the porosity is minimal. It’s also fairly difficult, ranking between a Five and a Six on the Mohs Hardness Scale of difficulty.
What is Low-Quality Turquoise, and How Does It Look?
Low-quality turquoise possesses characteristics that are nearly opposed to high-quality turquoise: A dull hazy green or yellowish tint; it is extremely porous and fragile, it has a lot of discolored webbing, and yes, it is lightweight.
Be cautious, though, since you may come upon some sky blue and bright turquoise that is only worth a fraction of their true value. It is possible to confuse synthetic plastic turquoise, which receives its vivid hue from blue dyes, with high-quality turquoise if you are not paying attention to your surroundings.
If you take up a piece of turquoise that seems too blue to be genuine—and if the item has an immaculate exterior—you may be holding fake plastic turquoise.
What is the Financial Value of a Turquoise Rock?
The price of turquoise rock is far lower than turquoise boulders or cabochons, which are the most frequent forms in which turquoise is sold.
A gram of turquoise rock or raw turquoise, which is turquoise embedded in a country-rock matrix, can be purchased for as little as $15 to as much as $25, depending on its grade.
However, it is preferable to purchase turquoise in its natural state since this is one of the most effective methods of avoiding any turquoise inert ingredients or treatments.
As a result, turquoise develops best in arid climates (hot and dry), which determines the location of turquoise sources. The historic turquoise mines of Persia and New Mexico, formerly famous for producing high-quality gemstones, no longer produce substantial quantities of turquoise today.
What Is the Most Valuable Color of Turquoise, and Why Is It So Valuable?
Turquoise may be found in various colors ranging from drab grey and worn yellow to grass-green and vibrant, medium-toned sky blue.
People from different civilizations have complimented the hue of their deposits, yet, no one can compete with the gorgeous, sky-blue color that is equally spread in high-quality turquoise.
The most valued hue of turquoise is a medium blue tint that is vivid and homogeneous in tone. The color robin’s egg blue or sky-blue is sometimes the most admired color.
“Persian blue” is another trade term for the top hue of turquoise; however, this should not be interpreted as a reference to the country where the turquoise was discovered.
To get the most desirable intense, uniformly dispersed, medium blue hue, several geological parameters must be satisfied. Perfect color is a symptom of the high copper content in the mineral composition and the lack of iron, which is generally associated with greenish colors.
The bright-blue turquoise hue of the stone indicates that it has not been exposed to the sun and has thus been protected from deterioration.
If there aren’t many matrix elements in the sample, a perfect sky-blue hue can be detected. Crystals with a clear robin’s egg blue or Persian blue tint are uncommon and command the greatest prices.
What is It About Turquoise That Makes It So Valuable?
There are three methods for determining the value of turquoise. The one I’m talking about has only three components (color, texture, matrix).
The second one is more exact, and it comprises eight different indications. Turquoise dealers mostly use it to estimate the actual price per gemstone’s carat. The third kind is the 4C (color, clarity, shape, and weight) grading system, which is standard for most gemstones.
Turquoise’s value is determined by three key factors: its color, texture, and matrix composition. The most valued hue is a medium blue that is powerful, homogeneous, and consistent in tone. The perfect turquoise has a fine texture with small pores, and no structure should be considered a top-quality gemstone.
Turquoise is rated on six fundamental quality factors: color, Texture, Matrix, Aesthetic Beauty, Rarity, and hardness.
The most highly desired turquoise color is a bright, uniformly dispersed medium blue hue, sky-blue Persian blue, or robin’s egg blue. It is also known as robin’s egg blue.
As Garland points out, just a small proportion of the turquoise found is naturally hard enough to be utilized for jewelry purposes.” As much as 90% of the turquoise found is chalky and soft and so cannot be utilized as is.
It would need to be stabilized before it could be used. Natural turquoise, sometimes known as ‘untreated’ turquoise, is the highest grade of gemstone natively hard enough to be utilized.
Natural turquoise is classified into many grades, the highest of which is ‘high-grade,’ the lowest of which is ‘gem-grade,’ and ‘gem-quality,’ which refers to the best and toughest natural stones.”
The cryptocrystalline texture is the most sought-after texture, in which minute turquoise crystals are arranged in a solid mass. This attribute also impacts the permeability of the substance and, as a result, its durability. – Pearls and other porous gems fade and change color over time.
The richness of the stone’s color and the existence of a matrix or host rock may increase the value of a piece of stone. Colors that are deeper and darker are often more costly.
The presence of tight weaving in the matrix (known as spider webbing’) can further increase the value of turquoise.” As per the Tanners, spider webbing may be a source of contention. “There is an ongoing argument over the worth of turquoise in the turquoise world: matrix vs.
pure gem turquoise,” the authors explain. “A geologist would tell you that the more transparent, the more flawless the stone, but the more valuable the stone is, the more valuable it is. According to collectors and Native American jewelers, more matrix with vivid and gorgeous webbing equals greater value.
The most precious turquoise is completely devoid of any matrix. Matrix is a type of country rock, mainly composed of limonite or sandstone, in which turquoise can be found.
- The presence of a limonite matrix causes turquoise with dark brown patterns.
- The presence of a sandstone matrix results in lighter tan-like patterns on the stone.
The presence of thin, fragile, web-like patterns over the face of the gemstone is particularly highly regarded because matrix-free material is extremely difficult to come by. Spiderweb turquoise is the name given to this kind of turquoise. Gems with eye-catching spiderweb matrices are the second most valuable.
“Rareness has a significant role in determining price, particularly in the case of turquoise mines,” Garland explains. “A great example of this is Nevada’s Lander Blue turquoise quarry, which produces a beautiful blue turquoise.
Lander Blue was referred to as a ‘hat mine,’ which meant that the entrance to the mine was so tiny that a cowboy hat could conceal it.
Consider that each pound is worth more than $1.1 million, to put it in perspective. What is the source of the high cost? As a result of the fact that it is regarded as some of the hardest and highest-grade turquoise ever found.
Apart from its high grade, it was a very modest deposit – just around 100 pounds of gold was extracted until the deposit was depleted in the 1970s when the mines were closed.
With its scarcity, paired with its stones’ high quality and aesthetically pleasing appearance, Lander Blue is considered the most costly turquoise mine.”
What Makes Turquoise Worthy?
Turquoise is the world’s oldest gemstone, used to create jewelry in 4,000 BC. Turquoise (as well as the recently discovered tanzanite and paraiba tourmaline) has become ingrained in the cultures of many countries as a result of its long-standing popularity.
Turquoise is extremely valued due to the appealing hue and recorded history of the stone. Turquoise is more closely associated with human history and culture than mineralogy or the gems market. Because of its scarcity, it has become extremely precious. Real turquoise is incredibly difficult to come by, raising the price per carat.
The most significant Persian and New-Mexican sources of the highest-quality turquoise have already been depleted of their reserves.
It has already been mined, cut, and set into jewelry gemstones, and it is being resold in the industry or at auction for the highest possible price.
The Spiritual Significance of Turquoise:
Turquoise is considered a holy stone by many Native Americans of the American Southwest, “The Tanners are writing. In the Southwest, turquoise’s distinctive attractiveness stems from its color affinity with the sky and compatibility with water, which is considered the most valuable resource.
According to Garland, it has been used for medicinal and ornamentation purposes by nearly every Native American tribe. “Turquoise has been used for healing and ornamentation purposes,” he adds.
“Some believe that this unusual blue-green diamond has spiritual importance since it reminds them of the sky and water, both revered aspects of this region’s indigenous cultures.
There are several indigenous tribes in the Southwest (Arizona has 21 federally recognized tribes). Each tribe has its own set of beliefs and perspectives on the meaning of turquoise, which are distinct from one another.”
On the other hand, the Navajo is possibly the group most renowned for its celebration of the divine beauty of turquoise. As Garland points out, “Turquoise took on special significance for the Navajo people, specifically as one of the four sacred stones of the Navajo tribe.”
“These stones, together with white shell, abalone, and jet, are identified with the Four Holy Mountains, which traditionally define the limits of Navajoland.”
Besides being renowned for its spiritual importance among many indigenous cultures, turquoise has also been used in medicine to treat various ailments.
As Garland points out, “each tribe will have its distinct view on this.” Crushed turquoise was particularly popular among the Navajos, who utilized it in their exquisite sand painting healing rites.”
What Is the Monetary Value of Blue Turquoise?
Given its scarcity, sky blue turquoise, except synthetic plastic turquoise, is considered the most valuable of all turquoise except synthetic plastic. Blue minerals are extremely uncommon in their natural state.
For anyone interested in purchasing a high-quality chunk of sky blue turquoise—or possibly selling their own—it can occasionally be worth as much as $1500 to $25,000 per gram, depending on the grade of the stone. Depending on the size of the piece, you may be looking at a substantial sum of money!
What Is the Monetary Value of Green Turquoise?
Color is not usually a significant element in determining the value of turquoise; in fact, eastern markets such as Japan and China tend to prefer greenish turquoise over the sky blue type; nonetheless, green turquoise is often less attractive than sky blue turquoise, resulting in a lower value. According to industry standards, in the United States, green turquoise is often valued at $10 per gram.
If you want to get rid of a bit of green turquoise, it may be helpful to attempt to barter with another collector located on the other side of the world. They may have a bit of sky blue turquoise that they are prepared to exchange for your green turquoise!
Do the Patterns on Turquoise Matrixes Affect Their Durability?
Lapidaries frequently cut this brownish or black matrix together with the stone to create color contrast and patterning effects. The matrix can influence the stone’s color, hardness, and workability. Turquoise specimens that are somewhat pure in appearance may have a hardness of approximately five and be moderately porous.
Generally, a high concentration of silicate minerals enhances hardness while simultaneously decreasing porosity, whereas a high proportion of clay minerals has the reverse effect.
On one end of the range, we have hard pieces ranging from 5.5 to 6, which are well polished and have negligible porosity. As an alternative, we offer pieces of soft and chalky nature that are too porous to be used without stabilization.
Synthetics and Simulants:
Various synthetic turquoise colors are available, both with and without matrices. In 1972, the Pierre Gilson Company introduced the most well-known typeface.
Although it may appear to be the best Persian-grade stone, a close examination under a microscope will disclose the difference. Natural stones have a smooth finish on their surface.
A mixture of small blue balls suspended in a light-colored host medium with a texture similar to “cream of wheat” can be seen when the synthetics are examined under magnification.
There are several stimulants available on the market. Plastics, ceramics, and glass are examples of non-mineral imitations that can appear to be highly realistic. Remember that the color “turquoise” is hot right now.
Items advertised as “turquoise beads” or “turquoise jewelry” may not truly be turquoise but rather turquoise-colored imitations of real turquoise. Please inquire with the merchants about their products or thoroughly read the item descriptions.
Turquoise is a natural gemstone that can be confused with other gemstones. Variscite can have the appearance of green turquoise. Variscites and turquoises can occasionally be combined in the same rock, giving the rock the name “varicose.”
This visually appealing combination of patterns and colors has the potential to command a high price. Proposition, particularly the Mexican variety with its light-blue tint, is another possible simulant material that might be used.
There are a plethora of improvements available for this stone. They are extremely difficult to identify unless you have extensive expertise and the appropriate testing equipment.
Pale specimens are frequently subjected to many treatments to enhance their color. It isn’t easy to find fine-grained and compact material and will hold up to a decent polish. It is quite easy for skin oils and cosmetic residues to dull the color of turquoise jewels.
As a result, most stones available on the market have been upgraded somehow. Even the best-quality natural stones, regardless of their grade, are sometimes treated with a little layer of paraffin wax to preserve them and improve their shine.
Turquoise isn’t colored very often because of its natural color. On the other hand, Howlite is a white, and grey-veined mineral that readily takes color.
Blue-dyed howlite is frequently found on its way to the market. Unfortunately, they do not always have “fake turquoise” labeling on their products.
Howlite is often sold in its natural (but unimpressive) condition under the fictitious name “white turquoise” by dealers unfamiliar with the stone. Buyers should exercise caution. There isn’t anything like it. Dyed magnesite can also have a turquoise appearance.
This substance has acquired favor as a simulant in recent years because of its realistic appearance. This is permissible if the information is appropriately provided. If this is not the case, the buyer beware once again.
Also, watch out for “yellow turquoise” smuggled from China. Some stones have a naturally occurring pale yellow-green hue. Although some dyed items are particularly brilliant sunlight or butter-yellow in color, merchants do not attempt to distinguish them from the non-dyed material they are selling.
All but the most expensive grades of turquoise may be “stabilized” by infusing them with wax or epoxy resin under pressure. Occasionally, small, porous bits of tile are joined together with a resin binder to form a stabilized mosaic tile.
Although it is not always clear whether a stone has been stabilized, it is possible to tell, as the accompanying photo indicates. Known as the “Zachery Treatment,” this exclusive electro-chemical improvement method has been advocated as a superior alternative to standard stabilization. It increases both the durability and uniformity of coloring while reducing cost.
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is the monetary value of purple turquoise?
Purple Turquoise, also known as Mojave (Mohave) turquoise, is a rebuilt turquoise, which implies that it is formed by crushing turquoise shards into powder, mixing them with epoxy, then dyeing them with purple pigment to produce a reconstructed turquoise. It is readily available through internet marketplaces for as little as 50 cents per bead.
What is the best way to tell whether turquoise is genuine?
Turquoise is a sensitive stone, but howlite (an imitation of turquoise) is softer than turquoise. If the stone is readily scratched, you’re most likely dealing with a piece of howlite. Another approach to confirm that you’re receiving the real deal is to purchase a stone with a certificate of authenticity.
What is the monetary value of a turquoise ring?
The grade of the turquoise mounted has a significant influence on the ring’s price. Rings with little genuine turquoise stones of ordinary grade range in price from 100 to 500 dollars. More than gram stones of high grade set in a ring will command prices comparable to diamonds. Prices ranging from $30 to $50 imply that the analogs have been recreated or synthesized.
Is Sleeping Beauty Turquoise a valuable piece of jewelry?
Beauty Who Slumbers A small number of extremely high-quality turquoise is harvested from the Sleeping Beauty cave in Arizona, which produces a limited amount of incredibly high turquoise. Similar to diamonds, the value of a certain piece is determined by the cut, color, clarity, and carat of the item in question. It is available at various pricing points but is normally fairly pricey.
Is turquoise on its way to extinction?
Turquoise is in danger of extinction, despite its historical significance for Native Americans. Since 2008, the availability of natural turquoise has been drastically limited due to a decrease in demand. Since 1985, China has surpassed all other countries as the world’s leading producer of turquoise.
Is turquoise a rare or a common gemstone?
Because of these so-called discrepancies, turquoise is considered a unique and collectible gemstone. All of these categories have become collectors in their own right. Natural turquoise is considered one of the world’s most valuable gemstones.
We hope you found our post about the value of turquoise to be informative. The value of a natural stone such as turquoise is difficult to determine since so much is dependent on the demand for it, the quality of the stone, and the size of the stone.