If you get into a jewelry store and saw that turquoise jewelry you are raving about, chances are you would buy it the instant you lay your eyes on it without even inquiring about its authenticity. This should never happen. Not all turquoise is created equal. In worst-case scenario, the turquoise jewelry you might be dying to have may not be a turquoise at all, as they are a lot of counterfeits nowadays.
If you are serious in buying a turquoise jewelry or if you even thought of collecting them, you need to know and understand by heart the different types or grades of turquoise stones. Categorizing turquoise is actually subjective. The grading criterion of turquoise has actually evolved over time.
There are five things to consider when evaluating the quality of a turquoise:
Since ancient times, blue was the more preferred color of turquoise. Blue colors are assumed not to change over time since the treasures of King Tut, which includes several turquoise finds, still have their original blue color up until today. Lighter shades of blue were said to turn greenish over time, so it was generally assumed that it is not as valuable as the blue ones. Today, there are turquoises in green colors that are as valuable as the green ones.
A low-grade turquoise is very light and porous. It has a chalk-like appearance. If a turquoise is hard, it is denser and therefore has a higher value.
Turquoise has a natural shine that emanates from the stone and do not solely depends on artificially polishers.
Turquoise comes with a host rock where turquoise bonds to. These rocks produce a marking in the turquoise, which is also termed as matrix. These can form beautiful patterns that create desirable effects on the stone.
If one thing is rare, its price would naturally go up. In case of turquoise, if a particular turquoise originates from mining area which is already inactive and closed, such as in Lander Mine and Lone Mountain Mine, the price for it is much more expensive than those from present and active mines.
Different Grades of Turquoise
Gem- if all five quality of a turquoise mentioned above is satisfied, including rarity, then a turquoise is considered a gem.
Natural Turquoise- this can either be very high-grade, high-grade, or jewelry quality. This type of turquoise has a varying matrix patterns, color and hardness. This type of turquoise is not in any way treated with any synthetic treatments and thus their natural composition remained unaltered.
Stabilized Turquoise- chemicals have been added to the natural turquoise either to harden it or to enhance its colors. A stabilization process intends the color of the turquoise to remain unchanged over time.
Color Treated Turquoise- a certain dye is used to make turquoise stones more suitable as a jewelry material.
Reconstituted Turquoise- authentic turquoise chips are added with synthetic resins, such as plastic, to resemble the appearance of a natural turquoise.
Imitation Turquoise- these are dyed plastic counterfeits that resembles the likeness of a turquoise without the actual component of turquoise itself.
Understanding the different grades of turquoise would help you decide if that turquoise jewelry you are dreaming about is well worth your investment. The next time you would buy a turquoise, make sure that you get what your money's worth. With an authentic turquoise you would surely treasure such a great find for a lifetime.
Rock Ren is the owner of xaxe.com group. You can find more information at www.xaxe.com