Natural Morenci Turquoise
There are many things to consider when you are trying to learn about Real Turquoise. Many qualities and types of Turquoise are available on the market today. The following are terms often used by dealers to describe the grade of Turquoise that is available for sale. You should bear in mind, however, that sellers often misclassify Turquoise, either accidentally or deliberately. Not to mention most Turquoise dealers are neither jewelers, stone cutters, or gemologists, in fact, most Turquoise and Jewelry dealers are just retail salesmen who buy and resell. It is very hard to find a jeweler or stone cutter that deals in Real Turquoise, and especially to find a combination such as is the case at Durango Silver Company where we, mine Real Turquoise, Cut the stone, make our jewelry, and sell Real Turquoise Jewelry. If you are not dealing with Durango Silver Company or another reputable dealer, you will need to be very educated about Turquoise. Below we will try to help you become educated, and you can also study the over 300 informational pages in our site located in the jewelry learning center.
There are several types of Real Turquoise, and there are several grades of real Turquoise.
Natural "Real Turquoise" is the most valuable of all Turquoise. This is the hardest type of Turquoise to find, especially natural American Turquoise from the smaller "mom and pop" Turquoise mines in the Southwest. There is very little Natural Turquoise left in North America. Many of the American mines produce stones with distinctive color or matrix whose origin can be identified by an experienced person. For this reason natural American Turquoise is the most valuable and highly desired Turquoise in the world, especially varieties such as Bisbee Turquoise, Blue Gem Turquoise, Godber / Burnham / Dry Creek, Lander Blue Turquoise, Lone Mountain Turquoise, Manassa Turquoise, Pilot Mountain Turquoise, Royston Turquoise and Stormy Mountain. The rare colors of natural Real Turquoise from America are also very popular and highly desirable, such as the lime greens from Carico Lake Turquoise mine and Orvil Jack mine, the mint greens, off greens, yellow Turquoise, brown Turquoise and white Turquoise from the Apache, Colorback, Tortoise Turquoise mine, Damele mine, Pixie Turquoise, New Landers, Peacock, Prince, and Miss Moffet mines. The Natural Real Turquoise from around the world is the second most valuable Turquoise, material from China, Mongolia, Mexico, Persia, South America, and Tibet.
Pictured Above is Natural Bisbee Turquoise Rough
Natural Turquoise from Persia is the most valuable of the world wide deposits of Natural "Real Turquoise". Persian Turquoise has a long and exciting history and today it is very hard to find. The second most valuable international natural Turquoise is Tibetan Turquoise. Then Mongolian Turquoise, Chinese Turquoise, Mexican Turquoise, and finally South American Turquoise.
Natural "Real Turquoise" comes in several grades as does all natural gemstone. The best grade is called "High Grade Turquoise" and is usually given the letter classifiers of "AAAA", "AAA", and "AA" which are the highest grades of Turquoise. This quality of Turquoise is less then 10% of all Turquoise produced world wide, and throughout history. The true AAA and AA grades are almost never available and were less then 5% of all the production of Real Turquoise world wide. The AAAA was rarely mined, and is almost never available, it was less then 2% of all Turquoise ever mined. You can learn more about Turquoise Grades in our learning center or by clicking the previous text link.
The next best level, and most readily available type of "Real Turquoise" is simply stabilized Turquoise, not to be confused with reconstituted Turquoise and dyed Turquoise. Stabilized Turquoise is the lowest Quality Turquoise that has been soaked in resin.
Several companies in Arizona are treating Turquoise with plastic resins to stabilize inferior Turquoise, soft or chalk Turquoise and have been doing so for over 30 years. Today, this is being done heavily in Mexico and China. Almost all Chinese and Mexican Turquoise is treated, making the natural Real Turquoise even more valuable. As an old school Turquoise connoisseur, that may turn your stomach, however it should not. Many people do not mind their Turquoise stones to be stabilized as they want it to be durable and to remain the same color for the live of the piece of Jewelry they purchased. There is nothing wrong with Stabilized Turquoise as long you know what you are buying and as long as the seller is not trying to sell it as natural Turquoise.
Stabilized Turquoise is still Real Turquoise, it has just been stabilized.
We ultimately came to the conclusion that Stabilized Turquoise is real Turquoise and it is durable and it will remain the same color forever. We also realized stabilized Turquoise does have a place in the market that natural Turquoise just cannot fill. It is very good for making Turquoise Beads, Turquoise Inlay and Turquoise Sculptures as it does not fracture as easy as natural Turquoise. Stabilized Turquoise is also good for less expensive Turquoise Jewelry which is used in the fashion industry that is so price competitive.
The other type of stabilized Real Turquoise we will not go into much as it is not used much any more. China and other countries used to use wax instead of plastic resin to stabilize real Turquoise. Much of the real Turquoise from China was wax impregnated until the Colbaugh's from Kingman, Arizona got involved in the Chinese Turquoise market. The paraffin treatment only affects the surface of the gemstone and is the main reason this method is no longer used.
If you are a consumer in today's marketplace, you must be aware that American pride has become a rarity and the majority of salespeople will tell you anything to make a sale.
The last kind of Real Turquoise we will talk about is called Enhanced Turquoise. "Enhanced Turquoise" refers to medium-grade Turquoise that has been treated by a process that penetrates and hardens the stone with vaporized quartz. The process will only work on fairly hard Turquoise. It will not work on low-grade "chalk" Turquoise. Enhancement of Turquoise is usually undetectable by normal testing methods and is very common today. Most of the Material from the Sleeping Beauty Turquoise mine is Enhanced. The enhancement treatment turns the Turquoise a slightly darker color, but still looks 100% natural in contrast to Stabilized material... most professionals can tell Stabilized Turquoise right off, this is not the case with Enhanced Real Turquoise.
The term "color enhanced" means that the Turquoise has been treated with dye. This is usually done in combination with the resin stabilizing process. This process is very common, there are not many natural Turquoise varieties with the deepness of color found in varieties of Turquoise such as Bisbee Turquoise from Arizona.
Natural Royston Turquoise Rough
These are the only types of Real Turquoise. Anything else is not real! Learn about Fake Turquoise.
When you are looking to buy Turquoise Jewelry with Real Turquoise, look no further, shop with Durango Silver Company.
We hope you have enjoyed our presentation on fake Turquoise, cheap Turquoise and have gained some useful knowledge from it. We invite you to learn more about Turquoise and Turquoise Jewelry by following the links in our Learning Center to other informational pages that we have written on different topics related to Turquoise Jewelry. In addition, we would like to invite you to join our E-Mail Newsletter - about once every other month we send out a Newsletter to inform our members of what's happening with Durango Silver Company, new products, specials for our members and more. We also have a monthly drawing from our member base to give away free Turquoise Jewelry from our company. Please take a moment to become one of our friends by signing in below.
Thank you for reading about Real Turquoise, we hope you have learned a lot.