High Quality Turquoise is very rare, in fact, less then 10% of the Natural Turquoise that has come out of the ground to date has been gem quality Turquoise. Generally speaking, about 50-60% of the Turquoise that comes out of most Turquoise Mines is low quality or what we call caulk Turquoise, 30-40% is good quality and if lucky 10% is gem quality Turquoise. Some Turquoise Mines do not have any gem grade Turquoise and there have been rare occasions such as the Lander Blue and Blue Wind Turquoise Mines that gem quality Turquoise is all that was found, however, both of these Turquoise Mines produced very little Turquoise.
Turquoise is a sedimentary gemstone, meaning, moisture seeps through the upper crust of the earth which has copper, iron and aluminum sulfates - the gem quality Turquoise is formed from highly concentrated minerals that are deposited into pockets and crevices in the earth that have the perfect conditions to create this rare gemstone. High Quality Turquoise is rich in color and above a 5 in hardness on the Mohs' hardness scale.
Typically, when mining Turquoise there is a lot of overburden or host rock where Turquoise is found, it has to be removed to get to the medium quality stone that is usable in its natural state. Gem quality Turquoise, which is called high grade, runs in small pockets or thin veins sporadically amongst the medium quality Turquoise. The miner is always on the watch for high grade and when found, all operations stop to take special care not to damage the high grade.
Quality Turquoise values have skyrocketed in the last five years due to governmental mining restrictions and the cost of mining. There are few Turquoise Mines producing and very little exploration being done today. China has now put a moratorium on Turquoise Mining for at least three years and most likely longer and little Turquoise Mining is going on any where else in the world. This all adds up to the fact that high grade quality Turquoise and even medium grade Gem Turquoise will become extremely rare as time passes, heck Real Turquoise of any kind is getting super rare.
Quality Turquoise Examples
To the left is a very high quality Turquoise nugget that came out of the Bisbee Turquoise Mine. We just surface sanded this Turquoise Nugget and then polished it for a display piece. This high grade Turquoise Nugget weighs 46 grams and is an exceptional piece of Bisbee Turquoise. This is a great example of quality silver jewelry.
To the right is a Spiderweb Turquoise Nugget that came out of the #8 Turquoise Mine in the 1950's - 60's. This Nugget weighed 2.5 ounces and was a pleasant surprise when we sawed the end off. This Turquoise has a golden brown as well as dark brown spiderwebbing running through beautiful blue-green Turquoise. This quality American Turquoise has become very scarce and rarely seen for sale.
To the left is a display of high quality Bisbee Turquoise Cabochons, you can view more on the presentation on BisbeeTurquoise.com slide show. These gem grade Turquoise stones range from medium blue to dark blue in color with chocolate to red matrix. Bisbee Turquoise is known for being the finest quality Turquoise that has ever come out of the ground in North America. Bisbee Turquoise runs from light to dark blue and from light to dark green in color, however, the blue color ranges are dominant in Bisbee Turquoise.
To the right is a high quality Bisbee Turquoise Gold Ring by John Hartman, a master craftsman in Silver and Gold. The Turquoise Gemstone is very deep blue in color with smoky chocolate brown matrix. The design of the ring was made by flowing wax with a Jewelers wax pen and then using the lost wax method to cast the mater pattern in Gold.
To the left is a grouping of quality Turquoise Jewelry made with quality American Turquoise. The rough Turquoise that the Jewelry set upon is beautiful quality Bisbee Turquoise. The stone in the pendant to the right is Blue Gem Turquoise, the Turquoise in the multi stone earring to the left is Sleeping Beauty Turquoise and the Ring above has a Morenci Turquoise gemstone accented with Sugilite. We invite you to view our Quality Turquoise Jewelry presentation page.
To the right is a display of the famed Lander Blue Turquoise from Lander County, Nevada. This is what real Lander Blue Turquoise looks like, it is considered very high quality Turquoise by many, however, its value is really based more on its rarity than it's quality - as of 1-1-2011, authentic Lander Blue Turquoise is running about $250. 00 per carat which makes a cabochon about the size of a dime worth about $2000.00.
Today's RARE Quality Turquoise Rough
To the left is a piece of quality Turquoise from the Royston Turquoise Mine located near Tonopah, Nevada. Royston Turquoise runs from Green to Blue in color and often in the same gemstone. Royston is beautiful Turquoise which often comes in very large pieces such as this one, this rock weighs about 2lbs. The Royston Turquoise Mine is open from spring to fall for mine tours - you can actually hunt and find your own high quality Royston Turquoise when you take the tour. For more information, check out the Mine Tour Page.
To the right is a grouping of quality Bisbee Turquoise rocks. As you can see the chocolate brown matrix is rich and bold, this is what Bisbee is known for. This Turquoise will be absolutely spectacular when cut, it will be of a medium blue with bold and exciting chocolate brown Matrix running through each gemstone, you can tell this is very high quality Turquoise rough..
Above is a beautiful specimen of #8 gem grade Turquoise, it is a large nugget weighing about 3/4 lb. It has beautiful spiderweb matrix that is mainly black with flecks of golden brown. Good, hard, Spiderweb Turquoise is considered the highest quality American Turquoise by most avid Turquoise Collectors in the United States as well as many other regions of the world. Durango Silver Company always has Southwestern styled Jewelry with spiderweb Turquoise stones on hand and specializes high grade Turquoise jewelry set in unique Silver and Gold Jewelry made in the U.S.A.
We hope you have gained some useful knowledge from our Quality Turquoise educational presentation page. We invite you to learn more about Silver Jewelry, Indian Jewelry and Turquoise Jewelry by following the links in our Learning Center which has many other informational pages that we have written on topics related to Southwestern Silver 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 members to Giveaway free Turquoise Jewelry from our company. Please take a moment to become one of our friends and future winners in our giveaway by signing in below. Thank you for reading and learning about Quality Turquoise.