It’s no secret that turquoise is a gemstone with dazzling beauty and attraction. Its authentic color makes it stand out compared to other gemstones and crystals in many ways, and although it is used for its spiritual manifestations and protection, it makes a fashionable and timeless addition to jewelry and other garments. But, what is the most-prized turquoise out there? Many who don’t have the answer come here to find out.
Turquoise is an often seen gemstone on jewelry. You can find it on earrings, engagement rings, necklaces, and even bracelets. Its authentic blue-green texture makes it incredibly attractive and stylish no matter what metal for jewelry you go with. It also fits with the most variant clothing styles and always keeps you looking young, fresh, and happy.
Turquoise has a rich civilizational and spiritual history that got it in such high regard that it is now. What’s more, the best quality turquoise is way more valuable than gold, which is why so many women like to see it on their engagement rings when they are not looking for a standard diamond or emerald ring.
Quick Summary: Turquoise is a valuable and a rare gemstone. Its starting price per carat starts for $3 to $5. However, some high quality Turquoise can be much more valuable with it exceeding the price of $1,000 to $1,500.
Turquoise got its name after its enchanting color and has been mined around for a long time. Its popularity dates back to ancient times, which is why you might have a piece of jewelry or a relic with it etched in it. Selling it can prove quite valuable, but learning more about it is a necessity.
If you’re looking to learn more about turquoise and how much it is worth. You’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’re going to tell you everything you need to know about turquoise and its origin, and we’ll detail a price chart about its worth.
Finally, we’ll help you identify and evaluate the turquoise that you may discover in your very home. Continue reading to learn more!
If you’ve already known a thing or two about turquoise before, then you’ll know that it is extremely rare and is not mined in many locations. That’s why, to make it a truly valuable addition to your collection, here are additional things that you can learn about it.
Turquoise is a gemstone that consists of an alloy of aluminum and copper. Its complex formula alone is a testament to its complicated composition. It is found in mines, but it is not as abundant in the world as is the case with other minerals. That being said, it’s extremely rare and hence expensive.
Turquoise has a long history, and the first record of it being mined and sold in the market, dates back to today’s Iran, although it is not confirmed whether it was sold before in some other location. Depending on the size, shape and other properties that it was found with turquoise can be quite expensive and valuable, but more about that later.
Turquoise is so rare, that seeing it on the market often sparks a lot of debates. That’s because the original turquoise in a vein is coated with a very dense color that resembles the day sky. It is also equipped with additional brown, gold, and black structures that resemble veins and add up to its trademark appearance. That being said, it can be extremely difficult to recognize real turquoise from fake.
Turquoise can be mined in the United States, Egypt, Iran, Bulgaria, China, and other locations in the world. It also marked an important relic in the history of many countries, especially that of Africa, Asia, and the American continents.
It is also an important spiritual vessel for priests and people in particular who practice symbolism and spiritualism, which means that it was often used for healing, protection, and different spiritual ceremonies.
Particularly, arid areas such as those filled with cavities and various fractures can often contain turquoise. It can be found inside modified volcanic rocks, surrounded by iron oxide and other climatic variables which are important for its formation.
When extracted, it’s almost always combined with copper sulfide as well as potassium-feldspar porphyritic intrusives, where it’s most abundant in the USA. It’s also important to note that turquoise has cryptocrystalline textures, which means it doesn’t need much chemical clearing in order to be ready for cutting. It can be found inside veins and fractures.
Also Read:Most Valuable Rocks And Minerals: Identifying, Valuing, Collecting, And Buying
Is Turquoise Worth Anything?
With so much value being attributed to jades, diamonds, emeralds, pearls, and more, a lot of people wonder whether turquoise has any value on the market. Being exceedingly rare on the market in its real form, turquoise is extremely valuable, with many people not realizing how to use that value.
The reason that it’s so rare is that it can be located quite deep in the veins from where it’s mined. More importantly, when searching on the market, the vast majority of this brilliant gemstone is not real. That which is real is extremely expensive because it’s quite hard to extract it from nature intact.
Most stores that sell turquoise don’t have real evidence that it’s real. That being said, oftentimes they use synthetic and reconstructed turquoise which was stabilized with different chemicals, as well as dyes to keep it looking powerful and unique. That process is also quite expensive, which is why even synthetic versions of turquoise are quite expensive in the market.
Needless to say, the real turquoise is even more expensive than that and can be found for up to $1,000 per carat, with prices going, even more, up for the most sophisticated and premium versions of it. The price range changes quite often, which is why you need to follow different charts to have a better understanding of the prices.
The reason it’s so valuable is because of the rarity and the complex conditions which are necessary for its creation. It needs a very hot yet dry environment and a lot of surrounding copper to reinforce the formation. It also needs to interact with phosphorus and aluminum-rich rocks in order to be formed in the condition that we know today.
Because it’s created in such arid conditions, different chemical elements as well as physical conditions like temperature, volume, and pressure affect the way it looks and its stability. These conditions also dictate the values of the market. Below, you can learn more about those conditions.
Above we learned how is turquoise formed, as well as whether it has any value on the market or not. Now that we learned that it has immense value, it’s time to conclude what is that value and in what kind of quantities can you buy the turquoise.
For most collectors, the smaller the turquoise, the more valuable it is. That being said, if you want to buy a large turquoise rock, you’ll pay significantly cheaper than if you want to get a cabochon of turquoise which is more suitable for jewelry. In such a shape, it’s less frequent to find which makes it more expensive also.
The quality of the rocks also bears the marketplace, so the arider the conditions where it was mined, the better the quality and the more likely the value will be higher. If you want to buy a rock, you’ll have to pay anywhere from $15 to $25 per gram of the rock.
The location also plays a role in what will be the price of the turquoise. The locality of the market also plays an important role. There are different measurement units for turquoise rock, but you can expect to pay anywhere from $3 to $5 per carat, but if you want to buy per gram, you’ll have to pay anywhere from $15 to $25.
For the USA-based buyers who want to buy the rock per ounce and pound, they’ll have to squeeze anywhere from $400 to $800 and $6800 to $11,400 per ounce and pound respectively. Keep in mind that the most valuable turquoise, mined from the most famed mines can cost as much as over $5,000 per gram and over $1,500 per carat.
Below is the value chart that will help you have a better understanding of the approximate turquoise worth. Keep in mind that you should follow websites such as gemsociety.org and others to keep track with up to date turquoise values. Also, you’ll have to subscribe to those websites for that matter.
|$3 to $5||carat|
|$15 to $25||gram|
|$400 to $800||ounce|
|$6800 to $11,400||pound|
Editor’s notes: As mentioned above, it’s more likely that you will look to buy turquoise and other valuable gems per carat and gram measure unit. The others are less likely because they are quite large quantities, and most jewelers can’t ensure that there’s a rock containing as much quality turquoise as demanded by the ounce and pound units.
How to Evaluate Turquoise?
So, you discovered a piece of turquoise at home and would like to sell it? On the other hand, you want to buy it from a jeweler or collector, but you’re not sure about its authenticity. Evaluating gemstones can be incredibly time-consuming and challenging when you don’t know much about their market values.
You can always consider appraisers and other jewelers, but you may struggle to understand them and keep up with the complex terminology. The same goes for forums that offer help to people who struggle with identifying and evaluating gems. Luckily, below we listed things to focus on when deciding the value for your turquoise gem, read on!
If you want to evaluate turquoise on your own, the first thing you should look at is the texture. Most of the turquoise will have a cryptocrystalline texture. But, what does that mean for people who are not so well-versed in this terminology?
It means that the turquoise consists of small, microscopic crystals that make a solid texture. This factor accounts for how porous is the gemstone and also decides its durability. If your turquoise has a lot of pores, likely, its beautiful color will eventually fade as a result of interactions with the environment.
The actual color of turquoise can be quite difficult to explain, but it is so intense that it can be difficult to replicate it. The best gemstones are those where the color is uniform, without too many flaws and side textures that may ruin its look.
The blue needs to be medium, and slowly and steadily pull towards the green. The most intense color of turquoise is Persian blue, which is also the most valuable color. It’s called Persian blue because it’s mined in Iran. Nevertheless, it can be found in other mines too at times.
Other variations of the turquoise include sky-blue, which is as enchanting and color-rich. Finally, another variant of turquoise makes robin’s egg blue, which can often be found on jewelry and other ornaments.
Presence of Matrix
This is another complex term that may need a little explaining to do. When mining turquoise, miners often stumble upon a mattress, which is a rock located in the mine and consists of either sandstone or limonite. This rock usually reinforces the formation of turquoise and oftentimes, it can be found inside of it.
Perfectly uniform turquoise is hard to find, so those that have less of it, or lack any sandstone or limestone at all are considered the most valuable on the market.
Some locations where turquoise is mined may be more valuable than others, and there, better quality turquoise occurs. Some of the most sought-after turquoises is mined exactly in Iran (Persian turquoise), as well as Egypt, Mexico, and Northwest China.
Good quality turquoise can also be found in some parts of the United States, particularly the southwestern part as the border of Mexico draws near. Other common locations where good-quality turquoise is extracted include New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, and Colorado.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you’re looking to buy a valuable turquoise stone, make sure to check a list of the most commonly asked questions about this beautiful gem.
Are There Other Turquoise Colors?
Yes, there are other colors of turquoise, but they may not have as recognizable a look as the original blue turquoise has. Other variations of turquoise include purple turquoise and green turquoise.
What Is White Buffalo Turquoise?
The White Buffalo Turquoise is the name miners and jewelers use for trading. It’s a separate rock that consists of calcites but is usually found close to turquoise and sold along it. It can be mined in Nevada and can cost up to $200-300 per cabochon.
Where to Buy Turquoise?
Because it’s so rare, it can be difficult to buy real turquoise. However, some of the local online marketplaces like Amazon and Etsy may have it. Still, it’s important to be super-careful to ensure you’re buying a genuine turquoise and not a fake one.
Other jewelry stores may also have turquoise for sale, but only as part of some other jewelry pieces. Durango Silver Company may be one of a few places where you can buy genuine Turquoise.
There are different measurement units for turquoise rock, but you can expect to pay anywhere from $3 to $5 per carat, but if you want to buy per gram, you'll have to pay anywhere from $15 to $25.What is the most collectable turquoise? ›
For example, Persian grade turquoise is the most valuable, the classic “robin's egg blue” color, because it has trace vanadium and no iron. In the United States, the closest to Persian grade available was found in Arizona's Sleeping Beauty Mine.How do I know if my turquoise is valuable? ›
Generally, darker shades and less green tint in blue colors add more value to turquoises. Of course, consumers who appreciate matrix patterns would consider their beauty crucial to determining their value. Spiderweb turquoise, veined with black matrix in a pattern that looks like crocheted lace, is quite popular.How much is high quality turquoise worth? ›
The highest quality turquoise (clear color, low porosity, no matrix) ranges from $1,500 to $25,000 per gram. To put this into perspective, gold is roughly $60 per gram. Blue Lander spiderweb turquoise also falls under this category. Blue Lander was a turquoise mine located in Nevada.
The value of rare turquoise continues to rise. As an American Legacy in limited supply, all North American turquoise is highly collectible.Is it legal to sell turquoise? ›
It can be dyed, stabilized, ground up and reconstituted, and more. It is against the law to sell turquoise as natural if it has undergone any of these processes. It is legal to sell turquoise that has been altered, provided the seller discloses the fact that it is not natural and does not label it as natural.What is the best American turquoise? ›
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.What is the most expensive natural turquoise? ›
Blue turquoise or robin's egg blue is the most valuable because it is the purest of all types. It consists of mere traces of either aluminum or copper. Despite that, other earth metals may be in it. The mine from which the robin's egg blue turquoise comes also dictates its value.Where is the best turquoise found in USA? ›
Turquoise has been mined all over North America for hundreds of years, but its richest deposits have always been found primarily in the southwestern states of Arizona and Nevada. California has also been a popular source of the opaque blue gemstone over the years, with mines found in San Bernardino and Inyo Counties.How can I tell what kind of turquoise I have? ›
Turquoise is naturally a soft stone, but howlite (the turquoise imitation), is even softer. This means that if you scratch your stone and it scratches easily, you most likely have a piece of howlite. But if it's very difficult to scratch your stone, you've got genuine turquoise!
At-Home Methods To Check A Gem
To test the piece in question, place it under a magnifying glass. If it has anything but a smooth surface, or you find small flecks of blue inside a lighter-toned piece, you are not looking at natural turquoise. Rather, you have something made of plastic, ceramic, or glass.
Raw turquoise can often appear almost botryoidal, with irregularly sized, vaguely round sections protruding in between thin layers of other material. That's not the case with every piece of turquoise, it's a highly variable material.What is genuine turquoise? ›
All summed up, Genuine Turquoise is a term to describe gemstones that are cut from pure "hydrated phosphate of aluminum and copper" that is either natural, enhanced, stabilized or dyed and has not been crushed and mixed with any other material. It should not be confused with the term Natural Turquoise.How much is Sleeping Beauty turquoise worth per carat? ›
Rough from the mine used to sell for as low as $10 per carat in a wholesale atmosphere. Nowadays, if it can be found, rough can go for as much as $50 – or even higher as demand grows!Is real turquoise cheap? ›
Turquoise is a relatively inexpensive gemstone. But it shouldn't be dirt cheap, especially for rare, clear, opaque blue stones with a high weight. The average price of turquoise per carat is about $5. However, it may be as high as $1,000, depending on the quality.Is turquoise precious or semiprecious? ›
While fine turquoise is becoming rarer and more valuable because less of it is being discovered than at any time in history, turquoise continues to be called a “semi-precious” stone.What rare stone looks like turquoise? ›
Shattuckite. First discovered in the Shattuck Mine in Bisbee, Arizona, this copper silicate often exhibits colors similar to turquoise. This mineral rarely grows as a large crystal form. Instead, it often pseudomorphs after malachite.How many kinds of turquoise are there? ›
Most people can probably envision what generic turquoise looks like when asked, but did you know that there are more than 30 types of turquoise commonly found in southwestern jewelry?What not to do with turquoise? ›
Avoid dish soap, dish wash water, hot water, soap, lotion, sunscreen, coffee, tea, oil, soaking in water, or oil-based substance. They will change the color of your natural turquoise stone. Turquoise is a porous material and has a great affinity for oils or grease; it absorbs like a sponge.Is turquoise an investment? ›
Conclusion. These are some of the reasons that serve to illustrate why you might want to consider a piece of turquoise jewelry when you are looking to buy something new. It is definitely an investment worth making.
Turquoise and the Native Americans
The Navajo believe that a piece of turquoise is actually a piece of the sky, fallen to earth. Native American nations, including the Navajo, Acoma Pueblo, and traditionally the Maya and the Aztecs, associated turquoise with spirit communication, healing, and good fortune.
These turquoise stones have a sky-blue hue and are also eye-clean. In terms of quality, this category features the top 10% of the turquoise stones.
There are many different types of turquoise, and each type has a different color. The most well-known type of turquoise is Navajo turquoise, which is a blue-green color with a black matrix. Another popular type of turquoise is Sleeping Beauty turquoise, which is a sky-blue color with no matrix.How can you tell a Kingman turquoise? ›
Much of the turquoise has a white matrix that is often dyed black for better contrast. The quality natural Kingman turquoise produced at this mine is generally medium blue with a "water web" matrix that easily distinguishes it from other turquoise. The best turquoise is a lovely blue with a black web matrix.What is the difference between turquoise and Sleeping Beauty turquoise? ›
Sleeping Beauty Turquoise is one of the most highly revered and sought after stone, because of its light pale-blue color. The difference between this and other blue turquoise stones is that these turquoise pieces display little-to-no veins within the gem that is common for other types of turquoise.Is Dry Creek Turquoise rare? ›
Its one-of-a-kind color palette, unusual hardness, and unique shininess makes Dry Creek turquoise jewelry some of the most valuable and rare on the market.Where is number 8 turquoise from? ›
ORIGIN OF NUMBER 8 TURQUOISE
Located in the Lynn Mining District in Eureka County, Nevada, the first claim for Number 8 turquoise is reported to be filed back in 1929 by Earl Buffington and Lawrence Springer; thereafter, there were a couple of well-known turquoise miners who owned the mentioned mine.
The oldest turquoise mines are in the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt. One sat near an ancient temple dedicated to Hathor, the Greek goddess of love and joy who was worshiped as a protector in the desert and as the patron saint of mining. Egyptians called turquoise mefkat, which meant “joy” and “delight.”What is the rarest color of turquoise? ›
Lander Blue Spiderweb Turquoise is some of the rarest Turquoise on earth and in high demand, Buyers must beware of impersonators, the highest grade of Chinese Spiderweb Turquoise is often sold as Lander Blue Turquoise, it takes an experienced professional to detect true Lander Blue Turquoise.How do you tell if turquoise is real? ›
First, rub a cotton swab with pure acetone ( nail polish remover). Then apply it to the questionable turquoise stone and wait 10 minutes to see if any green or blue color transfers off the stone along with the liquid. If the turquoise you're examining is real turquoise, the blue color will not rub off.
Otteson says that not only is really top-notch turquoise considered more valuable than diamonds, but it can be worth much more than other types of precious stones and metals that are often considered the most coveted jewelry staples.What looks like turquoise but is not? ›
Typically fake turquoise is made out of a soft mineral called howlite, which is dyed to look just like turquoise. Other imitations include magnesite, plastic, epoxy, and resin that are all dyed to resemble the real deal.Does real turquoise have white spots? ›
If you see blue coloring piling up, that's a sign of a fake. Additionally, if you see cracks but can't feel them, that could mean they're painted on, which is another red flag that the stone isn't genuine. Also, if you see any white spots, it's not a real turquoise gemstone.What stones look like turquoise but aren t? ›
The most common substitutes for genuine Turquoise are Howlite and Magnesite. On the Mohs hardness scale, the hardness of Howlite is 3.5, and the hardness of Magnesite is 3.5-4.5.What is high vs low quality turquoise? ›
A turquoise stone's quality is determined by its hardness, color, and mine source. High-grade turquoise is hard and vibrant in color. Low-grade turquoise is soft, chalky and pale in color. Every turquoise mine produces a gradient of quality, with the vast majority of turquoise mined being low-grade.What makes a turquoise stone valuable? ›
Its value is derived from its origin, color, visual appearance, association with a region, hardness, and size. Turquoise is weighed in carats, and five carats is equivalent to one gram. That means the heavier the stone, the more it's worth.What semi precious stone is turquoise? ›
Turquoise is one of the oldest known gem materials. Turquoise is a copper ore found in arid or semiarid regions.