Turquoise stones are as unique as they are beautiful. Depending on where a stone was mined, it can vary in color from light blue to medium green, and it may look “mottled” or “webbed.” These are all beautiful natural variations of turquoise.
Turquoise Stone Types
Regardless of color, not all stones that are sold as turquoise are exactly the same. Turquoise is available at many different quality levels. This means that you’re sure to find something you like, no matter your price range, but it also means you may have to hunt a bit if you’re looking for a high-quality natural turquoise stone. Here are a few of the different types of turquoise stones you may encounter:
- Natural turquoise. These are stones that were taken directly out of the mine, shaped, and polished. No chemicals or other processes have been applied. These stones are usually the highest quality.
- Stabilized turquoise. Turquoise that is a little bit lower quality, or that has a small flaw, may go through a process called stabilization. This means that the stone has been treated with water, wax, oil, epoxy, or another chemical to make it stronger and easier to cut. This usually does not change the color of the stone.
- Dyed and stabilized turquoise. These turquoise stones do not have the same beautiful natural color as some others, so dealers use a stabilization process on them that includes injecting dye into the stone to make the color more intense.
- Reconstituted turquoise. Dealers mix ground-up fragments of left over and low-quality turquoise with resin and place them in molds to create this kind of turquoise. Though it is inexpensive, it also lacks some of the natural beauty of other types of turquoise stones.
Which of these types of turquoise stones is best? Whichever you find most beautiful! Though pure blue natural turquoise may carry the biggest price tag, you might find a piece of jewelry with a stabilized turquoise stone that fits your personal style even better. No matter what type of turquoise stone you purchase, you’ll get a beautiful, versatile item that will serve you well for special occasions and day-to-day wear.