Home Turquoise Revealed: What Makes Turquoise Valuable

Revealed: What Makes Turquoise Valuable

by Madonna

Turquoise, with its distinctive blue-green color and rich cultural history, has been revered as a precious gemstone for centuries. Its value is determined by a combination of factors that contribute to its rarity, beauty, and desirability. In this comprehensive article, we will explore the key elements that make turquoise valuable, including its color, origin, quality, symbolism, and market dynamics. By understanding these factors, we can gain a deeper appreciation for the unique allure and enduring value of turquoise.

How Turquoise Is Formed

Turquoise, a stunning gemstone admired for its vibrant blue and green hues, forms through a fascinating geological process that spans millions of years. Let’s explore how turquoise is formed:


Primary Deposits and Host Rocks:

Turquoise is typically found in arid regions where water interacts with specific rocks and minerals. It primarily forms in rocks such as igneous rocks (e.g., granite), metamorphic rocks (e.g., schist), and sedimentary rocks (e.g., limestone).


Hydrothermal Solutions:

The formation of turquoise involves the interaction of hydrothermal solutions, which are hot, mineral-rich fluids. These solutions often contain elements like copper, aluminum, phosphorus, and water.


Mineral Alteration and Replacement:

Hydrothermal solutions percolate through the host rocks, causing chemical reactions and altering the minerals present. Copper-rich fluids play a crucial role in the transformation of minerals and the formation of turquoise. Over time, these solutions replace existing minerals, often forming turquoise veins or nodules.

Presence of Copper and Aluminum:

The presence of copper and aluminum is essential in the formation of turquoise. Copper imparts the blue and green colors, while aluminum contributes to the gemstone’s hardness and stability.

Water and Oxygen Exposure:

As the hydrothermal solutions interact with the host rocks, water and oxygen become essential factors. Water provides the necessary oxygen for mineral alteration and the formation of turquoise.

Weathering and Erosion:

Over millions of years, weathering and erosion processes expose the turquoise-bearing rocks to the surface. These processes gradually wear away the surrounding rocks and expose the turquoise deposits, making them accessible for mining.

It’s important to note that the formation of turquoise is a complex and intricate process that requires specific geological conditions. The combination of copper-rich fluids, mineral alteration, water exposure, and long periods of time contributes to the creation of this cherished gemstone.

Is turquoise a rare gem?

Turquoise is considered a relatively common gemstone, but the availability of high-quality and desirable turquoise can vary. Here are some key points regarding the rarity of turquoise:


Turquoise is found in various parts of the world, including the United States (Southwestern states such as Arizona and New Mexico), Iran, China, and Egypt, among others. While turquoise deposits can be found in these regions, the quality, color, and availability of gem-grade turquoise can vary significantly.

Grades and Quality:

Turquoise occurs in a wide range of qualities, from lower-grade material with pale colors and extensive matrix (host rock) to high-grade material with vibrant blue hues and minimal matrix. The most valuable and sought-after turquoise is characterized by its intense blue color, known as “robin’s egg blue,” and limited matrix presence. High-quality turquoise with desirable characteristics is rarer and commands higher prices.

Matrix Patterns:

Some turquoise specimens display unique matrix patterns, which are highly valued by collectors and enthusiasts. These patterns, such as spiderweb, birdseye, or matrix-free turquoise, can add to the rarity and desirability of a particular piece.

Natural and Stabilized Turquoise:

It’s important to note that natural turquoise is relatively rare compared to stabilized or treated turquoise. Stabilization processes involve impregnating the gemstone with a clear resin or other materials to enhance its color, durability, and appearance. While stabilized turquoise is more common and widely available, natural turquoise, especially of high quality, can be harder to find and thus considered rarer.

While turquoise is not as rare as some other gemstones, the availability of top-grade turquoise with desirable color and minimal matrix can be limited. The uniqueness of individual specimens, including their color, matrix patterns, and origin, contributes to the rarity and value of certain turquoise varieties.

Is turquoise of great value

The value of turquoise can vary depending on several factors, including its quality, color, clarity, size, and overall desirability. Turquoise has been highly valued throughout history and is considered a precious gemstone in many cultures.

The finest and most valuable turquoise is usually a vibrant blue color with little to no matrix (vein-like markings). This type of turquoise is often referred to as “robin’s egg blue” and is highly sought after by collectors and jewelry enthusiasts. Other desirable colors include shades of greenish-blue and sky blue.

In general, high-quality, natural turquoise with intense color and minimal impurities commands a higher value. Additionally, the size and shape of the stone can also influence its worth, with larger and well-shaped stones usually being more valuable.

It’s worth noting that there are also various treatments and enhancements applied to turquoise to enhance its color or stability. While these treatments may affect the value, they can also make the stone more affordable and accessible to a wider range of buyers.

If you have a specific turquoise item or stone that you’d like to assess, it’s best to consult with a reputable jeweler or gemstone appraiser who can evaluate its quality and provide an accurate valuation based on current market trends.

What makes turquoise so valuable

Turquoise is considered valuable for several reasons:


Turquoise is renowned for its vibrant blue and greenish-blue hues. The most valuable turquoise possesses a rich, even coloration that is highly sought after. Intense and vivid blue shades, often referred to as “robin’s egg blue,” are particularly prized.


Turquoise has been treasured for thousands of years, dating back to ancient civilizations such as the Egyptians, Persians, and Native Americans. Its enduring appeal and cultural significance make it a desirable gemstone, increasing its value.

Symbolism and Meaning:

Turquoise is associated with various meanings and beliefs across cultures. It has been revered as a symbol of protection, good fortune, healing, and spiritual connection. The symbolic value attached to turquoise enhances its desirability and value.

Historical Significance:

Turquoise has a rich history and has been used in jewelry, decorative art, and ceremonial objects for centuries. Antique and vintage turquoise pieces often carry historical and cultural significance, further adding to their value.

Quality Factors:

Factors such as clarity, hardness, and stability also contribute to the value of turquoise. High-quality stones have minimal inclusions or matrix (vein-like markings) and possess a desirable hardness that allows for easy cutting and shaping.

Market Demand:

The demand for turquoise, particularly from collectors, jewelry designers, and enthusiasts, also impacts its value. If there is high demand and limited supply for specific types of turquoise, it can drive up its value in the market.

It’s important to note that the value of turquoise can vary significantly depending on these factors, as well as market trends and individual preferences. To determine the precise value of a specific turquoise item, it’s advisable to consult with a professional jeweler or gemstone appraiser who can assess its quality and provide an accurate valuation.


Turquoise’s value is a result of its mesmerizing color, origin, quality, symbolism, and market dynamics. The vivid blue-green hue, absence of enhancements, and cultural significance contribute to its desirability and allure. The rarity and geographic variation of turquoise, coupled with its historical and artistic context, elevate its value in the market. By understanding the factors that make turquoise valuable, we can better appreciate its enduring beauty and appreciate the rich heritage that this cherished gemstone embodies.


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