Home Knowledges Is Turquoise Jewelry Worth Anything: The Value of This Gem

Is Turquoise Jewelry Worth Anything: The Value of This Gem

by Madonna

Turquoise, with its mesmerizing blue and green hues, is a gemstone that has captured hearts for millennia. Adorning jewelry and art, this vibrant stone has been treasured by many cultures worldwide. But beyond its aesthetic appeal, is turquoise jewelry worth anything in terms of value and investment? In this article, we will delve into the world of turquoise, exploring its historical significance, the factors that influence its worth, and whether owning turquoise jewelry is a valuable endeavor.

The Timeless Allure of Turquoise

Turquoise, named for its vivid blue and green colors reminiscent of the gem’s namesake, has been cherished since ancient times. Native American tribes in the Southwest, Egyptians, Persians, and countless other cultures have revered this gem for its beauty and believed it possessed protective and healing properties. Today, turquoise continues to be a beloved gemstone in jewelry, art, and collectibles.


The Origin of Turquoise

The geographical source of turquoise can significantly impact its value. Some regions are renowned for producing high-quality turquoise, and gems from these areas can command premium prices. Notable sources include:


1. Persian Turquoise:


Long considered the standard for quality, Persian turquoise is revered for its vibrant color and fine texture.

2. Sleeping Beauty Turquoise:

Named after the Sleeping Beauty Mine in Arizona, this variety is known for its clear, vivid blue color.

3. Bisbee Turquoise:

Mined in Arizona, Bisbee turquoise is celebrated for its striking blue hue and unique matrix patterns.

4. Kingman Turquoise:

Hailing from the Kingman Mine in Arizona, this turquoise is appreciated for its diverse colors, which can range from green to blue.

5. Chinese Turquoise:

Chinese turquoise, while not as highly regarded as Persian turquoise, is becoming more popular due to its availability and attractive blue-green color.

The Value of Turquoise: What Influences It?

The value of turquoise is determined by several key factors, each contributing to its worth:

1. Color

Turquoise’s color is one of the most critical factors influencing its value. While it is primarily known for its blue and green shades, the most valuable turquoise typically displays a vivid and intense blue hue. This rich color is often referred to as “robin’s egg blue” and is highly sought after. Green turquoise is also valuable but is generally less costly than pure blue varieties.

2. Quality

The quality of the turquoise, which encompasses aspects like transparency, lack of inclusions, and overall appearance, plays a significant role in its value. High-quality turquoise is free from visible matrix (the host rock in which turquoise forms) and exhibits even color distribution.

3. Matrix

Turquoise is often found with a matrix, the host rock within which it forms. The appearance and quality of the matrix can influence the overall appeal of the turquoise. In some cases, a unique matrix pattern can enhance the gem’s value.

4. Treatment

The treatment of turquoise can affect its worth. Some turquoise is treated to enhance its color or stability. While treated turquoise can still be valuable, it is generally considered less desirable than untreated, natural stones.

See Also: What is the Turquoise Crystal Good For: All You Need To Know

Turquoise jewelry making process

The process of making turquoise jewelry involves several steps, from acquiring the raw turquoise material to crafting the final piece. Here is a general overview of the jewelry-making process using turquoise:

Step 1: Turquoise Sourcing

The process begins with the acquisition of natural turquoise material. Turquoise is typically mined in various parts of the world, including the southwestern United States, Mexico, Iran, China, and more. Miners extract turquoise in its rough form, which can include chunks or nuggets of various sizes.

Step 2: Turquoise Selection and Cutting

After sourcing the raw turquoise, lapidaries (skilled artisans who work with gemstones) select the best pieces for jewelry making. They consider factors like color, matrix patterns, and quality. The selected turquoise is then cut into rough shapes that will later be refined and shaped for specific jewelry pieces.

Step 3: Shaping and Cabochon Creation

The selected turquoise pieces are shaped into more precise forms. One of the most common shapes for turquoise used in jewelry is the cabochon, which is a smooth, rounded, and polished gemstone without facets. Lapidaries use saws and grinding tools to shape the turquoise into cabochons, often in oval, round, or teardrop shapes.

Step 4: Matrix Handling

Many turquoise gemstones contain a host rock or matrix that surrounds the turquoise. The lapidary may decide to leave this matrix intact for its aesthetic value or remove it to create a solid turquoise cabochon. Handling the matrix requires careful cutting and shaping.

Step 5: Polishing and Buffing

The shaped turquoise cabochons are polished to create a smooth, shiny surface. Lapidaries use polishing wheels and abrasive compounds to achieve a high luster on the surface of the turquoise. This step enhances the stone’s visual appeal.

Step 6: Jewelry Design and Setting

Once the turquoise cabochons are ready, jewelry designers create the overall design for the piece. This may involve sketching or using computer-aided design (CAD) software to plan the layout. Turquoise is then set into various types of jewelry settings, including bezel settings, prong settings, and channel settings, depending on the design and style.

Step 7: Metalwork and Silversmithing

Jewelry settings are often crafted from metals such as sterling silver, gold, or other alloys. Skilled silversmiths or metalworkers create the metal components of the jewelry, including the setting, shank, or chain. They may add decorative elements or engravings as well.

Step 8: Assembly and Finishing

The turquoise cabochon is carefully placed within the jewelry setting, and any required adjustments are made to ensure it is secure and properly aligned. Additional finishing touches, such as attaching clasps, hooks, or closures, are completed.

Step 9: Quality Control and Inspection

Before the final piece is completed, it undergoes quality control and inspection to ensure that the gemstone is securely set and that the overall craftsmanship meets the required standards.

Step 10: Final Polishing and Cleaning

The entire jewelry piece is polished and cleaned to achieve a flawless, pristine appearance. Polishing is performed on the metal components to remove any scratches or marks.

Step 11: Packaging and Presentation

Once the turquoise jewelry is finished, it is prepared for presentation and sale. This may involve packaging, labeling, and branding the piece for retail or distribution.

The process of making turquoise jewelry is a combination of lapidary work, metalwork, and artistic design. The skills of lapidaries, silversmiths, and jewelry designers play a crucial role in creating the final, exquisite pieces that showcase the natural beauty of turquoise.

What jewelry can be made from turquoise?

Turquoise is a versatile and vibrant gemstone that can be used to create a wide range of jewelry pieces. Some of the most popular jewelry items made from turquoise include:

1. Turquoise Rings:

Turquoise is a common choice for rings, often set in various metals like sterling silver or gold. Turquoise rings can feature single stones or be part of intricate designs with other gemstones.

2. Turquoise Necklaces:

Turquoise necklaces come in various styles, such as pendants, beaded necklaces, or statement pieces. The gemstone’s striking color makes it a favorite for centerpieces in necklaces.

3. Turquoise Earrings:

Turquoise earrings can be studs, dangles, or hoops. The gemstone’s vibrant hues add a pop of color to any outfit and can be set in various earring styles.

4. Turquoise Bracelets:

Turquoise bracelets are popular for both men and women. They can feature single turquoise stones or multiple stones in a row, creating a colorful and eye-catching accessory.

5. Turquoise Brooches and Pins:

Turquoise brooches and pins can be used to adorn clothing, scarves, or hats. These pieces often showcase turquoise in combination with other materials like silver or coral.

Is Turquoise Jewelry Worth Anything: The Verdict

So, is turquoise jewelry worth anything beyond its intrinsic beauty? The answer depends on various factors:

1. Intrinsic Value

Turquoise jewelry holds intrinsic value as a wearable work of art. Its vivid colors and cultural significance make it a beloved gemstone for adorning oneself or gifting to others. While the monetary value of turquoise can fluctuate, its sentimental and aesthetic worth is enduring.

2. Collectibility

High-quality, rare, or vintage turquoise jewelry can be valuable to collectors. Some individuals are passionate about acquiring unique turquoise pieces, and this demand can drive up prices for exceptional items.

3. Investment Potential

The investment potential of turquoise jewelry can be less certain. While certain types of turquoise, especially those from specific regions, can appreciate in value over time, it’s essential to approach turquoise as a long-term investment. Additionally, it’s wise to consider the sentimental and aesthetic value of the piece, as market fluctuations can affect the potential for financial gain.

See Also: What Does Turquoise Mean to the Navajo: Things You Need To Know

Conclusion: The Value of Turquoise Jewelry

Turquoise jewelry holds an enduring allure, with its vibrant colors and historical significance making it a beloved gemstone. While the monetary value of turquoise can vary based on factors like color, quality, origin, and treatment, its intrinsic and aesthetic value is timeless. For those who appreciate its beauty and cultural significance, turquoise jewelry remains a valuable and cherished asset. Whether as an investment, a collectible, or a symbol of personal style, the worth of turquoise jewelry extends far beyond its price tag.


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