Are Turquoise Rings Worth Anything?

There’s no better way to celebrate a special milestone in December than with a magnificent turquoise ring. Known for its striking blue-green color, this stunning precious stone has been coveted since ancient times.

In this guide, we answer some of the most commonly asked questions surrounding turquoise to help you determine whether this stone is right for you and, perhaps more importantly, whether it is worth anything.

What is turquoise?

Known by ancient Western European civilizations as callaïs, turquoise is a beautiful blue-green mineral composed of trace elements phosphate, aluminum, and copper. Unlike many other precious stones, gem-quality turquoise is opaque. Although plain-colored gems are considered the most valuable, stones with a marbled or spiderweb-like pattern, known as a matrix, in shades of white, black, or brown can be worth just as much.

Turquoise is the birthstone for those born in December. It is also associated with the Zodiac sign Sagittarius and the 11th wedding anniversary.

What color is true turquoise?

Though commonly associated with its signature sky blue color, real turquoise jewelry actually spans a wide array of different colors. These can range from vibrant greens to deep blue colors, and are influenced by the metal composition of the mine where the turquoise stone originates. Typically, blue turquoise has a higher concentration of copper, while green turquoise contains more iron.

What does the matrix of a gemstone refer to?

Gemologists refer to the matrix of a gemstone as the delicate veins running throughout the stone’s interior, creating a webbed or marbled design on the surface. These intricate matrix patterns are created by the host rocks in which the stone is found. The matrix is one of the most defining characteristics of turquoise jewelry and can influence the stone’s price. This is because certain matrix patterns are more desirable than others. For instance, the exceptional silver matrix in turquoise gems from Arizona’s Kingman Mine is especially prized.

Where is turquoise mined?

Turquoise is mined in several countries worldwide. Currently, most operational turquoise mines are located in China, Iran, and the American Southwest, including the states of New Mexico, Arizona, California, and Nevada. Some of the most renowned turquoise mines in the United States are the Lander Blue Mine, Sleeping Beauty Mine, and Kingman Mine.

Which turquoise mine produces green turquoise?

Turquoise gems from the Carrico Lake area often feature vibrant green colors. Because these stones can only be found in this particular region, Carrico Lake turquoise costs more than most other varieties of turquoise.

What does a turquoise stone symbolize?

Turquoise has captivated people of different cultures for millennia, from Ancient Egyptians to Native Americans. It has since garnered a plethora of symbolic meanings and associations. Some common ones include tranquility, wisdom, good fortune, and loyalty.

What are the benefits of wearing turquoise jewelry?

Turquoise is a stone that is thought to bring many benefits to those who wear it. One of the most common beliefs surrounding turquoise and turquoise jewelry is that it offers protection against evil. It is also used as a purification stone for dispelling negative energy and protecting against harmful pollutants. Moreover, turquoise brings all the chakras into alignment, stabilizing mood swings and promoting inner peace.

Which factors impact the value of turquoise?

Turquoise value is determined by several factors, including but not limited to: color, cut, size, origin, treatments, and matrix. As mentioned, the colors for turquoise range from vivid greens to deep, ocean blues. While turquoise gems that evoke the color of clear blue skies are traditionally the most valued, greenish hues can also be desirable depending on their origin. For example, extremely rare specimens from the now-defunct Lander Blue Mine in Nevada are particularly prized. Stones from renowned mines or regions known for producing high-quality turquoise are also generally worth more. Lastly, natural stones usually fetch higher prices than treated ones.

Is turquoise expensive?

Turquoise is quite a rare gemstone that is coveted by turquoise collectors. This, coupled with the fact that several turquoise mines have ceased to operate, means that certain types of this enchanting gemstone can command a premium price. High-quality turquoise stones in particular can cost anywhere between $1,000 to $1,500 or more per carat, depending on where the stones originated and other factors like the ones mentioned above.

How much is a turquoise ring worth?

As mentioned, some high-quality turquoise gems that were mined in certain parts of the United States can command prices of up to $1,500 per carat. This excludes the price of the setting metal for the ring, which may double or even triple the aforementioned figure, depending on the type of metal used and the intricacy of the details in the design.

How to tell real turquoise jewelry apart from imitation or fashion jewelry?

Real turquoise jewelry should come with the documentation to prove it, but if this is not available, there are several checks you can do to verify the authenticity of your turquoise jewelry. First, check the turquoise price. Genuine, high-quality turquoise will cost you a pretty penny, so if the price seems too good to be true, it probably is. Also, note that cheaper stones have often been treated to improve their color and strength. While these are still considered ‘natural’ stones, their value and properties will differ from untreated, natural turquoise, hence the price difference. Furthermore, natural turquoise will have imperfections, so examine the surface of each gem carefully. A perfectly smooth or flawless surface can be a sign of an imitation or a fake. Real turquoise is also cool to the touch, even in warm environments.

Which metal pairs well with turquoise?

The metal that is most commonly seen in traditional Native American turquoise jewelry is sterling silver. However, yellow and rose gold will work to bring out the yellow undertones in a turquoise stone, giving the jewelry piece a bright, warm feel. Moreover, turquoise jewelry set in yellow gold will emanate vintage vibes, whereas silver turquoise jewelry will offer a more modern, effortless look.

Which settings best suit turquoise rings?

The best settings for turquoise rings are those that secure the stone firmly in place. Due to the soft nature of these alluring gemstones, the majority of turquoise stones are cut into cabochons. This means they have a flat bottom and a domed top. Turquoise cabochons work well in bezel settings, where the stone is encircled by a rim of metal. This type of setting offers the stone more protection from getting knocked about than a prong or cathedral setting, which is better suited to harder gemstones like diamonds.

Can you wear turquoise jewelry every day?

It is possible to wear turquoise jewelry every day as long as it is properly cared for. It should also be noted that the majority of natural turquoise stones have undergone treatments to improve their color and toughness. These treatments include stabilization, waxing, oiling, and dyeing. However, because turquoise is porous, it will absorb any liquid it is exposed to, like the oils in creams and perfumes. Exposing your turquoise jewelry to these kinds of liquids and things like harsh cleaning agents can compromise the structural integrity of the stone. Prolonged exposure to sunlight can also lead to discoloration and surface damage.

Where can you buy turquoise rings and other turquoise jewelry?

You can find a selection of beautiful turquoise rings and other turquoise jewelry at reputable online stores like Blue Nile and James Allen. Or, if you’re specifically looking for something handmade, or want to support local artists, you can try your luck at local markets.


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