Okay, so a lot of my readers have been asking me how to tell if a turquoise jewelry piece is real or fake. I have done quite a bit of research on the subject and can give you all a few tips on how to find quality pieces of turquoise jewelry.
What are the Types of Turquoise Out There?
First, the question is a little more complicated than “fact or faux.” The term “genuine” turquoise may come to mind but this simply means that it came directly from the ground. It simply has the same properties as the raw material. While this might sound ideal, very little of the marketplace actually has “genuine” turquoise. Turquoise that hasn’t been treated is very soft and brittle, which isn’t the best option for jewelry.
Then, there is genuine “stabilized” turquoise. This is probably what you want in turquoise jewelry. This type of turquoise has been chemically treated to enhance color and durability. This is the kind of turquoise that you’ll usually find in retail stores.
You should also look out for reconstituted turquoise jewelry. In many respects, this isn’t considered “genuine”. For those unfamiliar, it’s the process of crushing turquoise into powder, adding new elements and materials to it, then reconstituting it back together.
Another popular method of faking turquoise jewelry is using dyed stones (usually howlite) that closely resemble turquoise stones. This is one of the most wide-spread methods used to fake jewelry because of how cheap the pieces are to produce.
Qualities of Real Turquoise
To spot real turquoise, you need to look at the color, the matrix, and the formation to determine if it’s what you really want.
The color ranges from green to blue and it’s really difficult to manufacture. The best thing to do is compare the coloration with a picture to see if anything is off. Most jewelry stores will tell you the type of turquoise they’re selling, Sleeping Beauty, Kingman, #8, etc.
When I say “matrix,” I’m not talking about the movie. The matrix of turquoise is the small cracks found throughout the stone left over from when the deposit was formed. This will usually be black, yellow, or even brown.
The formation is also a dead giveaway. Most formations are associated with a popular mine that it came from. If the seller claims its Sleeping Beauty turquoise, you can quickly look up the sky blue color and white flecks that are typical of that type of turquoise.
Unfortunately many are out to sell fake stones, that’s why I like to take the opportunity to provide people with reputable locations for purchasing turquoise jewelry, along with my nifty advice.