TREATED TURQUOISE

The majority of all turquoise in jewelry, has stabilization. Experts estimate that as much as 85 – 90% of all the turquoise on the market has stabilization. That means that only 10% to 15% of all turquoise is natural, meaning it is hard enough to use in jewelry directly out of the ground.

Most turquoise, as it comes out of the ground, is “chalk”. Similar to the chalk you remember in the classroom, this material is extremely porous and cannot take shape, without crumbling.

Turquoise Nugget with stabilization (Note plastic appearing crystals resting on the surface of this example)                                                             

                                                                     KingmanTurquoise with stabilization

Stabilized turquoise is when raw, natural turquoise has a plastic bonding agent. Stabilization can be present in both low grade (chalky) turquoise and unstable spider-webbed high-grade turquoise, as well as everything in-between.

mGiMRqwVHroiekCt7XMtvjA                                                                               Reconstituted Turquoise

This is when pulverize turquoise has epoxy and molds into predetermine shapes. It is turquoise, only in the fact that it is powder turquoise and epoxy.

Fake Block Turquoise 

Block turquoise is a mixture of plastic resin, chemicals and dyes that come in loaf-size blocks. Block turquoise contains no actual turquoise of any sort. Iron pyrite is produces a “matrix” effect. Block is often present in inlay, heishi and beads. Sometimes sellers incorrectly label block turquoise as “reconstitute turquoise.” There is no actual turquoise in this material!

Dyed turquoise is a process which uses a pigment to deepen a stone’s color

Waxed turquoise is turquoise that can soak or endure heat treating to improve the color

Turquoise can change color from blue to green, over time, reacting to human body oils, perfumes or heat. Tucson Turquoise offers vintage turquoise jewelry with these characteristics.

*It is amazing to note that all these stones are the same color when the jewelry piece is made. Stabilization becomes wide spread around 1955. Pieces with multi-color turquoise stones typically start off with the same color matching stones. Stones can change color at different rates, according to their porosity.

Vintage Navajo Belt Buckle: note several of the stones have a change in color with age.

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