Revered through the ages for its bright blue hue, turquoise jewelry has come to symbolize protection and hope. Used widely in antique jewelry and often incorporated into innovative modern pieces, this gem will fit into any collection. Better still, it enjoys affordable pricing. Thus, anyone can own a piece of this December birthstone. Although it’s one of the more abundant gemstones, it has a following of its own. Of course, connoisseurs seek rare and extraordinary specimens. Before you make a major turquoise purchase, learn the nuances of turquoise buying.

Turquoise Buying and the Four Cs

The IGS turquoise value listing has price guidelines for turquoise cabochons.

Color

This copper mineral is famous for its blue hues, but shades of blue-green, green, and even yellowish green also occur. Ultimately, a bright blue with little green is the most highly valued color.

Green hues, arising from chromium or vanadium impurities, are less valuable but enjoy their own following. Turquoise with iron has yellow hues. While these hold less value, some artists seek out lime green turquoises for their projects.

If strontium is present, the stone can exhibit a rare secondary purple hue.

Ideally, color should be even and saturated…