Turquoise buying - burtis blue
Turquoise buying - burtis blue

Turquoise Buying Guide


Revered for millennia, sky blue turquoise still has a dedicated following. Our turquoise buying guide can help you pick a gem for your next jewelry project.

6 Minute Read

Although turquoise is one of the more abundant gemstones, it has a following all 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 with no visible color zoning. However, color zoning that creates a "bird's eye" effect, with dark material surrounding light-colored nodules, is valued for its rarity. Arizona's Turquoise Mountain mine once produced material with this quality.

Additionally, for the highest values, turquoise should have a medium-dark tone. Very dark stones appear dull and...


Addison Rice

A geologist, environmental engineer and Caltech graduate, Addison’s interest in the mesmerizing and beautiful results of earth’s geological processes began in her elementary school’s environmental club. When she isn’t writing about gems and minerals, Addison spends winters studying ancient climates in Iceland and summers hiking the Colorado Rockies.

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