Precious stones are used to enhance the beauty and value of jewelry pieces. One of the stones that is rising in popularity is turquoise. Turquoise can be found throughout the American Southwest and in other places across the country.
This unique stone comes in many color varieties, with each featuring distinct black veining running through a milky-colored background.
You will likely encounter some specific terminology when shopping for turquoise jewelry, so you should become familiar with the lingo if you want to score the best deal.
Some of the turquoise jewelry that you encounter will be labeled as natural. Stones that are described as being natural are considered high-quality, unadulterated turquoise that has been cut and polished. No additional treatments are applied to natural stones. You should expect a natural stone to have matrix veins or blotches, and they typically come in shades ranging from sky blue to dark green.
2. Treated or Stabilized
Turquoise that is labeled as treated or stabilized has undergone some type of processing to enhance the integrity of the stone.
As high-quality, natural stones become more difficult to source, jewelry makers are striving to use low-quality turquoise to recreate the vibrant design associated with high-quality stones.
A colorless stabilizing agent is added to these low-quality stones to improve their durability and hardness. Without this stabilizer, a treated or stabilized turquoise stone may be too delicate for daily wear.
Low-quality turquoise is not only softer and more delicate than its higher-quality counterpart, but it often lacks the color that is associated with high-quality stones. The color of low-quality stones can be more muted and will typically have less variation than high-quality stones.
Colorizing agents can be added to these low-quality stones to enhance their natural color. Any piece of turquoise that has undergone this type of treatment will be labeled as a color-enhanced stone.
By using color stabilizers, jewelry makers can offer access to vibrant turquoise jewelry items at an affordable price point.
4. Block Turquoise
Many affordable jewelry items will be labeled as containing block turquoise. A piece of block turquoise is created by mixing crushed pieces of turquoise and turquoise dust with a combination of colored plastics and resins.
Block turquoise is considered to be the lowest quality and most affordable form of turquoise available for purchase. Many people feel that it emits a strong plastic odor. You may see block turquoise being marketed as either reconstituted turquoise or brick turquoise. For more information on 18-in turquoise pendant necklaces, contact a professional near you.