What IS Turquoise?
What is Turquoise Matrix?
When selling turquoise, Fire Mountain Gems and Beads uses these standard enhancement codes:
What is Stabilized Turquoise?
Types of Turquoise
|Sleeping Beauty Turquoise
Sleeping Beauty turquoise, from the Sleeping Beauty mines in Arizona, is the most prized in the world and often exhibits a vivid blue color commonly known as a "Persian color." Many Sleeping Beauty stones are treated with the trademarked Zachery process.
Stabilized turquoise is widely available and a popular choice for use in jewelry designs. The stone is chemically treated by adding an epoxy resin for increased hardness and enhanced color. With a permanent color and nice matrix, stabilized turquoise is a beautiful value.
A lot of people ask us, "What is chalk turquoise?" Usually from China, porous white turquoise that is stabilized and dyed is often referred to as chalk turquoise. It is typically dyed lively shades of blue, apple green, lime green and fuchsia pink. This form of natural turquoise has a white chalk-like consistency and has the same chemical composition as turquoise with one exception: it does not contain copper--the element that causes the blue color of naturally occurring blue turquoise. Chalk turquoise beads are popular for jewelry because of their hardness and bright colors. Most of the time, chalk turquoise will have a matrix pattern, often resembling subtle crackles.
At Fire Mountain Gems and Beads, if a stone resembles turquoise in appearance, but is not true turquoise, it will appear in quotation marks ("turquoise"). Great examples of this are the varieties of dyed jasper, known in the industry as African ''turquoise'', that have an exotic blend of green base colors and dark matrix, making it an affordable turquoise substitute in jewelry.
Yellow ''turquoise'' has a subtle blend of gold, green, brown and black colors of quartz and jasper gemstones that many times will come from the same mines as turquoise. Yellow "turquoise" is wonderful for earthy and fall-themed jewelry.
What is commonly sold and known as white ''turquoise'' is actually a white magnesite. This creamy, white stone has either a brown or black matrix that resembles the patterns found in dry creek beds or crackled antique pottery. It can also be dyed dark shades of turquoise blue and green with stained deep black or brown matrix patterns, and sold as Tibetan "turquoise." This material can also be seen dyed orange, red and other colors.
||Howlite and Mountain "Jade"
Affordable turquoise substitutes can also include matrix-free howlite, dyed a stunning turquoise-blue, and bright blue-colored, matrix-free mountain ''jade''. Howlite is found in continental evaporite deposits and other borate minerals in the form of nodules that resemble cauliflower. The color of turquoise-blue dyed howlite is not permanent, so application of an artists' fixative is recommended. Turquoise-blue mountain "jade" is actually a high-grade dolomite marble mined in Asia and dyed a wide variety of hues. Both of these stones are an economical way to incorporate the look of turquoise into jewelry.
Stuart started cutting turquoise in the 1970s and, over the years, he has bought top-quality Chinese turquoise rough stones and stored them in our warehouse for "later." His idea was, in his "spare time," he would have fun and turn the rough into beautiful cabochons and beads. Well ... after working and traveling for his company for over 40 years, he came to the conclusion he would never have "spare time."
Raiders of the "Lost" Stash
So, we decided to raid Stuart's stash and to put those stones to good use: we have incredibly good cutters in India, so our idea was to send them a sample of the turquoise rough to test its cutability. Well, we were impressed, and now we're offering to you the top-quality results of cutting Stuart's turquoise.
Imperial Crown turquoise is top-quality turquoise: no stabilization with resin, no color enhancements, nothing but expert faceting by master stone cutters. The natural beauty of the stones determine the sizes and shapes of the beads or cabochons only allowing for limited numbers or one-of-a-kind finished products.
Turquoise Buying Tips
Once you find a trusted seller, the fun part happens--enjoy creating your own turquoise jewelry!
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