Block turquoise, sometimes called synthetic
turquoise, contains no turquoise at all. It is made by combining inert
ingredients, dye, and usually a resin to form blocks that can be cut or shaped.
The mixture can also be poured directly into molds to create most any desired
combine various shades of blue and matrix-like dark materials, synthetic
turquoise can come close in appearance to the real thing. Whatever one
thinks of synthetic turquoise, the artistry of the people doing the imitating is
truly impressive. By varying shades of blue and the imitation matrix
patterns, a close resemblance can be achieved, as can be seen from the synthetic
beads to the right.
How can one tell if the turquoise is synthetic?
First, the porous surface typically found in real turquoise is usually absent in
synthetic turquoise. Second, synthetic turquoise does not have the "cold
stone feel" of natural turquoise. Third, in our experience synthetic
turquoise has a tad bit more luster than natural turquoise.
As with treated turquoise, we have no objection
to the use of synthetic turquoise, as long as it is sold as such and not
A final point. Block/synthetic turquoise is
often sold as "reconstituted turquoise." This is not correct.
Reconstituted turquoise contains pulverized turquoise stone. Block
turquoise is 100 percent imitation.