Did you ever notice a person wearing an alluring bluish-green stone from which you couldn’t take your eyes off? It was most likely turquoise. Doesn’t it make you wonder why people would spend so many dollars only to buy a stone? Is turquoise worth money that is spent on it?
Yes, turquoise is a precious stone, but not every piece of this gem you see is worth your money. While most of the ornaments sold in the market are made of artificial or highly processed turquoise, the original one holds high value. So, how do you find out the worth of turquoise?
For me, the gem is worth every penny spent on it, but that is because I know its real value. In this article, I will be talking about the worth of turquoise and how you can determine its value.
Before that, let us dig a little deeper about what is turquoise.
What is Turquoise?
Turquoise, an opaque mineral that has been valued by people for centuries. It is a rare material, found in mines and traded all over the world at high prices. The blue-green stone is an aluminum and copper, with the formula CuAl6(PO4)4(OH)8·4H2O.
Originating in Iran, it is one of the first gems to be found, mined, and sold in the market. Turquoise is globally traded at varying prices. However, these prices may range from $0.5 to $1000. Does the vast price range make you question its authenticity?
The value and originality of the turquoise you see in the market are indeed questionable. The real turquoise is known to have a dense sky color along with vein-like black and brown structures. However, the one you see in the market is usually a chalky blue, without many details.
There are a few deciding factors to check the authenticity of turquoise, which will be discussed in the following sections.
The Significance of Turquoise
Turquoise holds considerable significance in every culture, especially in the tribal regions of Asia, Africa, and America. The stone is used in various spiritual practices such as healing, aesthetics, and sometimes even for religious activities.
Its strong relationship with the two eminent elements—water and sky, make the stone highly significant in the sacred world. That is why turquoise is considered a sign of wellness and worn by many to ward off evil.
Turquoise holds strong connections with historical figures as well as the modern era. It was worn for protection and used in the construction of buildings in ancient times. In the new culture, the stone is known to be the birthstone of people born in December.
Is Turquoise Expensive?
Birthstone or not, people love collecting and wearing precious stones. Some may consider it a status symbol, while others would wear it to look beautiful. That brings us to the question, is turquoise expensive.
The value of turquoise entirely depends on its originality. Yes, turquoise is expensive, but only if it is the original one, which is quite rare. However, the authenticity of the ones you see in your daily life can range from 8% to 100%.
Depending upon its purity, the cost of the stone can be $0.1 to $1000 per carat. That means a pound of the purest form of the stone would cost over $2 million. That undeniably makes turquoise expensive.
Do you want to know the turquoise worth that you own or want to purchase?
How to Find Out the Value of Turquoise?
The real value of turquoise can be ascertained by noticing some essential aspects. Here are a few of the significant ones.
One of the most influential factors in determining the value of turquoise is its rarity. That means, the rarer the stone, the more expensive it is. There are not many mines that produce the stone, already making it a scarce one.
If a mine stops producing turquoise, the value of the stone previously mined from that area will dramatically rise. There have been several such examples, where the production of turquoise has ceased as the mineral has run out.
One prominent example of a rare turquoise is Lander Blue. It was mined from Nevada, United States. The mine was so small that it could only produce 100 pounds of this stone before running out. If you get your hands on a pure Lander Blue turquoise stone, its value will be as high as $500-$600 per carat.
Other such valuable turquoise mines include Bisbee, Kingman, and Sleeping Beauty. These are top-grade stones that hold immense value.
Turquoise is originally quite brittle. When it comes to hardness, it may just be a notch higher than window glass. Therefore, most of the stone used in jewelry is stabilized or processed.
Only a small percentage of turquoise is hard and is termed as high-grade. The natural, top-grade turquoise is the most expensive.
Color and Design
As mentioned earlier, natural turquoise seems to have vein-like or webbed structures. Additionally, they may be discolored, resulting in light blue to yellowish-green stones. While the collectors consider these aspects a value-adding factor, it may not be so with gemologists.
In most of the places you visit, darker shades of turquoise are known to be of the top-grade. Also, the clearer, the better, is what they think about this stone.
Purity is a mix of hardness and color. Most of the pure turquoise stones are neither hard enough to be used in ornaments nor too bright. That is why professionals usually treat the stone with chemicals and polish it to make it usable.
A very small percentage of turquoise can be used in its true form and considered purest. These make for the most valuable turquoise stones.
Is Turquoise Worth Money – Final Words
Now that you know everything about the formation and originality of the stone, you can determine whether turquoise is worth money or not. However, the answer to this question is that it depends on the type of stone you have.
Several factors influence the worth of turquoise, from its location (mine) and age to its color and hardness. Do you want to calculate the exact worth of turquoise? If yes, you can do so with the Turquoise Quality Index. Also, here is a video that further sheds light on identifying real and fake turquoise.
Turquoise is a mystically-colored, enchanting stone that is truly desirable. The purest form of turquoise is quite rare and thus worth millions of dollars. In the end, I would like to say that its exact worth solely depends on your perception and value of the stone.