Did you know that cultures all over the globe have prized turquoise for centuries? It leaves no doubt about the inherent value of the gem. Do you also feel the allure of turquoise? With this comes the question of which turquoise is most valuable.
In this article, I will talk about the most valuable type of turquoise- blue turquoise. I hold this theme close to my heart as I have experienced the healing capacities of this stone. Of course, besides that, it’s a personal favorite jewelry item.
Nothing conquers the sheer elegance of turquoise! My longtime kinship and love for this stone guide me to do my best in catalyzing the spread of its positivity. So, read ahead and find out more!
Robin’s Egg Blue Turquoise: The Most Valuable Type of Turquoise
The most valuable turquoise is certainly blue turquoise. It has a uniform, intense, balanced blue shade. People in the trade fondly call it “robin’s egg blue” or sky blue!
The source or birthplace of this color is the district of Nishapur in Iran. You might even hear people refer to it as “Persian blue,” despite the lack of clarity whether it was mined in Iran or not.
What Dictates the Value of Turquoise?
You must be wondering what defines the value of turquoise. After all, what makes blue turquoise so unique? What gives it an edge above all others? It relies upon several factors, including but not limited to rarity, aesthetic beauty, and hardness.
Factors defining the value of turquoise
Let’s take a look at the factors that dictate which turquoise is most valuable, in-depth. Generally, robin’s egg blue variants meet all these criteria.
As with any other possession, the rarer the turquoise, the higher its price will be. The source mines majorly play into it too.
For example, the Lander Blue turquoise mine situated in Nevada is capable of producing high-grade blue turquoise. It has a value of as much as a whopping $500 per carat!
Can you imagine that? Unfortunately, the mine is very small, and only 100 pounds- give or take- could be obtained before the reserve was exhausted. This rarity adds more value to turquoise.
Aesthetic appeal or beauty
Players like color, texture, and the presence of matrix constitute the aesthetic appeal of turquoise. Generally, even darker and deeper colors are more valuable. A spider webbing within the matrix also boosts the value of the stone.
There is a constant and unresolved dispute in the community. Are clear stones perfect, hence more valuable than opaque, webbed turquoise? Different groups have varying opinions on this.
It might surprise you, but only a minute percentage of mined turquoise has an adequate natural hardness to constitute jewelry. According to HowStuffWorks, almost 90% of mined turquoise is soft and chalky, requiring stabilization for work.
Top-tier, naturally hard turquoise is called “untreated turquoise.” Even within this category, further dissections exist.
Why is Robin’s Egg Blue Turquoise the Most Valuable?
When I first began exploring turquoise, I learned that it is a hydrous phosphate compound of copper and aluminum. This gives it a medium blue color that you know and love.
Blue turquoise or robin’s egg blue is the most valuable because it is the purest of all types. It consists of mere traces of either aluminum or copper. Despite that, other earth metals may be in it.
The mine from which the robin’s egg blue turquoise comes also dictates its value. Let me revive the example of the Lander Blue mine. Robin’s egg blue turquoise from there would have a higher value than a similar one from a more accessible mine.
The Influence of Color on Turquoise Value
Do you wish to understand the reasons behind the treasurable nature of blue turquoise? Read on ahead for a better picture.
Even rich colors are the most prized. Robin’s egg blue turquoise is the clearest and darkest of all colors. Turquoise Quality Index, or TQI, is a method of pricing turquoise. It is a popular way of deciding which turquoise is most valuable.
The TQI color grading accounts for two factors: Intensity and Transition. Turquoise is graded on a scale of 1 to 10 according to the color TQI. Smooth color transitions and rich, intense colors are the most desirable. Naturally, robin’s egg blue turquoise checks both these boxes, earning the crown.
How Much Does High-Quality Robin’s Egg Blue Turquoise Cost?
When we talk about turquoise of this quality, we talk about quite a lot of worth.
If you find a turquoise with a color TQI of 10 or a total TQI of 100, you might have to pay as much as $1000 for just one carat! Out of every 100 pounds of mined turquoise, a scrappy amount of 25 pounds is good enough to go into jewelry.
Within this measly quantity, only 1 point turns out to be high-quality. This grade of blue turquoise sells for $40 to $200 per carat on average. If you draw parallels between one pound of gem-grade turquoise to the same value of gold, you will realize that it is a lot higher!
If you’re about to buy turquoise, watch this video to steer clear of any false sellers and make wiser choices. It will also help you distinguish between different types and which turquoise is most valuable amongst the choices you have.
What Does Robin’s Egg Blue Turquoise Signify?
Turquoise, in general, is a highly sacred stone, especially among Native American tribes. They attribute its hues to kinship with natural elements like water and the sky.
Robin’s egg blue turquoise is best celebrated for its unmatched healing powers. People all over the world revere it as a major healing gemstone, exuding wellness and positive energy. I, for one, always make difficult choices only after rubbing my favorite turquoise stone!
Apart from this, the intense shade of blue turquoise makes it possible for some stunning jewelry to come into being. It looks attractive with its even matte finish, especially when paired up with gold.
As is the case with all other gemstones, turquoise has different types too. Each of these types has varying degrees of value and worth.
In this article, I took you through the factors for determining the value of turquoise. You also finally found the answer to the common question of which turquoise is the most valuable.