Turquoise is one of the most valuable stones in the world. It’s also one of the rarest, with reserves currently estimated to be running out. The turquoise mines are not producing as much turquoise as they once did, and it looks like there will soon be none left for anyone to find.
Many people are surprised by this news because turquoise has been used by people since ancient times, but now that the supply is dwindling, prices have risen accordingly. Even so, many people still want to buy their favorite jewelry – which might include a turquoise gemstone – even if it costs more than before.
What is the cause of the Turquoise Crisis?
Turquoise is becoming rarer because of
– overexploitation by miners and manufacturers, who are
– gouging consumers to pay an ever-increasing price.
The crisis began in the 1990s when major mining corporations bought up turquoise mines around the world, consolidating production into a few large operations that were more efficient at getting gemstones out of the ground–but not necessarily better for preserving local ecosystems or protecting workers’ rights.
As demand grew with China’s booming economy between 2003 and 2008, prices quadrupled from $25 per ounce to more than $100, while many jewelry suppliers kept their prices steady even though they weren’t passing on savings to retailers or customers–effectively raising everyone else’s costs across the supply chain.
By 2009, it looked like the crisis had passed with prices finally starting to drop back down again–but then in 2010 China suddenly stopped buying as much turquoise for its jewelry industry.
This sent additional shockwaves through the market because of what was happening at U.S.-owned mines: they were running out of high-quality gemstones and production costs were rising as well since many Chinese workers could no longer afford such expensive housing without wages that rose commensurate with their output; meanwhile, environmental laws started closing off some major local deposits where mining pollution could be contained.
Eventually, all this forced a number of smaller operations into bankruptcy or caused them to scale back drastically on how much material they mined each year (and thus keep less turquoise in the market).
The crisis is now spreading to other countries around the world with new mining operations of turquoise mines opening up, but they are finding it difficult to compete with cheaper labor and more efficient machinery.
Meanwhile, there have been reports that China has started stockpiling large quantities of raw turquoise as a way for them to buy at lower prices–but this only creates a further shortage since no one else can find affordable gems anymore.
So if you want some turquoise jewelry or artwork right now, expect to pay much higher prices than before–and don’t be surprised when your supplier tries telling you another story about how rare these gemstones have become.
Turquoise Crisis Solution?
Turquoise mines are found in the United States, China, and Afghanistan. It’s a gorgeous blue-green stone that can be turned into beautiful jewelry, but it has been getting harder to find. Some jewelers are now highly favoring turquoise because of this problem.
Many people have switched from gemstones or diamonds for their rings instead of going with traditional turquoise stones due to the lack of availability and the high price tag on them these days. Instead, they’re looking at other alternatives such as cubic zirconia gems which look very similar yet cost much less than real gems do.
This could lead to another crisis down the line if we don’t start finding more places where there’s still ample amounts of the turquoise left. We can’t just let our turquoise mines run out of the gem.
It’s a gorgeous stone that makes for some incredibly beautiful jewelry and there are so many artists who love using it in their pieces, but if we keep going down this path then they will have no choice to switch to other stones or products due to lack of availability.
The solution? Keep mining for more! Find new places where these gems grow since right now as previously mentioned there aren’t enough sources left on the market anymore that allow us access to them without having too high of a price tag attached with them.
If something doesn’t change soon jewelers may begin switching over from turquoise all together which would be a loss not only for those selling these items but for those who love wearing turquoise jewelry as well.
What should we do about the fact that there’s a shortage of turquoise? We need to find more sources where this gemstone can be mined and found in large quantities, otherwise, jewelers will switch over to other options such as cubic zirconia because it looks very similar yet costs much less than real stones.
If we don’t fix this problem soon then many artists may begin switching their pieces from using turquoise altogether due to lack of access and high prices attached with them.