Facts you need to know about Turquoise jewellery

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Published: 06th August 2012
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Beautiful semi-precious Turquoise jewellery has been in vogue, throughout the world, for many centuries. The stunning hue and texture of the beautiful natural turquoise mineral have made it sought-after in fashion accessories, décor items and handmade jewellery alike. The popularity of the Turquoise stone has even inspired a colour to be named after it. This popularity has led to a large appreciation of this popular natural stone, but also to numerous assumptions and misunderstandings about the semi-precious gem.

One of the mail points to acknowledge, when considering purchasing turquoise jewellery and accessories, is that there are multiple grades of this stunning mineral, as well as many synthetic versions available on the market. Understanding the difference between the genuine and the fake and knowing how to distinguish one from another will help to clarify why there seems to be a large difference in the price range.

Authentic turquoise is a natural phosphate mineral with a blue/green colouring of different shades and hues. It received its name after the old French word for Turkish, since the first of these semi-precious stones to be brought to Europe were mined in Turkey. It is now mined at many other locations throughout the world, including as the by-product of large scale copper mines in the United States. The actual mineral Turquoise, in its finest grade, has been classified as a gemstone, increasing its commercial and aesthetic value. Another reason we have for the high price of higher-grade turquoise is its relative sparseness and diminishing stocks, and the fact that deposits tend to be small and are one of the hardest stones to mine.

But what makes a turquoise stone high-grade or low-grade? Generally the colour will provide you with a clue. Most often, the colour of turquoise is best described as some combination of both blue and green. In fact, the closer to green the hue, the lower grade it will be, while those rocks that are a bright and clear shade of blue are considered to be of the highest quality and there for more valuable.

As with most popular jewellery gemstones, turquoise receives a variety of treatments, and is now manufactured synthetically on a large scale. These processes has allowed for a high volume of imitation turquoise jewellery products to enter the market, and for these products to be sold at a considerably lower prices than designs that have been handcrafted from the genuine stone. As a result, the actual gemstone may appear to have decreased in value but this is far from being the case. We now have the option of buying varying qualities of imitation turquoise jewellery designs inexpensively, or of sourcing out the pieces with authentic stones and paying a premium price it all depends on our budget.

Turquoise semi-precious stones are considerably more expensive and rarer than the large quantities of synthetic stones that are currently on the market, like a well-cut diamond or a rich ruby, their visual effect can be truly stunning. Accessorizing with authentic turquoise can add a flare of colour and a touch of exoticism and mystic to an otherwise dull and boring look. This is not to say that well-produced synthetic turquoise jewellery cannot also be extremely beautiful and stylish. It is at the discretion of the buyer to determine quality in relation to price of the piece they want to purchase. To help make these distinctions, do not be afraid to ask pertinent questions, such as the origin of the semi-precious stone, how it was handmade and can they prove the authenticity of the stone.

I have been asked many times why the price of Turquoise differs greatly and this is because of the very many different grades. You must take this into account when looking for a piece of Turquoise jewellery. Ask the jeweller questions regarding the grade of the stone as you want to make sure that you are paying the correct price for your piece of semi-precious jewellery.

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