North American native tribes have used turquoise for centuries. Its popularity among modern-day fashionistas proves turquoise jewelry is here to stay. When shopping for beautiful turquoise rings for women, you’ll likely come across two varieties: natural and stabilized.
At Palms Trading Company, we certify and authenticate the turquoise used in our jewelry selections. When shopping for turquoise pieces, we want you to know the differences between natural and stabilized jewelry.
Differences Between Natural and Stabilized Turquoise
You can differentiate between natural and stabilized turquoise in several ways.
Texture and Shades
The texture and shades are the first and most obvious differences between natural and stabilized turquoise. Natural turquoise has a smooth, waxy surface covered in bright blues, greens, or yellowish-browns.
Stabilized turquoise has been treated with an agent such as wax or resin to give it a more uniform shape and color. This treatment also helps preserve the stone’s color over time, preventing cracking and breakage.
Another difference between natural and stabilized turquoise is their formation. Natural turquoise forms under the earth’s surface using a combination of copper compounds, aluminum silicates, water, and oxygen. A chemical reaction occurs when these components interact in the right environment.
This reaction produces the natural turquoise seen today.
Stabilized turquoise comes from a natural turquoise that was found to be too soft and porous to be used for jewelry. It’s then treated with a stabilizing agent to make it harder.
Sometimes, reconstituted turquoise is made from crushed and powdered natural turquoise that is then treated with a stabilizing agent. The agent fills in the porous holes of the stone, making it more durable for jewelry making. This is known as block turquoise.
Cultural Meanings of Turquoise
In addition to its aesthetic qualities, turquoise also holds an important place in tribal cultures. Many tribes attribute special meanings to this stone, from protection and courage to good fortune and spiritual power.
In terms of cultural meanings and symbolism, both forms of turquoise have been used by Native American tribes. Natural turquoise was used as trading currency among many Southwestern tribes and worn to protect against evil spirits.
Many Native American tribes also use stabilized turquoise for jewelry and ceremonial objects.
Uses of Turquoise in Jewelry
Both natural and stabilized turquoise are used to make beautiful jewelry, such as rings, necklaces, bracelets, and earrings.
Due to its rarity, natural turquoise is considered a more valuable stone than its stabilized counterpart. The bright colors of natural turquoise also make it an ideal choice for making statement pieces.
Natural Turquoise is Significantly More Expensive
No matter what type of turquoise you choose, it will be a magnificent addition to any jewelry collection. With their unparalleled beauty and essential meaning, women’s turquoise rings are the ideal way to express yourself and flaunt your personality!
Natural turquoise is significantly more expensive than its stabilized counterpart, but both forms offer an amazing value for your money. Whether you prefer natural or stabilized turquoise jewelry, take your time to find the piece that speaks most to your unique style.
Look for Authentication Before Purchasing
You can avoid paying too much by understanding the market price for loose turquoise stones and finished pieces. Before purchasing a piece of jewelry, compare similar items from different vendors to get the best deal.
It’s also important to be alert for signs of synthetic or imitation turquoise.
Synthetic turquoise has become more widely available in recent years, so it’s important to ask questions and request proof of authenticity from the vendor.
If you’re buying online, research the store’s or website’s credentials to ensure you purchase authentic turquoise.
How to Judge the Value of Turquoise
When it comes to selling turquoise, the quality of the stone and its type determine its worth and price. The primary factors influencing the value of turquoise are color, porosity, and matrix.
Color is one of the most important characteristics when assessing a turquoise stone’s value. Color ranges from bright blue to green, light blue, and even yellow or brown.
There is much controversy surrounding color and value. What is usually agreed upon is the purity of turquoise color.
High-quality turquoise color is rich, clear, and consistent. Lower-quality turquoise has a cloudy, murky color that is not as vibrant.
High-quality or highly valued turquoise has low porosity.
Every rock contains pores. A low-porosity stone has fewer pores, making it more stable. Low porous turquoise is less immune to color changes, fading, and crumbling.
High-quality turquoise falls between 5 and 6 on the Mohs Hardness Scale.
Turquoise forms in what is called a mother or hosting rock. Hosting rocks are usually comprised of limonite or sandstone. Sometimes, deposits of this hosting rock get embedded into the turquoise. This causes a matrix.
A matrix can appear as lines embedded into the turquoise or blotches of different colors within the stone. Limonite usually produces dark brown markings, while sandstone produces lighter tan-colored markings.
The second most valuable turquoise has a spiderweb matrix. A spiderweb matrix becomes highlighted when cut and polished. It looks like a delicate lattice design with turquoise showing through the lines of the lattice.
Where to Buy Turquoise Rings for Women
Whether you’re looking for a statement piece or an affordable option to add to your collection, check out Palms Trading Company. We buy directly from the artisans and certify the authenticity of the turquoise used in each piece of jewelry.
If you’re in Albuquerque, drop by our store to indulge in our selections. Even if you can’t make it to our store, we offer our selections online through our website. Also, never hesitate to give us a call when you have questions about our collections or artisans.
Not sure what she’ll like? Contact us today to have one of our personal shoppers help you explore our selections of turquoise rings for women.