Native Americans have believed for centuries that turquoise has numerous mystical properties. They fashioned jewelry from the stones to enable them to wear it as a talisman and used it decoratively in a great deal of their art. They were not the only ancient culture to believe turquoise was as valuable for its powers as it was for its beauty. Ancient Egyptians, Turks and the Chinese also prized turquoise because they felt it brought luck, safety and power. Some of the oldest jewelry in the world was found in Egyptian tombs and much of it contained turquoise. Caution is important no matter what reason people have for purchasing natural turquoise jewelry. Reproduction pieces are common in the jewelry industry and the value is lost if the stone is fake. Here are some tips to make certain only genuine turquoise is bought.
Check All Jewelry Labels
It is important to look closely at how the jewelry is advertised. A necklace or ring may be labeled as turquoise only because the manufactured stone is that color. This is a slightly deceptive practice, but not necessarily illegal. Instead, look for jewelry labeled as "natural" turquoise. Natural turquoise is a real stone that has not been altered in any way. This is what people who are seeking spiritual protection and inspiration from their stones should purchase. Stabilized and dyed turquoise are both genuine stones too, but they have been chemically treated. Unless the artist who created the jewelry is the one that treated the stone there is no way to know what was used and if it will degrade the turquoise over time. A reputable artist will be cautious about using only safe products to enhance or protect its beauty.
Look For Common Clues
Inspect all stones closely for signs of an intentional fake. Stones that have been colored will often have small white spots where the dye was not absorbed. The brown or black cracks that are found in many natural stones may look painted on and not inset into the stone as they should be. These dark veins are called a "matrix" and should feel rough even on a polished genuine stone.
Know the Typical Counterfeits
Large chunks of turquoise stone and turquoise blocks are commonly counterfeited. These are made from resin and if broken or cut will reveal the pure white interior and dyed surface. Many online bulk sellers of gemstones and crystals offer these to collectors and jewelry artists. Shoppers should always choose a reputable seller if this type of product is being purchased. Another concern is reconstituted turquoise. This is where chips or powder from turquoise is mixed with other crystals and rock and formed into one piece. The turquoise color may be prominent in the mix, but there is no way to determine if it is genuine or not. These mixes are often falsely advertised as turquoise blocks or bricks.
Turquoise is beautiful and many people feel safer or stronger when they wear stones that have traditionally been seen as having mystical powers. Making certain turquoise is genuine matters whether it is for protection or for its beauty. People should always make certain they are getting what they expected. It may surprise some to think that a material as seemingly abundant as turquoise would be faked, but it happens and caution is needed to prevent being fooled.