The Complete Guide To Turquoise Jewelry
Turquoise is one of the most popular gemstones in modern jewelry design. Its depth and variety of colors make it a glamorous statement accessory, while its soft and polished look is perfect for everyday wear as well. However, choosing the right piece for your collection isn't always simple.
Jewelry collectors or shoppers looking for the perfect gift can find something unique in every piece of turquoise jewelry. Below is your complete shopping guide for turquoise bracelets, necklaces, earrings, and rings for every woman's personal style:
What Makes Turquoise Gemstones Unique?
Most people recognize turquoise for its brilliant blue hues. However, there is much more to this gemstone than its unique colors. Contrary to popular belief, turquoise color is not limited to robin's egg or ultramarine blue. It comes in a range of natural colors from yellowish greens to deeply saturated blues to purple turquoise. The color is determined by the metals in the ground where it is mined. The more copper that is present in the ground, the deeper the shade of blue. If more iron is present, the turquoise will turn greener.
Turquoise is a soft gem (5 to 6 on the Mohs scale), which is why it is so popular in delicately carved pieces of jewelry. It is easy to mold into different shapes, and Ross-Simons takes full advantage of this with our many shapes and designs of turquoise. We use both bold beaded shapes and simple, small gemstones to create a wide array of jewelry.
Turquoise is sourced from the Middle East, China, Australia, and the Southwestern United States. It is a relatively rare gem and only 10% of harvested turquoise is considered gemstone quality. At Ross-Simons, we source the finest quality pieces that will last a lifetime.
Where is Turquoise Found?
Turquoise gets its name from the French word "turquois" which means "Turkish." The gemstone was first mined in Persia, and traveled from Turkey to Europe in ancient trade. It became known as the Turk's Stone, but the use of turquoise in jewelry dates back much further in different cultures throughout the world.
Turquoise is mined throughout the Middle East and has a rich history in Egypt. The gemstone can be found in the tombs of the Ancient Egyptians. The Monitu Egyptians wore turquoise as part of their royal accessories, and it is often found in their burial sites. King Tutankhamen's golden mask and Cleopatra's ornate headdress are both said to be adorned with turquoise among other precious gemstones. The bright blue stone was even crushed and used as makeup for Egyptian royalty.
Some of the finest turquoise, including Sleeping Beauty and Kingman turquoise, is mined in the American Southwest. Apache and Navajo tribes often used turquoise for jewelry, amulets, and talismans of good luck. It was believed that turquoise jewelry could protect its wearer and even predict the future. Turquoise can change color from blue to green hues depending on chemical reactions from different exposures. This color-changing ability was linked to fortune-telling and made turquoise a prized possession among Native American tribes.
Today, turquoise can also be found in parts of Asia and Europe, though most of it is mined in the Americas and the Middle East. It is a popular birthstone gift in December, and is used in a variety of fashion styles across the world. Before choosing what suits your style, however, it's important to know the different types of turquoise available.
Types of Turquoise
When purchasing turquoise it's important to know all of your different options. The appearance, value, and price of turquoise depend on many factors. Some people like turquoise with a matrix, while others like a solid color. Turquoise from certain mines can be very expensive, while reconstituted turquoise offers a similar look for a more affordable price. Below are some of the most common types of turquoise and what to expect when purchasing them:
Matrix vs. Solid Turquoise
When turquoise is formed in the ground, it is sometimes veined with other minerals. This is called the "matrix," and adds a very unique look to turquoise that most other stones do not have. While some shoppers love matrix stones because of their distinctive aesthetic, others prefer a solid color. The value of turquoise is not determined by the presence or absence of a matrix - this is solely a personal preference but an important one if you are buying turquoise jewelry as a gift.
Kingman turquoise is one of the most well-known types of turquoise in the modern jewelry market. It comes only from three claims in Arizona, collectively called the Kingman mine. It is a brilliant robin's egg blue with an occasional white spider web matrix. This is one of the most coveted forms of turquoise and is a staple in the Ross-Simons collection.
Sleeping Beauty Turquoise
Sleeping Beauty turquoise is another bright blue turquoise variety found only in Arizona. It is typically found without matrix, making it a favorite for simple gemstone pieces or bold designs that require pure color. Ross-Simons also offers a variety of Sleeping Beauty turquoise pieces for every style.
Turquoise can be used as a centerstone or as an accent stone and pairs well with a variety of precious, semi precious or opaque stones. Our collection offers a selection of both–whether you wish to have a statement piece of turquoise that stands alone, one that accentuates other stones for a multi-colored treasure or one that takes center stage among other stones, you'll find the perfect piece in our extensive collection.
Turquoise jewelry is coveted throughout the world because of its rare, mesmerizing colors and richness. The black, white, and copper matrices found in these stones create one-of-a-kind looks that make your piece of turquoise unlike no other. With the variety of turquoise bracelets, necklaces, earrings, and rings in our jewelry collection you are guaranteed to find something you love in our catalog.
Turquoise jewelry is typically polished and cut in a cabochon shape. It can be set in sterling silver, gold over silver or gold, and comes in a variety of sizes from petite rings to statement beaded pieces and ornate drop earrings. It is also commonly paired with other stones, such as jade, lapis, or topaz for depth and contrast of color.
Another great find is vintage turquoise jewelry. Add flair from the roaring 20's with spirited earrings, bold statement turquoise rings or fancy and colorful pins. These intricate designs will brighten your outfit and your evening.
Finding the right piece of turquoise jewelry is a personal choice, but you should always shop from a quality jeweler. Low-quality turquoise, whether it is reconstituted poorly or comes from a low-quality source, will not stand the test of time. We choose only the best stones for our handcrafted designs and guarantee longevity with proper care.
How To Clean & Care for Turquoise
Proper handling and care, in addition to choosing a quality piece, will go a long way toward making your jewelry last. Turquoise stone is soft and prone to color change if it is not taken care of. Below are 4 tips to keep your turquoise looking beautiful for a lifetime:
- Keep it away from kitchen counters, bathroom sinks, or other messy areas. This should be a general rule of thumb with all fine jewelry. Grease from food, excess water, and spills can all cause damage to your turquoise and its setting over time. Your jewelry can also go down the drain too easily in the kitchen or bathroom, so avoid setting it out in these areas of the home.
- Clean your skin and avoid direct contact with perfume or makeup. Turquoise can change colors from chemical reactions. This includes reactions from makeup, perfume, chemical cleaners, or any other synthetic ingredient. When you wear turquoise, be sure to spray perfume on a different area of the body, and keep makeup close by (such as near the ears) to a minimum.
- Store it away from sunlight. Sunlight can also cause your turquoise to fade or change colors if you're not careful. We recommend storing it in a beautiful jewelry storage box.
- Clean turquoise jewelry. Most gemstone jewelry will need occasional cleaning with a soft cloth. This keeps contaminants from staining or discoloring your turquoise and will help maintain the setting. This can be done after every time you wear your turquoise piece; once a month is recommended for pieces you wear daily.
Ross-Simons is your place for turquoise jewelry of all styles. Click on the links to shop our bracelets, necklaces, earrings, and ring collections.