An opaque, blue-green mineral that is formed by moisture seeping through mineral rich soil containing Copper, Aluminium Phosphates and Iron and down to crevasses and gaps in rocks and clay, where it develops into Turquoise over millions of years.
American Turquoise is known for its individual matrix that originates from the host rock it was formed in. The Royston Mine is known for turquoise with a gold colored matrix whilst the Bisbee Mine produces a chocolate brown matrix. A matrix called Spiderweb highly collectable and expensive, but rarely found.
Natural turquoise colors range from sky blue and turquoise through to green and should have a slightly waxy lustre. The gemstone’s color and lustre can deteriorate with exposure to sunlight, heat and household chemicals and being fairly soft, can be easily damaged and it can also start to fade.
However, not all turquoise has been naturally mined. A high level of demand for high quality turquoise has necessitated the development of technical enhancements to improve the color of the gemstones. The use of dyes to transform a pale low quality turquoise is now commonly found. Enhanced turnquoise is often difficult to tell from the natural form.
Reconstituted turquoise is a common occurrence. This fake turquoise is made by mixing pulverized turquoise with resin and dye and re-shaping. Detecting natural turquoise from fake turquoise can be identified by the distinctive odor of the resin.
Authentic vintage turquoise is generally not as a bright blue as imitation or reconstituted turquoise, since natural turquoise is likely to have faded over the years.