8 Steps to Spotting Real Turquoise in a Fake Market All Entries
'Buyer beware.' Those words sound like a warning to those who are looking for turquoise jewelry. Just because a stone is blue doesn't mean it's real turquoise. There are lots of fake stones on the market today. Ralph Mueller & Associates screens out the fakes and offers its customers the best, most authentic turquoise in all of Phoenix, Arizona and beyond.
THE 3 MOST DESIRABLE TYPES OF TURQUOISE
When it comes to turquoise there are three types that are considered the most desirable: Persian turquoise, Sleeping Beauty turquoise, and Kingman turquoise.
Persian turquoise is known for its deep blue color and is often used in high-end jewelry. It is mined in Iran and has been traded for centuries.
Sleeping Beauty turquoise is named after the famous mine in Arizona where it is from. It is known for its consistent blue color and lack of matrix.
Kingman turquoise is also from Arizona and is one of the most popular types of turquoise. It has a wide range of colors, from sky blue to green, and usually has a black or brown matrix.
WHY IS AUTHENTIC TURQUOISE SO VALUABLE?
For one thing, it’s rarer than most people realize. It’s also been used in jewelry and art for centuries, which adds to its historical value. And finally, it’s just plain beautiful – the unique blue color is like nothing else on earth.
3 MATERIALS THAT ARE COMMONLY USED TO IMMITATE TURQUOISE
There are a number of materials that are commonly used as lookalikes for turquoise, either because they resemble the real thing or because they can be dyed or treated to achieve a similar color.
Some of the most common turquoise lookalikes include:
Howlite: A white calcium carbonate mineral that can be dyed blue or green to approximate the color of turquoise. Howlite is different from turquoise in several ways. First, howlite is a sedimentary rock while turquoise is a mineral. Second, howlite typically has a white or light gray color while turquoise can be blue-to-green. Finally, howlite has a lower hardness than turquoise.
Magnesite: A magnesium carbonate mineral that is often used as a low-cost alternative to turquoise. It can be dyed or treated to achieve a similar appearance, but is usually softer and more lightweight than real turquoise.
Plastic or Resin: These materials are sometimes used in costume jewelry and other inexpensive pieces. They can be made to approximate the color and appearance of turquoise, but are usually very light in weight and may have an unnatural sheen.
8 WAYS TO IDENTIFY FAKE TURQUOISE
There are a few easy ways to tell if turquoise is real or fake. Here are eight of the most reliable methods:
1. Check the hardness. Real turquoise is quite hard, so if you can scratch it easily with a sharp object, it’s likely not the real deal.
2. Inspect the color. Genuine turquoise is rarely a bright blue – it’s usually more of a greenish blue or pale blue. If the turquoise you’re looking at is too bright, it may be fake.
3. Look for matrix. Turquoise that has been treated or enhanced (i.e., dyed or heated) will often have little or no matrix – the dark veins that run through genuine turquoise. This is an easy way to tell if turquoise has been artificially enhanced.
4. Examine the saturation level. Saturation refers to the intensity of color in a stone. Fake turquoise is often very highly saturated, while real turquoise tends to be more muted in color.
5. Feel the weight. Real turquoise is relatively dense and heavy for its size. If it feels light or chalky, it's probably not real.
6. Inspect the surface. Real turquoise has a smooth waxy surface. If it feels gritty or sandy, it's probably a fake.
7. Hold the stone up to the light. Real turquoise is opaque, so you shouldn't be able to see through it.
8. Most fake turquoise has been treated or enhanced in some way (usually dyed or heated), look out for uneven coloring or blotches on the surface.
4 REASONS NOT TO BUY FAKE TURQUOISE
When it comes to turquoise, there is a wide range of quality on the market. While some fake turquoise looks very similar to the real thing, here are some of the downsides of buying fake turquoise:
1. Fake turquoise is often made from lower quality materials and therefore does not last as long.
2. Fake turquoise is not as valuable as the real thing, so you won't be getting as much money back if you decide to sell it later on.
3. Fake turquoise can sometimes be toxic, so it's important to make sure you know what you're buying before making a purchase.
4. Fake turquoise often lacks the beauty and uniqueness of the real thing, so it's not worth settling for an imitation.
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