Beauty Turquoise |
Frio Turquoise |
be or not to be?
Stabilized turquoise is the question.
your turquoise stabilized?" This is a question I get asked all the
time. Many people are actually proud of the fact that they will refuse
to buy turquoise that has been stabilized, only to go to another store
or vendor and purchase turquoise that has been stabilized. Yep, you read
that right. They end up buying stabilized turquoise elsewhere, thinking
they are getting "natural" turquoise just because someone told
them it was natural.
there are also many people who believe the myth that stabilized
turquoise is a
does not mean dyed, it means the color has been stabilized, but
you DO need to be very careful.
careful.Armed with a little bit of information, you can protect yourself against buying turquoise that is not the real deal.
In truth, *about 97% of all (I'm not kidding... all) turquoise on the market today is stabilized. Stabilization is necessary in order to maintain the beautiful color of your turquoise and harden the stone. Turquoise changes color over time because it gradually absorbs oils from the skin as it is worn and as it comes into constant contact with the natural elements. The colors in stabilized turquoise, however, are permanent. The color is stabilized.
reason for stabilizing turquoise is that turquoise is a relatively
soft stone. Stabilizing hardens the stone so we can easily cut and
drill it. (By drilling I mean the little hole we put in the bead
so you can string it.) The hardness of gemstones is measured on
what is called the Mohs (sounds like hose only with an M) hardness
scale measuring from 1 to 10. As a comparison, diamonds are a 10
on this scale; turquoise is a 5 or 6.
here is where some of the mis-information comes in. Many people
associate stabilization with dying and treating the stone. We
(meaning our shop) stabilize our turquoise under pressure using a
clear organic process that absorbs into the rock, permanently
hardening it and deepening its color. Sort of the way a sponge
turns a darker color when you put water on it. We use a
proprietary colorless process, meaning we created our own closely
guarded formula that stabilizes without the use of
dyes. All of our turquoise beads are natural color and you will
get that in writing when you purchase from us.
so you know... it is during the stabilization process than many
other processors use dyes to color the stone to make it more blue,
which provides a higher perceived value to the stone. In other
words, it is very easy to take a stone that is not turquoise (like
Howlite for instance) and make it look like turquoise to an
unsuspecting buyer. It is also easy to enhance cheap turquoise to
make it look like the more expensive Sleeping Beauty turquoise or
other American mined turquoise. Those who dye and enhance
turquoise know that American turquoise is more valuable and a true
investment turquoise that has steadily increased in value over the
years, and they know they can put a higher price tag on their
turquoise, thinking you won't know the difference.
you prefer natural color turquoise, my advice is that you make
sure if you are buying stabilized turquoise that the process did
not include dyes of any kind. Stabilized
does not mean "dyed".
This is another misconception floating around in the public
domain. When in doubt about anything during your turquoise
purchase, insist on getting it in writing from the seller. Ask
them to certify the turquoise as natural
stabilized and not dyed) or natural color turquoise (stabilized but not dyed or
enhanced in any way). You can see some examples of dyed turquoise on our
website at http://www.theturquoisechick.com/examples.htm
to help you discern your purchases online or in person.
Also, please check out our reference guide to the five kinds of turquoise as described by law available on our website. Here is the link: http://www.theturquoisechick.com/kinds.htm Remember, knowledge is the best way to protect yourself when buying turquoise online or otherwise.
© 2014 Lin Valentine and Southwest Turquoise
All of our turquoise beads are natural color
A Certificate of Authenticity Provided With Each Turquoise Purchase
It's a privilege to serve you!
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Our bead supply company has been
Internet since 1995
Copyright © Southwest Turquoise and The Turquoise Chick