Types of Turquoise and How to Collect Unique Turquoise Jewelry

Turquoise is an astonishing gemstone. Its range of saturated colors can brighten up any outfit, and its rich history is a captivating conversion starter. This gem is also versatile and adaptable. Jewelry lovers can wear it from casual to formal, from boho to chic, and from minimalist to maximalist. It really does suit everyone! In this blog post, let's explore the many types of turquoise and how to collect unique turquoise jewelry.

Unique Royston Turquoise Ring by Hilary Finck

Unique Royston Turquoise Ring by Hilary Finck

Types of Turquoise

Turquoise, a gemstone with diverse characteristics, is extracted from various locations worldwide. Some of the most renowned mining sites are located in Iran, China, Tibet, Egypt, Australia, and the United States. The place of origin significantly influences the turquoise's color, texture, matrix patterns, and market value. Turquoise develops as a result of water permeating through rocks containing copper and aluminum, making its colors notably variable according to the specific geological and environmental conditions. Each type of turquoise possesses a unique name, appearance, and history, contributing to its distinct identity.

Here's a rundown of some turquoise that I've used in my handcrafted jewelry creations.

  • Carico Lake. This turquoise is green with dark webs. It comes from Nevada and is very rare and valuable.
  • Kingman. Kingman turquoise is light to bold blue, with or without white webs. It comes from Arizona from one of the oldest and largest sources of turquoise. 
  • Royston. This turquoise actually comes from a group of three mines in Nevada. The stones appear blue to green with brown webs.
  • Persian: Persian turquoise is known for its deep, rich blue color and minimal matrix. It comes from Iran and is considered one of the highest-quality types of turquoise.
  • New Lander. This turquoise is often dark blue with black webs, but there are more colors including greens, orange, and yellow. It comes from Nevada and is one of the hardest and most costly to acquire.
  • Timberline: Timberline is a rare and high-grade turquoise with a black spider-web matrix. It comes from Nevada and has a distinctive blue-green color.
  • Blue Moon: This turquoise is a vibrant and gem-grade turquoise with or without a black matrix. It comes from Nevada and has a unique color range from light blue to dark blue.

Other famous turquoise types:

  • Turquoise Mountain. This turquoise has light to rich blue-green hues, with or without webs. It comes from Arizona, near the Kingman source.
  • Cerrillos. Cerillos turquoise is one of the oldest and most famous kinds of turquoise. It's tan to blue-green with gold webs. It comes from New Mexico, which is one of the oldest sources for turquoise.
  • Red Mountain. This turquoise is blue-green with red webs. It comes from Nevada and is of superb quality.
  • King’s Manassa. This turquoise is bright green with gold webs. It comes from Colorado and is also known for its blue and blue-green turquoise.
  • Bisbee. Bisbee turquoise is green to dark blue, with red, black, or brown webs. It comes from Arizona and is also very rare and valuable.
  • Morenci. This turquoise is blue with smoky or shiny webs of quartz and pyrite. It looks like silver when it is shiny. It comes from Arizona, too, and is also well-loved and collected.
  • Indian Mountain. Indian Mountain turquoise from Nevada is green to blue with brown or black webs. A Shoshone sheepherder was said to have found the mine in 1970.
  • Pilot Mountain. This turquoise is blue to green with dark brown, black, or red webs. It comes from Nevada.
  • Number 8. Number 8 turquoise is blue-green with black, red, or brown webs. It also comes from Nevada, but is no longer mined, making it highly desirable.
  • Stormy Mountain. This turquoise is dark blue with black spots. It comes from Nevada, but is no longer mined. 
Unique Turquoise Ring by Hilary Finck


How to Choose Unique Turquoise Jewelry

If you are looking for jewelry with a specific pattern or color, check this turquoise jewelry collection. My handmade designs feature excellent gemstones from many sources.

Turquoise Color

The most prized turquoise color is an even, medium blue, sometimes called Robin's egg blue or sky blue. Turquoise with a greenish hue or yellowish tint tends to be less valuable.

Turquoise Matrix

Matrix is the term for the veins or patches of the host rock that are visible in turquoise. Some people prefer turquoise with no matrix, while others like the contrast and uniqueness of matrix patterns. Spiderweb turquoise is quite sought-after by collectors.

Turquoise Texture

Turquoise can be smooth or rough, depending on how it's polished. Smooth turquoise has a higher polish and is more suitable for fine jewelry.

Turquoise Cut and Form

Turquoise is typically cut into cabochons — rounded domes — to show off the color and texture of the stone. But you can also find it in beads, nuggets, or inlays for different types of jewelry. The cut and form of the turquoise should match the style and design of the jewelry piece.

Turquoise Treatment

Some common treatments are impregnation, dyeing, and the Zachery method. These treatments can affect the value and quality of turquoise, depending on the type and extent of the treatment. Natural turquoise, which is untreated or minimally treated, is rare and expensive.

Unique Turquoise Ring in a Handmade Setting by Hilary Finck

Unique Turquoise Ring in a Handmade Setting by Hilary Finck

How to Care for Turquoise Jewelry

Turquoise is a beautiful and durable stone, but it also requires some special care and attention. This gem is soft and porous, which means it's more prone to scratches, damage, or discoloration by chemicals, heat, or sunlight. To keep your turquoise jewelry vibrant and shiny, you should follow these tips:

  • Store your turquoise jewelry separately from other harder gemstones, or wrap it in a soft cloth or pouch to prevent scratches.
  • Apply cosmetics, perfume, and hairspray before putting on your turquoise jewelry, as these products can stain or dull the stone.
  • Avoid exposing your turquoise jewelry to direct sunlight, heat, or humidity, as these can cause the color to fade or the stone to crack.
  • Clean your turquoise jewelry gently with a soft cloth and warm water, and dry it thoroughly. Never use steam, ultrasonic cleaners, or harsh chemicals to clean your turquoise jewelry, as these can damage the stone.
  • Polish your turquoise jewelry occasionally with a soft cloth or a polishing cloth to restore its shine and luster.

Ready to add some turquoise jewelry to your collection? Check out my current selection of turquoise jewelry, featuring gems from a number of sources.