Turquoise Quality, Value and Cost

Turquoise Jewelry - It's Cost and Why

 southwest native american turquoise jewelry belt buckle

The cost of authentic turquoise jewelry is a function of  its quality, rarity and the turquoise mine from which it came.

Authentic American Turquoise mined from the Southwest, particularly Arizona and Nevada, is considered the best turquoise in the world. Beautiful gem, untreated turquoise, that is simply cut and polished is the rarest and the most expensive. Very little turquoise ever mined is true gem quality.

The turquoise used in the turquoise jewelry sold today falls into one of three categories... Block, Stabilized and Gem.

Block Turquoise is quite chalky with almost no color. It is ground into dust, mixed with resins, poured into a block and left to cure. It is then removed from the mold and cut into the desired shape. The color of Block Turquoise is completely on the surface, with no depth what so ever... like a pale blue, plastic toy. Block turquoise is the cheapest and most common turquoise sold. It is sold by mass marketers and souvenir shops. It is mostly plastic and used in costume jewelry.

Stabilized turquoise is a step up. It begins its trip to jewelry already better quality then block... while still in its natural, raw, turquoise state the turquoise is pressurized with resin... resin fills the spaces between the turquoise molecules. The quality of stabilized turquoise, its value and its cost varies greatly. Nature is beautiful in its random nature. A gem can reside next to chalk. Very hard gem turquoise with its tight molecular structure will not accept much (if any) resin... low grade chalk drinks it up like a sponge. Both can reside in the same stabilized rock... part of it can be near gem and very beautiful... sections of it mundane with obvious traces of resin.

If you want beautiful blue, green, and blue / green turquoise... that has deep lustrous color and brilliance and marvelous patterns in incredible matrix...

Buy High Grade Gem Turquoise Jewelry
You will eventually want the best, so why not start buying it now. Lesser pieces have little to no resale value while authentic turquoise jewelry often grows in value.

It once was said that about 5% of the turquoise on the planet is gem. After over 40 years of searching, I'm here to tell you that less then 1% is gem. You'll know gem turquoise when you find it... gem turquoise is a thing of incredible beauty... it is a gift from mother earth that will spoil you forever.


Turquoise was first added to Southwest Native American silver jewelry by Zuni silversmiths in the mid to late 1800's. The Zuni learned to make silver jewelry from the Navajo, who learned from a Mexican silversmith who learned from the Spanish.

Most all turquoise mined in the United States was a result of the copper mining of the 1900's. Most of the world's copper mining is now in China. Most all the resulting turquoise is routinely stabilized... thankfully, extraordinary specimens sometimes remain untreated. Copper gives turquoise its color. Gem turquoise is very hard, has beautiful color that glows from deep within the stone.... that characteristic is called Zat or Brilliance.

Among the most beautiful Southwest turquoise is Bisbee, Smokey Bisbee, #8, Morenci, Carico Lake, Royston, Nevada Blue, Easter Blue, Pilot Mountain, Red Mountain, Indian Mountain, Lone Mountain... Kingman, Ithaca Peak, Burnham, Godber, Orvil Jack and Lander Blue too....

Sedona Indian Jewelry searches out rare Southwest turquoise and sets it in silver and gold jewelry. Our jewelry is completely handmade by master Native American silversmiths. No commercially manufactured jewelry store parts are ever used nor do we sell offshore maufactured Southwest Jewelry forgeries... This is a Native American art form and we wish to keep it that way.

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