Turquoise & Chrysocolla
There is much mystique on the topic of Turquoise. It is timeless in it's beauty, never going out of style. New fashion trends may highlight it, or pass it by, but it never, truly, goes out of style. While chemically different, Chrysocolla shares some of the color palette of Turquoise and also it's timeless appeal.
As with any other highly desirable natural resource, mines have been mined until the deposits are significantly reduced. Sellers will offer stones that were once rejected as poor quality. Ways have been found to enhance it, upgrade it, turn poor quality deposits into more beautiful, more durable, more desirable stones. And, yes, even to imitate it completely.
We disclose everything we know about a stone. Turquoise is inherently soft, and much of it has been stabilized (with quartz or silica) to make it hard enough to withstand the rough and tumble of everyday use. Some has been colour-enhanced - this process permanently enriches the colour and makes it more uniform. Some turquoise is "reconstituted" - small pieces and left overs from cuttings are ground and bonded together into blocks and carved. Untreated turquoise has become quite rare and is fairly pricey - so you may prefer the stabilized, colour-enhanced and reconstituted versions for budgetary reasons! They are still lovely, display the same wonderful colour, and are actually more durable.
Turquoise goes well combined with ornate silver beads, and, surprisingly, is fabulous when combined with Coral or ruby-red beads.
Excellent and comprehensive article on Turquoise here.
Chrysocolla is also a mineral that gets its color from copper, like turquoise. Unlike turquoise, it is sometimes translucent and "gemmy."
Magnesite and Howlite are minerals that can be dyed to resemble turquoise and can make a satisfactory and budget-friendly alternate for some purposes.
Update: The Sleeping Beauty Turquoise mine has closed - there will be no more Sleeping Beauty Turquoise mined. What is available is what is in inventory - or whatever comes onto the secondary market.
In addition, China has put a moratorium on Turquoise mining and exports. Genuine Chinese Turquoise, i.e. Hubei, will only be available on the secondary market. We do expect to see more man-made turquoise out of China and from every where else as a result.