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3 Key Factors of Turquoise Value: Is It Worth Any Money?

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Turquoise is an extremely valuable gemstone. It is one of the oldest gemstones known to humanity. Turquoise value is a combination of two main factors: attractive sky-blue color and cultural heritage. A turquoise cult developed independently in different parts of the world. The one turquoise culture was in Asia (Persians and Mongols), another matured on the other side of the planet – on the southern part of the nowadays United States by Native Americans.

Key factors of turquoise value are intense even medium blue color, low-porous fine texture, and the absence of matrix. These factors stand for the most valuable turquoise gemstone. Turquoise prices normally range from $1 to $10 per carat but can reach $1000 per carat for the best quality stones.

Real turquoise of the top quality costs even more than gold, so it is definitely worth the money. Moreover, turquoise has a multi-layered history that can be traced to ancient Egypt and Aztec culture.

It makes turquoise a highly desirable gemstone also from a cultural perspective. The ancient mines of Persia and New Mexico no longer produce significant quantities of turquoise, which makes turquoise even more desirable and rare, and results in a price increase.

You are welcome to discover the factors which influence turquoise price, modern sources of turquoise, and the most valuable type of legendary gemstone.

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Is Turquoise Worth Any Money? The Real Value of Turquoise
Is Turquoise Worth Any Money? The Real Value of Turquoise

Is Turquoise Worth Any Money?

Turquoise prices range from $0.5 to 1000 per carat, and taking into account that 1 gram equals 5 carats, turquoise is definitely worth the money. Turquoise rarity and attractive appearance make a gemstone a highly desirable material, which also influences the price.

Real turquoise is exclusively rare. It’s almost impossible to find natural turquoise in a store. The vast majority of turquoise available is faked (synthetic, stabilized, reconstructed, dyed). That is why real turquoise is a treasure. Prices for real turquoise can reach up to $1000 per carat.

To make it clear why the price range is so dramatic, it’s vital to understand the basics of turquoise composition and formation environment.

Chemically, turquoise is a hydrated aluminum copper phosphate (CuAl6(PO4)4(OH)8·4H2O). Turquoise formation demands an arid environment (hot and dry) and close association with copper deposits.

Copper is transported in waters which interact with phosphorus and aluminum-bearing rocks. Turquoise forms inside the earth within host rocks (such as limestone and sandstone) under high temperature and pressure, making it as hard as glass. 

Various combinations of different chemical elements in the host rock material, along with pressure and temperature conditions, can change the appearance and structural integrity of the gemstone, which also strongly changes the price.

How Much is a Turquoise Rock Worth?

The price for turquoise rock is considerably lower than for boulders or cabochons in the form of which turquoise is commonly distributed. Turquoise rock is commonly composed of veins, veinlets, kidney-shaped or grape-like aggregates of turquoise, and a limestone and sandstone matrix.

Turquoise rock or rough turquoise, which is turquoise in a country-rock matrix,  ranges from $15 – 25 per gram depending on the quality of turquoise. However, it’s better to buy turquoise raw, as this is one of the best ways to escape any kind of turquoise simulants or treatments.

Turquoise forms best in an arid (hot and dry) climate and that determines the geography of turquoise sources. The ancient mines of Persia and New Mexico, well-known for their top-quality gemstones, no longer yield significant quantities of turquoise.

Today’s sources include China (Hubei Province), Egypt, Chile, and some new sources in the US (the famous Sleeping Beauty mine in Globe, Arizona) and Iran.

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What Is the Most Valuable Color of Turquoise?

Turquoise occurs in dull gray and weathered yellow hues to grass-greens and bright, medium-toned, sky blue colors. Different cultures praised the color of their own deposit: however, nobody can withstand the attractive sky-blue evenly distributed color of high-quality turquoise.

The most valuable color of turquoise is an intense, uniform, medium blue color. Sometimes the most-praised color is described as robin’s egg blue or sky-blue. “Persian blue” is the other trade name for the top color of turquoise, but this should not be perceived as a source locality.

The most valuable intense, evenly distributed, medium blue color is a result of many geological factors to be met. Perfect color is a sign of high copper concentration and the absence of iron in mineral composition, which usually provides greenish hues.

The bright-blue turquoise color means that the stone was not exposed to the sun and was preserved from any weathering.

Perfect sky-blue color can be observed if there are not many matrices present in the sample. Clean robin’s egg blue or Persian blue-colored gemstones are extremely rare and reach the highest prices.

Turquoise Value per Gram, Pound, Ounce & Carat

Sterling Valuable Silver Turquoise Ring
Sterling Valuable Silver Turquoise Ring

Depending on the locality of the market you are trying to buy turquoise, there are different weight measure units.

For buyers from Europe, we are kindly providing prices per carat and gram. And for turquoise lovers from the United States, we will indicate prices per ounce and pound.

The medium quality turquoise usually costs $3 – 5 per carat, which is $15 – 25 per gram, $450 – 750 per ounce, $6795 – 11350 per pound. Gem-quality turquoise price can reach up to $1000 per carat ($5000 per gram). Turquoise value is rarely expressed in pounds, as such an amount of solid gem material is rare.

For your convenience here is price information, arranged into the table:

Turquoise value perPrice
carat$3 – 5
gram$15 – 25
ounce$450 – 750
pound$6795 – 11350
Turquoise Value

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What Makes Turquoise Valuable?

There are three approaches to measure turquoise value. The one consists of just three factors (color, texture, matrix).

The second one is more precise and consists of 8 indicators. It is mainly used to determine the exact price per carats for turquoise traders. The third one is 4C (color, clarity, cut, and carat weight) – classical for many gemstones.

Color, texture, and matrix are three main factors, which define turquoise’s value. The most valuable color is an intense, uniform, medium blue color. The texture of ideal turquoise is fine with low porosity, and no matrix should be present to correspond to the top-quality gemstone.

There are three basic quality factors that turquoise is judged on:

  • color, 
  • texture, and 
  • the presence or absence of a matrix.

Color

The most highly valued turquoise color is an intense, evenly distributed, medium blue, which is also known as Persian blue, sky-blue, or robin’s egg blue.  

Texture

The most appreciated texture is cryptocrystalline, where microscopic turquoise crystals form a solid mass. This characteristic also influences the porosity of the material, and as a result, its durability. Porous gemstones fade and change their color.

Matrix

The most valuable turquoise lacks any matrix. Matrix is a country-rock, usually limonite or sandstone, where turquoise occurs.

  • Limonite matrix triggers dark-brown markings in turquoise. 
  • Sandstone matrix creates lighter tan-like markings on the stone.

However, matrix-free material is exclusively rare, so thin, delicate, web-like patterns across the face of the gemstone are also highly praised. Such turquoise is called spiderweb turquoise. Gems with attractive spiderweb matrices rank second in value.

Here is another approach to measuring turquoise value. Turquoise Quality Index (TQI) based on 8 indicators. It is composed of two groups of factors, subdivided into 4 indicators each.

  1. The stone’s physical structure
  • hardness
  • enhancement
  • composition
  • cut
  1. The stone’s rarity
  • availability
  • color
  • matrix
  • size

Turquoise Quality Index corresponds to a recommended price per carat.  A recommended price multiplied by the weight in carat gives the price for a turquoise gemstone.

One of the main differences of this approach from others is that it takes reconstructed, enhanced, treated, and dyed turquoise into account.

The last approach is the classical one. It is based on 4C characteristics, which are:

  • color (blue or green),
  • clarity (stands for pattern in the case of turquoise) 
  • cut (cabochons mostly)
  • carat weight.

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Why Is Turquoise So Valuable?

Turquoise is known as a gemstone mounted into the world’s oldest jewelry and dated back to 4,000 BC. Being so popular for thousands of years, turquoise, like the newly founded tanzanite and paraiba tourmaline) become part of the culture of many nations.

Turquoise is so valuable because of its attractive color and ancient heritage. Turquoise is more part of human history and culture than mineralogy or gems market. It is so valuable because of the scarcity. Real turquoise is extremely hard to find, which also adds to the price per carat.

The most prominent Persian and New-Mexican deposits of the best quality turquoise are already mined out.

It is already mined, cut, and set into pieces of jewelry gemstones from there to be resold on the aftermarket or auctions for the biggest price.

TIP: Do you know what the common signs of valuable rocks are? Check them out in the article below:


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FAQ About Turquoise Value

Still did not find the answer to your answers about turquoise value? Find frequently asked questions in the section below:

FAQ: What Is The White Buffalo Turquoise Value?

The White Buffalo Turquoise is a trading name. This material is composed of calcite mineral, but is called so because it is mined along with turquoise. The only mine known is in the Dry Creek Mine, Nevada. The 1,75 inches White Buffalo Turquoise cabochon, mounted in silver, cost 200$.

FAQ: What Is The Value of Raw Turquoise?

Depending on the quality of turquoise, the price for raw material ranges from $1-10 per carat, which means $5-50 per gram. Buying raw turquoise will keep you safe from any fakes, simulants, and treatments, as finding a real untreated turquoise is quite challenging now.

FAQ: What Is The Value of Green Turquoise?

Green turquoise is highly praised in the Chinese and Japanese markets, as people there generally appreciate the green color most. So the price changes depending on the market focus. In the US green turquoise is less praised than a blue one, so it can be purchased for $10 per gram.

FAQ: How Much Is Purple Turquoise Worth?

The Purple Turquoise or Mojave (Mohave) turquoise is a reconstructed turquoise, which means it is created when fragments of turquoise are crushed into powder, mixed with epoxy, and dyed with purple pigment. It can be easily purchased via online platforms for 50 cents for a bead.

FAQ: How Much Is Blue Turquoise Worth?

The price for blue turquoise stones normally ranges from $1 to $10 per carat but can range from $0.05 to $1000 per carat, depending on the quality of stones. For example, rarer Lander Blue Spider Web turquoise prices can reach up to $300 – 500 per carat or $1,500 – 25 000 per gram.

FAQ: How Much Is a Turquoise Ring Worth?

The price for the ring strongly depends on the quality of turquoise mounted. Rings with tiny natural turquoise of average quality begin from 100$ up to 500$. More than gram stones of top-quality in a ring will rival diamond prices. Prices as $30 – 50 indicate reconstructed or synthetic analogs.

FAQ: Is Turquoise Worth More Than Gold?

Natural untreated turquoise cost more than gold. High-grade Lander Blue turquoise costs as much as $500 per carat ($2500 per gram). To put that in perspective, that’s more than $1.1 million per pound. Gold costs around $60 per gram and $27 240 per pound.

Conclusion

Turquoise is judged on three basic quality factors:

  • color, 
  • texture, 
  • presence or absence of matrix.

The most valuable characteristics are: intense, uniformly distributed, medium-blue color. Other names that stand for this color are sky-blue, Persian blue, or robin’s egg blue. The texture of ideal turquoise is fine, cryptocrystalline with low porosity,  and there is no matrix.

The price for average quality turquoise cabochons is typically three to five dollars per carat, which means $15 to $25 per gram. However, some best quality specimens that correspond to all the parameters can reach $300 – 500 per carat or $1,500 – 25 000 per gram.

TIP: The rarest gemstones are the most valuable rocks as well in the most cases. Check out the list of the rarest gemstones in the article below, you will be suprised!


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