A New Age Look at Stabilized Turquoise

A New Age Opinion of Stabilized Turquoise

We do not believe that Natural Turquoise is better than
Stabilized for most intents and purposes.
We believe that both have there purpose, place, beauty, and use. Natural is more rare. On the flip side
Stabilized is more durable and does not change colors.

Stabilized Turquoise is better suited for most
consumers. Turquoise is NOT stabilized
to trick people. That is a myth. Gemstones are stabilized to make them more
durable and to keep the color from changing in softer stones, end of
story. This process was developed by
Tiffany and Co back when they owned Turquoise mines and it was a major stone in
their jewelry lines. They developed the process to better the gemstone and
their product line.

Another myth is that Stabilized Turquoise is cheaper than
natural. THAT IS FALSE. Most of the
Stabilized turquoise we cut is more expensive in the rough than MOST of the
natural Turquoise rough that is for sale by miners which is accessible to most
cutters without special connections to the miners. Most of the natural
Turquoise rough for sale today is medium to low grade. ONLY NATURAL GEM QUALITY
Turquoise is more valuable, not because it is better, but because there is a
lower percentage (less than 10%) of gems from any mine that are naturally hard,
stunning color and matrix, and able to cut wonderfully.

We have paid as much as 5,000 per lbs for Stabilized high
grade rough and we have paid as little as 75 per lbs for Natural rough (which
was low grade, but a customer request it). On the flip side, there is natural
Turquoise rough out there worth as much as 20,000 per lbs. This is why you must trust who you are buying
from and why you MUST DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH if you are concerned about natural
and stabilized. To the trained eye it is
very easy to tell natural from stabilized.
It can also be told from the price when dealing with high grade. Gem grade stabilized stones usually sell for
3 – 25 dollars per carat depending on the mine they came from, color, and
matrix pattern. Gem grade natural
Turquoise usually sells from 5 – 300 dollars per carat. There is a wide range of values for both
types of Turquoise. For the most part
this is why people are concerned. They
want to make sure they are not over paying for stones. To me that is not as much of a worry as you
can see unless you are talking about super high grade collectible stones that
belong in gold, the prices are fairly similar.
In fact, on today’s market much of the Stabilized Turquoise commands a
higher price than the mid grade natural that most cutters sale.

Handmade Sterling Silver pendant by John Hartman with high grade natural Bisbee Turquoise from Arizona.

One reason that you may be very concerned whether a stone is
natural or not would be a personal preference or belief that natural is more
“organic” or less processed. This would
be especially concerning if your customers had been trained by salesman that
natural is better, or if they had been trained by healers that natural is more
pure, hence more powerful for healing.

In closing, my advice is not to judge either variety of
Turquoise or other gemstones, but rather think of your use for the product
knowing that in many ways stabilized gems are far superior. As a lifetime jeweler and stone cutter, we will admit we used to be a purist, however over time and experience having made
and sold our jewelry as well as others, to hundreds of thousands of customers,
in general, stabilized gems are better for most end users. You will avoid repairs, chipped stones, and
the jewelry will be more affordable. Which is a “win win” for
most. How we conduct our jewelry business
is to make both products in as many price ranges as possible so that we can
accommodate every customer as best as we can.

A New Age Look at Stabilized Turquoise

We hope this is helpful information and can help ease your
concerns and add to your collecting and making experience. More information can be found on http://www.durangosilver.com/turquoise-learning-center.html

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