December Birthstones | How to Buy Turquoise Gemstones

DECEMBER BIRTHSTONES

Turquoise

How to Buy Turquoise



Turquoise, the traditional birthstone of December, is also gifted on the 11th wedding anniversary. But buying turquoise doesn’t require a special occasion; its namesake blue color has been internationally revered for centuries as a symbol of protection, friendship, and happiness.

Thanks to its historical and cultural significance in many Native American tribes, turquoise remains most popular throughout the southwestern U.S.—which supplies most of the world’s turquoise today.

Turquoise is one of few gemstones not judged by the 4Cs of diamond quality. Instead, the main factors that determine its value are color, matrix, hardness, and size.

The most prized turquoise gemstone color is a bright, even sky blue. Greenish tones can lower the value of a stone, although some designers prefer it.

Some turquoise—particularly the material mined in the American Southwest—contains remnants of its host rock, known as matrix. These splotches decrease a gemstone’s value. Although it can create an attractive “spider web” pattern, unblemished varieties command higher prices as jewelry.

The porosity, texture, and hardness of turquoise varies greatly. Fine-colored turquoise that’s too soft or chalky will lose color—and value. Course, porous material is usually treated to make it stronger, smoother, and shinier.

Because of its fragility, turquoise is often treated to enhance durability and color. Some treatments involving wax and oil are relatively harmless, while other methods—including dye, impregnation, and reconstitution—are more controversial. Seek out an American Gem Society jeweler who can help you find the best quality turquoise gemstone jewelry.

Like other opaque gemstones, turquoise is commonly priced by size, rather than weight. It’s available in a variety of sizes, but color is always the determining factor.

Find a jeweler near you for the right turquoise for you.


Jeweler Map

Find a Jeweler

Search for an American Gem Society member jewelry store.

Search

SIGNUP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER

Would you like to hear more about the latest news, tips, and trends on fine jewelry and gems? Look no further than your inbox! Sign up today to receive our e-newsletter, Brilliance.

Sign Up

Mission Statement

The American Gem Society (AGS) is a nonprofit trade association of fine jewelry professionals dedicated to setting, maintaining and promoting the highest standards of ethical conduct and professional behavior through education, accreditation, recertification of its membership, gemological standards, and gemological research.

The Society is committed to providing educational products to inform and protect the consumer and to contributing to the betterment of the trade by creating industry standards to protect the jewelry-buying public and the fine jewelry industry as a whole.

AGS Laboratories, founded to support the AGS mission, is a nonprofit diamond grading laboratory with a mission of consumer protection. Adhering to the AGS Diamond Grading Standards, AGS Laboratories is dedicated to offering diamond grading reports that provide consistency and accuracy based on science.

American Gem Society

8881 W. Sahara Ave. Las Vegas, NV 89117

info@ags.org (866) 805-6500