Types of Turquoise
Less than 25% of Turquoise is desirable in its natural state. Much of the untreated turquoise is very delicate and porous with a tendency to undergo color changes when exposed to light, sweat, skin oil, and different types of soaps and cleaning agents.
Turquoise is hard and therefore considered a gemstone, but compared to other gemstones, it is considered soft. Natural turquoise is highly valuable but makes up only a fraction of the turquoise jewelry on the market today. Turquoise mines usually produce only around ten percent high quality turquoise.
About 90% of turquoise jewelry usually goes through some type of treatment, according to most rock and mineral buffs.
Types of Turquoise Treatments:
Treatments are done to keep turquoise from fading or falling apart, and virtually all turquoise stones, natural and treated, are waxed to protect the stone.
A hard turquoise is treated with varying electrical currents to harden the stone and enhance the color. No dyes, resins, waxes, or oils are used in this treatment. Enhanced turquoise does not change color with time.
The turquoise is impregnated with acrylic or epoxy to harden the stone and enhance the color. Stabilized turquoise will not change color with time.
Pressure is used to harden the turquoise.
A fracture sealer is used in this treatment to harden the turquoise matrix.
Turquoise made in the lab, and it identically reproduces the chemical composition and physical characteristics of natural turquoise.