To be or not to be? Stabilized turquoise is the question.

“Is your turquoise stabilized?” This is a question I get asked all the time. Many people are actually proud of the fact that they will refuse to buy turquoise that has been stabilized, only to go to another store or vendor and purchase turquoise that has been stabilized. Yep, you read that right. They end up buying stabilized turquoise elsewhere, thinking they are getting “natural” turquoise just because someone told them it was natural.

Surprisingly, there are also many people who believe the myth that stabilized turquoise is a bad thing or means you are getting fake or dyed turquoise. This is not always the case, but you can be fooled if you are not careful.

Stabilized does not mean dyed, it means the color has been stabilized, but you DO need to be very careful. Armed with a little bit of information, you can protect yourself against buying turquoise that is not the real deal.

In truth, *about 97% of all (I’m not kidding… all) turquoise on the market today is stabilized. Stabilization is necessary in order to maintain the beautiful color of your turquoise and harden the stone. Turquoise changes color over time because it gradually absorbs oils from the skin as it is worn and as it comes into constant contact with the natural elements. The colors in stabilized turquoise, however, are permanent. The color is stabilized.

Another reason for stabilizing turquoise is that turquoise is a relatively soft stone. Stabilizing hardens the stone so we can easily cut and drill it. (By drilling I mean the little hole we put in the bead so you can string it.) The hardness of gemstones is measured on what is called the Mohs (sounds like hose only with an M) hardness scale measuring from 1 to 10. As a comparison, diamonds are a 10 on this scale; turquoise is a 5 or 6.

Now here is where some of the mis-information comes in. Many people associate stabilization with dying and treating the stone. We (meaning our shop) stabilize our turquoise under pressure using a clear organic process that absorbs into the rock, permanently hardening it and deepening its color. Sort of the way a sponge turns a darker color when you put water on it. We use a proprietary colorless process, meaning we created our own closely guarded formula that organically stabilizes without the use of dyes. All of our turquoise beads are natural color and you will get that in writing when you purchase from us.

Just so you know… it is during the stabilization process than many other processors use dyes to color the stone to make it more blue, which provides a higher perceived value to the stone. In other words, it is very easy to take a stone that is not turquoise (like Howlite for instance) and make it look like turquoise to an unsuspecting buyer. It is also easy to enhance cheap turquoise to make it look like the more expensive Sleeping Beauty turquoise or other American mined turquoise. Those who dye and enhance turquoise know that American turquoise is more valuable and a true investment turquoise that has steadily increased in value over the years, and they know they can put a higher price tag on their turquoise, thinking you won’t know the difference.

If you prefer natural color turquoise, my advice is that you make sure if you are buying stabilized turquoise that the process did not include dyes of any kind. Stabilized does not mean “dyed“. This is another misconception floating around in the public domain. When in doubt about anything during your turquoise purchase, insist on getting it in writing from the seller. Ask them to certify the turquoise as natural (not stabilized and not dyed) or natural color turquoise (stabilized but not dyed or enhanced in any way). You can see some examples of dyed turquoise on our website at http://www.theturquoisechick.com/examples.htm to help you discern your purchases online or in person.

Also, please check out our reference guide to the five kinds of turquoise as described by law available on our website. Here is the link: http://www.theturquoisechick.com/kinds.htm Remember, knowledge is the best way to protect yourself when buying turquoise online or otherwise.

Until next time…

Lin Valentine
Turquoise Specialist
Southwest Turquoise

Copyright © 2011 Lin Valentine and Southwest Turquoise
This article may not be used without the express written permission of the
author.

TURQUOISE – the Master Healer The Spiritual History of Turquoise

TURQUOISE – the Master Healer The Spiritual History of Turquoise

The world over, Turquoise is known as a Master Healer. Native Americans and Shaman’s around the globe use Turquoise to give aid and guidance during a Vision Quest. To receive a Vision Quest is to understand your purpose in life.

According to the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), turquoise is one of the world’s most ancient gemstones. Archaeological excavations have revealed that Egyptian royalty wore turquoise jewelry as early as 5500 B.C. Chinese artisans were carving it more than 3,000 years ago. Native American tribes have worn turquoise as a ceremonial gem and bartered and adorned their jewelry with it for thousands of years. Turquoise was just as valuable then, and the Native Americans used Turquoise to pay for goods. The Navajo and Hopi in Arizona value Turquoise as an attractor of prosperity and fertility of the soil.

The world over, wherever Turquoise is found, the local people all have the tradition that this sky blue stone is THE Master Healer. There are still some things that scientists cannot understand. What we DO know is that it works. The healing quality of healing stone vibrations is very real.

Turquoise is par excellence for spiritual attunement, healing emotions, and balancing the auric bodies. It is great for relieving and dissipating sadness or grief. There is an uplifting quality as well as a calming quality to Turquoise. Can you imagine wearing it in your energy field? It is an experience you just have to try.

Because Turquoise is so effective on the etheric planes and because healing first takes place at the etheric levels, Turquoise is used to strengthen the entire anatomy. From headaches to repairing physical damage to the body, Turquoise works beginning in the energy field, where illness starts.

Turquoise is often used for skin disorders due to stress. And in ancient times it was used for eye problems, especially cataracts. Due to the copper content, it is powerful for arthritis and rheumatism. In addition to being the Master Healer, Turquoise is treasured as a powerful success and good luck stone.   

It is useful to note that blue Turquoise (there is also green) works with the throat Chakra and lungs. Turquoise contains a high amount of phosphorus which is used in Homeopathy for lung problems. Even the ancients advised Turquoise for lung and breathing difficulties.

My love of Turquoise and desire to share it with others led me to begin a business selling Turquoise several years ago, starting with the gorgeous Sleeping Beauty variety. Our first store only carried only Sleeping Beauty Turquoise in only one size, 8mm nuggets. It was great! After receiving many requests for other sizes and shapes we expanded our store over time into what you see today at The Turquoise Chick. The price of turquoise has almost doubled in the past few years so our prices and our inventory look much different today than they did back then. (Which is a great reason to invest in American Turquoise! It is running out and getting more and more valuable over time.)

Turquoise colors range from light to medium blue or greenish-blue. Spider web turquoise, a popular variation, displays veins of matrix (its host rock) in web-like patterns. Persian (Iranian) turquoise is considered the finest quality and also the most expensive. It exhibits an intense light to medium blue, typically with no matrix. It has the ability to take on a glossy polish. Other turquoise varieties including American, Mexican, Egyptian, and Chinese are a significant source today. My Sleeping Beauty Turquoise comes from the Sleeping Beauty Mine located in Gila County, Arizona.

One of my greatest joys is working with and introducing people to the Master Healer. There simply is nothing like it! I guarantee it!
 
Lin Valentine
Turquoise Specialist

www.theturquoisechick.com

On the Internet since 1995 
Copyright © 2008 Southwest Turquoise and The Turquoise Chick

PLEASE NOTE — WE ARE NOT DOCTORS. All suggested uses are gleaned from centuries of folklore and personal experience. Also, it is useful to note that no two people respond the same to vibrational healing energies. Persistent symptoms are best treated by your personal physician.