Types of Turquoise
Enhanced turquoise is stone that is hardened with an electrical current in a water and copper solution. This process does not inject any chemicals and only hardens the stone. This is the next best thing to natural. Enhanced turquoise will actually test out as natural. Silver Sun uses enhanced Sleeping Beauty turquoise and clearly labels it as such.
Natural turquoise means that the rough rock has not been altered. The stone comes out of the mine and is only cut and polished. Natural turquoise remains porous and may change color over time. This turquoise is usually a hard 5-7 on the Mohs scale and will polish to a high shine. Silver Sun specializes in natural American collectable turquoise.
Stabilized turquoise stone comes out of the mine and is too porous to be cut into beads or cabochons. It is still good stone, but it needs to be hardened using epoxy resin. Using this method will harden the turquoise so it is easier to carve (Zuni fetishes) and it will remain the same color. Silver Sun uses stabilized turquoise because it is more affordable and can be used in our production items.
Color-Treated, Color-Enhanced, or Color-Infused Turquoise
Color-Treated, Color-Enhanced, or Color-Infused Turquoise are each very soft, dull colored and very low grades of turquoise. Both dye and epoxy resins are added to the stone to deepen the color and harden it.
Silver Sun does not sell this grade of turquoise.
Reconstituted turquoise is very, very low-grade turquoise that is crushed into dust and remade into a solid form using plastic resin. It can resemble natural turquoise, but will not test as natural. If the sample contains 80% turquoise, it can be labeled as genuine turquoise.
Silver Sun does not sell this type of turquoise.
Imitation turquoise, sometimes called simulated turquoise, is not turquoise at all. It is dyed plastic and should be labeled “turquoise color,” not turquoise. It contains no turquoise stone at all.
Silver Sun does not use this material in our jewelry.
Silver Sun uses only the finest turquoise available today.
We draw upon a variety of mines still operating, and some that have closed, using the precious remaining quantities still available in today’s market.
Click on the names of the turquoise mines which link to a description of each turquoise from which Silver Sun derives it’s superb quality turquoise stone, noting both the state in which the mine is located and a brief description of the color, features and uniqueness of the stone.
This brilliant deep blue turquoise is one of the most expensive and rare. Bisbee has a reputation as a hard, finely webbed, strikingly brilliant blue
The Blue Diamond mine, located in central Nevada, opened in the late 1950’s and was mined up to 1980. The stones that this mine produces,
The Blue Gem mine, which is no longer active, produced almost every shade of green and blue turquoise imaginable. The Blue Gem mine site is
Blue Ridge also known as Orvil Jack is located in Lander County, Nevada. Orvil & Bessie Jack claimed the mine in 1956. The first Blue
Carico Lake turquoise is known for its clear, iridescent, spring green color which is due to its zinc and copper content. Carico Lake stones can
The Castle Dome turquoise mine is located about 30 miles from the Sleeping Beauty mine, near Globe, Arizona. The Castle Dome mine has not been
Miners looking for gold also found the Cripple Creek turquoise deposits. The area yields some greenish turquoise and some light to dark blue turquoise with
Crow Springs, also known as AnnJax or Bluebird, is located near Tonopah, Nevada and 27 miles, as the crow flies, from the Royston turquoise mine.
The Fox Turquoise mine, located near Lander County and discovered in the early 1900’s, was once Nevada’s largest producer of turquoise with some half million
In the rugged foothills of southern New Mexico in the lower Hatchet Mountain range, you will find a very rough and beautiful place full of
The Kingman mine in northwestern Arizona is the largest turquoise mine in the United States. Kingman blue has become a color standard in the industry.
This is Kingman Gold- preferred Marketing Name of the Colbaughs. It is 90% Kingman and 10% bronze – The bronze is infused into the stabilized
The Ma’anshan mine, located near Nanjing & Shanghai, is a lovely turquoise from China. This is Chinese turquoise most like American turquoise from Nevada (Royston)
The Morenci turquoise mine produced a turquoise that is light to bright blue in hue. This stone has an unusual matrix of irregular quartz and
The Number 8 turquoise mine in Carlin, Nevada was first mined in 1929. In its prime, Number 8 produced some of the largest nuggets of
Persian turquoise came from a number of mines in modern day Iran. The stones from all mines show a great color variation. Many mines were
The Pilot Mountain mine is located in western Nevada, east of the small town of Mina. As with most turquoise mines, this mine opened as
Royston is a turquoise mine located within the Royston District near Tonepah, Nevada. The Royston District consists of several mines including Royston, Royal Blue, Oscar
The Sleeping Beauty mine is seven miles outside Globe, AZ. Sleeping Beauty turquoise is noted for its solid, light blue color with no matrix. The
Near Kingman, Arizona In the 1960’s, there were two peaks about miles apart located near the Kingman mountain, which yielded fine turquoise: Ithaca Peak (see