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.