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Fake or Real Turquoise

topic posted Mon, February 23, 2009 - 1:33 PM by  Unsubscribed
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Greetings,
I've always loved the color and beauty of turquoise. However as real turquoise becomes more expensive and harder to find, fake turquoise appears to be more numerous. I really don't mind if a vendor is up front about what they're selling and clearly states that what they're selling is fake. However, I've heard that people are getting so good at making the fake turquoise that it is really difficult for even the seasoned jewelry collector to make a clear cut determination. Does anyone know of a full proof non-destructive way of testing for real turquoise?
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  • Im not an expert, but when I see blue bleads that are "too perfect looking" without crack markings, its often dyed howlite instead.
    • dyed howlite is easy to spot.

      natural turquoise is easy to recognize as it is often not "perfectly even" in colour as howlite is. i have some beautiful dead turquoise from nepal (its originally persian and then traded in tibet) it is often very green in colour and with many brown and black veins.

      even in the US with all the different varieties u can still spot natural from dyed howlite.
      • Real turquoise usually comes in much thinner and smaller pieces, dime to quarter size, and doesn't have as uniform a color as the bigger, "stabilized" pieces. If you break a piece, it won't be the same color throughout, and looks like a real stone. Buying from a reputable dealer is best, and you can always get a real piece to carry to compare with what you may find at a gem show, like Tucson, if you have doubts. These days, so many stories are made up about even common stones, and there are so many fakes, that it's much harder to be sure. Personally, I don't buy anything unless I know that the vendor and the material is authentic. For example, lots of citrine available in Brazil gets heat treated, and I'm not talking about the heat treated citrine made from amethyst. Unless I've gotten the rough myself, or through a friend where I know the source, I don't buy it.
        • Unsu...
           
          Thanks, that makes a lot of sense. I heard that there's also a "stove top" variety of fake turquoise where the maker actually mixes in pieces of iron pyrite and other impurities that is often found in turquoise to make it look more natural. However, people say that the color is still too uniform to be natural.
          • yup if its too uniform be suspicious. u really can tell :)
            • Unsu...
               
              Sleeping Beauty Turquoise from Globe, Arizona is good turquoise. You may find some Kingman, Arizona turquoise. I grew up in Nevada, but Nevada turquoise, though some of the finest is getting very hard to get. There are a few mines east of Battle Mountain, Nevada (I grew-up there) many are bought up for gold mining. One of the most famous turquoise mines was #8 north of Carlin, Nevada, known as the bluest turquoise in the world with black spider web. The owner sold his mine for $8 million dollars. Newmont Mining Co. went down 20 ft. further and took $250 million dollars in gold out of that mine.

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