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Native American Jewelry: Tips for Choosing Turquoise

Native American turquoise jewelry is a stunning aesthetic choice as well as an investment when you purchase authentic pieces. But do you know how to choose your turquoise stone?

Turquoise is formed over millions of years when water bubbles through rocks which contain deposits of minerals including copper and aluminum. This causes a chemical reaction and turquoise stone is the result. Intrinsic to Native American tradition for millennia, turquoise is mined the world over, including in Persia, India, China, and the US southwest states.


Turquoise comes in an array of colors. Indian mines tend to produce green-coloured turquoise, while Persian turquoise is a spectacular clear-blue in colour. Chinese turquoise is available in varying colors, however, this may have been unnaturally dyed and is, as such, not authentic.

The typical dark marks and veins in turquoise are small deposits of the original rock from which the turquoise was formed, and they remain bound to the stone. This is referred to as the “matrix” and its color also depends on the minerals within the rock.

Turquoise is moderately hard. The closer to the earth’s surface, the harder the turquoise; if it has been sourced deeper, it can be chalky and soft, and can only be used if it is artificially treated.

Natural Turquoise

High-quality natural stones have potentially been cut and polished, without any artificial treatments applied. Stone color may alter over time as the natural stones are porous and can absorb moisture and body oils. This usually results in a very pleasing appearance.

Stabilization of Turquoise

Stabilization of turquoise requires infusing epoxy resin into the stone’s pores, and most stones on the market today have been treated to some extent. This renders them non-porous and the color is stable. It enables turquoise to be used and enjoyed more widely, as the cost of natural, top-quality stones would otherwise be prohibitive.

Caring for Turquoise

Care for your Native American jewelry so that it lasts a lifetime.

Turquoise can be easily scratched and may be detrimentally-affected by contact with oils, perfumes, high heat, cleaners, and other chemicals. It can also discolor over time if exposed to too much direct sunlight.

Turquoise requires special care – see more on our previous post about this here.

Visit Indian Traders to see our vast range of beautiful Native American jewelry, including stunning turquoise pieces.