Turquoise is both a color, and a gemstone. Top quality natural turquoise is hard to come by. Some “turquoise” found in cheapie souvenir jewelry contains no real stone at all–it’s plastic! Some has what looks like tiny pieces of confetti in it–That’s reconstituted turquoise, made from small pieces of stone mixed with blue dye and a plastic binder.
Most mid-priced turquoise is stabilized, a technique developed in the 1960s where the natural stone is impregnated with polymer resins to strengthen it. “Clear shot” turquoise is stabilized with clear resin and the colors are deeper and richer than what comes out of the ground, but still natural (imagine wetting a beach pebble and you’ll get an idea of the color deepening with stabilization). “Color shot” turquoise is stabilized with dyes added to the resin.
As mines in the U.S. get played out, real unstabilized (untreated) turquoise is extremely rare, and becoming very expensive.To insure that you’re getting the level of quality that you’re paying for, find a dealer you can trust, which means staying right here! I offer no reconstituted or color shot turquoise–all these colors are undyed.