Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Green Turquoise


#1

I have a friend who has suddenly taken up beading. Like me, she is a
retired art teacher and she is having fun with bead colors and
findings. I am more of a metal person and do buy what appeals to me
without too much concern as to whether it is precious. However, I
think that you should know what the stone is if you are going to sell
it as a particular kind. She is starting to sell things in the $20
range. Very low but I still think that names count. She has become
fond of a bright chartreuse bead that she calls green turquoise. I
cannot believe that it is a natural color and have suggested to her
that it is dyed. I’m not going to make a big issue of it but for my
own satisfaction, please, someone tell me if this is a stone and a
natural color. The beads would not have been costly.

marilyn


#2

Hey, Green Turquoise is in a mine area here in Elko Nevada. The
owner of the mine dies a month ago and family still has it. It is
very beautiful. Not died the real stuff.

Chip Stone
Stonecraft Jewelers
Elko, Nevada


#3
I'm not going to make a big issue of it but for my own
satisfaction, please, someone tell me if this is a stone and a
natural color. The beads would not have been costly. 

turquoise can be blue, green, and any color combination of the two.

Leonid Surpin
www.studioarete.com


#4

there is a natural green turquoise, but there is also dyed as well,
depends on where she’s buying and if she should be told if its
natural or not. Could be dyed chalk tuquoise or howlite, but that is
usually revealed by the vendor.


#5

Fire Mountain Gems sells “Chalk Turquoise” that is Stabilized and
Dyed. It comes in Blue (traditional turquoise color) Lime Green (the
chartreuse color you mention) Fuchsia (pinky purple) Apple Green (a
more natural looking and variegated green). FMG says this material
comes from China’s Hubei Province, the Lost Sister’s Mine. It should
be identified as Dyed and Stabilized Turquoise when it is sold. That
is not a negative, just a common sense disclosure. People should know
what they are buying. Not everyone can afford Sleeping Beauty
Turquoise but dyed and stabilized turquoises are beautiful in their
own right. Man-made stones are beautiful too - just be sure and
disclose to the buyer what they are buying so there is no confusion.

jeanette baugh, GG


#6

If the color is chartreuse as you say then it is most assuredly
dyed. What the original stone is would be the question. It could be
some of the Mohave Green turquoise processed by Colbaugh processing
in Kingman, AZ. Mohave Green is low quality chalk Kingman turquoise
that has been dyed, stabilized, and compressed.

If it comes from China than it is probably dyed Howlite or
Magnesite. There are no standards for mineral identification in the
bead business. Bead manufacturers and bead dealers freely call beads
whatever stone they like no matter what the original stone was dyed
to make it look like what they are selling. I once talked to a
reputable bead dealer from Gallup, NM. He told me he has to go over
to China twice a year to specify what he wanted cut for turquoise
beads. The Chinese use Howlite and Magnesite synonymously with
turquoise. In other words, “Sure we have turquoise beads. What color
do you want?”

Many bead artists are taken in by the bead dealers and end up
selling something that it is not. If you want to see nervous bead
dealers take a loupe with you to the next bead show and start
examining the stone beads. Not only will you find dyed stone but
reconstituted stone of unknown origin that is also dyed.

Rick Copeland
Silversmith and Lapidary Artisan
rockymountainwonders.com


#7

Howlite is used as a base stone to dye. It’s naturally white and is
used extensively to imitate turquoise, gaspeite and many more.
Google “howlite as gaspeite”. It’s bright new grass green. Very
inexpensive.

Kay Taylor
http://kaytaylor.ganoksin.com/blogs/


#8

Marilyn- Having not seen the beads one should be a bit cautious, but
I would be willing to bet my retirement pay against one of her
fluorescent green necklaces that her beads are both treated
(stabilized) and dyed and quite likely were never turquoise to begin
with. Some of the bright green and purple “turquoise” may actually
have been turquoise at one time but its more likely that a material
such as howlite or magnesite was used, shaped and dyed. Just for fun
here is a list (not all inclusive by the way) of some of the
substances used to treat turquoise that I ran across recently.

X-rays, Wax, Soap, Face Oil, Urine, Lard, Epoxy, Resin, 

Watercolor
Paint, Plastic, Heat, Silicification, Feces, Tidy Bowl Cleaner,
Dyes,
Pigments, Mango Juice, Paraffin, Magic Markers, Blueberry Juice,
Sheep Render, Graphite, Copper/Silver dust in filler, India Ink,
Pomegranate Juice, Plaster

And don’t forget some of the more recent treatments using
electrolysis. No, I don’t know what sheep render is or how its used
and I don’t think I want to know.

The AllTurquoise group talks about this kind of stuff frequently.
When I buy turquoise I get natural turquoise that has had no
treatment other than mechanical cutting and polishing. Or at least
thats what I hope to get, its sometimes difficult to tell

Be well, make pretty stuff.
Jim


#9

I’m just another beader.

But I do have some green turquoise… it was sold to me as “arizona
turquoise”. The beads weren’t cheap … though I guess everybody’s
idea of cheap/expensive is a bit different.

Anyways, I know that turquoise gets dyed into all sorts of crazy
colours, like green and purple. I did some googling on the net and
discovered that green turquoise does exist. Are my beads (and your
friends beads) actually real green turquoise? I don’t have the
gemological skills to answer that.

The company I purchased mine from are somewhat restrained in their
gemstone ratings… for a bead company. That, and the fact that they
weren’t that cheap, lead me to decide that mine perhaps were real
green turquoise. The ones I have don’t have that totally predictable
matrix pattern that many of the “pressed, molded and dyed” turquoise
beads have.

Rita.


#10

I have seen and would LOVE to get my hands on a reasonably priced
piece of the (sorry, can’t remember what it’s called) its the Copper
and Turquoise, that comes out of the mines and its left together and
polished up and so, so (IMHO) gorgeous. I saw a bunch at the tourist
places we’ve gone through on our way to and from California, but even
the smallest pieces were almost $100, and speaking of going through
AZ, my husband bought a travel trailer for our mythical retirement
and I was wondering, if anyone out there did have a recommendation on
any parks for the Tucson blow out in case I do get my wish and get to
go this coming year. We’ve only just got it and taken one trip to
upstate NY in it and learned the hard way about parks.


#11

Sorry to hear that the owner passed away. I have about 15 pieces of
that Turquoise I bought 30 years ago from Henry Hunt. Excuse the
spelling if I’m wrong but it called Damalie, Damalee… one of
those. I have never let go of a piece of it as I just like to look
at it. I thought the mine was in Austin Nevada though???

Dan.
http://www.dearmondtool.com


#12

Hi Marilyn,

Without a photo it is hard to determine exactly what the stone is,
but there is a large possibility that the stone is Howlite. Howlite
is used quite a fair bit. If you look at strings of beads in bead
shops, you will see very similar beads in many different colours.
Howlite is dyed to red, green, blue to represent various types of
stone. Reputable bead shops will actually call it Howlite, but the
not so reputable will call it turquoise, coral, etc.

Lyn Nelson
www.added-design.com.au


#13

I know the stone you are talking about…it’s dyed magnesite; and
yes, it’s a very cheap stone but at a $20 price point that’s what
you need.


#14

Back in the day. I set some beautiful green turquoise. Then, as now,

it was called Pixie from Nevada. You can see it and many other
amazing turquoise samples at

http://www.indianvillage.com/
http://www.Nevadaturquoisemines.htm

Again back in that day we used to check stones that we were not sure
of with a hot needle. Simply take a needle or pin heat it up red hot
and poke the stone or bead with it. If that little trail of smoke
smells like burning plastic then that is what it is. Buyer beware.
Seller be sure.

Bill
Bill, Deborah, Michele & Sharon


#15
Anyways, I know that turquoise gets dyed into all sorts of crazy
colours, like green and purple. 

Not generally, no. Lesser quality turqoise sometimes gets dyed to a
better blue, but actual turqoise is not usually more saleable if dyed
green, or ghod forbid, purple. However, there are any number of other
cheap stones that DO get dyed all sorts of colors, and some of them
are now and then (or more often) misrepresented as turqoise.

Green turqoise does indeed exist, at least to some degree. If you’ve
got intense emerald green, it’s dyed and most likely not turqoise.
But lower quality turqoise often “ages” with time from an original
shade of blue to green, as the copper content that gives it the
desired blue colors changes oxidation states (or something like
that). It’s common to find old turqoise that was treated by simply
oiling or waxing it to intensify the color, that has now over time
changed color to a greenish blue or bluish green. A real pure green
is not likely to be turqoise. But a malachite sort of green is
certainly common enough. The color, like most of the blues in
tuqoise, tends to the less intense. If you’ve got a vibrant intense
green that rivals fine imperial jade, or a green to make an emerald
or tsavorite jealous, then you can rest assured that it’s not
turqoise.

turqoise is one of those minerals which does not owe it’s color to
some slight and variable impurity in an otherwise colorless mineral.
The blue / green color is due to copper, an essential and intrinsic
part of the chemistry of the mineral. Now, the exact state of that
copper content varies, as does the degree to which turqoise is dense
and pure rather than mixed with other minerals, so there’s the wide
variation in quality. But turqoise is blue or greenish blue due to
the copper content in it. If it’s not within that "copper caused"
range of colors, then it’s not turqoise. And that copper does limit
just what sorts of other colors you could dye it to.

Nevertheless, you’ll find sellers calling all sorts of other
minerals with that sort of feel and color range turqoise. It’s not
because there’s any sort of gemological similarity to turqoise, but
simply because it’s easier to sell dyed howlite, or dyed something
else, as turqoise, than it is to be honest and call something a cheap
imitation that nevertheless looks nice, or to even actually call such
materials by their actual mineral name (if the dealer even knows
it.)

The range of colors and materials that get sold as turqoise these
days begins to approach the degree of casual attitude that surrounded
calling smokey quartz, “smokey topaz” at one time. Like the smokey
quartz, which is not any form of topaz, many of the materials called
"turqoise", have little relationship to that mineral other than a
vague visual resemblance, or often, not even that if a different
color.

Another good example is “red coral”. Go to any gem or bead show and
try to find true gem quality red coral. You’ll find lots of stuff
offered. Reputable dealers will admit it’s dyed. Some might also
admit that the stuff is “sea bamboo” or some other material, not even
coral. But you’ll find enough of them who knowingly or not, call the
stuff red coral, even though it’s not. I’ve seen everything from dyed
limestone (or something like it. Not sure) to glass, sold as coral.
In among all that junk, there will be some true coral. Most tends
more to orange colors, but a bit can still be found that’s more red.
Some dyed, some not. Usually small sizes or little branch shaped
things… But seperating out the real from the junk? Not easy.
Turqoise gets about the same treatment. Lots of junk offered with the
name. Not so much that actually deserves the name.

Peter Rowe


#16

Hi Marilyn,

I took my daughter to a trade fair last year, and she fell in love
with some beads which she wants making into a necklace. They too are
a chartreuse colour and not expensive (read cheap) and the receipt
says “dyed Howlite”. Obviously I don’t know for sure if your friend
has the same type of beads, but from the colour you describe, I
would say they are dyed.

Yes, natural green turquoise does exist, but it’s not chartreuse in
colour, it’s more of a teal green.

Helen
UK


#17

hi!

I have many turquoise beads that are green, or chartreuse in
colour… They are often called “chinese turquoise” and have some of
the brown matrix swirling through. But I would need to see her beads
to be able to tell what they are, and perhaps if they are treated.

Most turquoise available on the bead market has been treated in one
way or another. There are many processes used to improve the colour,
fill the fissures etc. Untreated high quality turquoise can be quite
costly.

Certainly if she is selling her semi precious bead work it is
important to know what the beads are. But often, even the suppliers
have them misidentified, or misrepresented, sometimes deliberately
sometimes not- so that can be a challenge without considerable
research and experience. I would look up a good book on the subject
of stones, treatments, beads etc for a handy reference. I know
Lapidary Journal magazine has had some good articles on the subject.


#18
it was called Pixie from Nevada. You can see it and many other
amazing turquoise samples at http://www.indianvillage.com/ 

Thank you for letting us know of this site. Click on the “American
Turquoise” in the left hand column. Then click on the different state
names and look at the pictures! (none under California) What variety
of color! Granted some stones pictured are Faustite or Varacite or
Chalcosiderite depending on the concentrations of copper, aluminium,
zinc but at this site they are disclosing what the different stones
are. Dan DeArmond, Damele & Damaile is listed under Neveda.

Great reference site. Thank you!

jeanette, GG


#19
Without a photo it is hard to determine exactly what the stone is,
but there is a large possibility that the stone is Howlite 

While green color for turquoise is not a red flag by itself, I have
just read a brief from GIA about green turquoise, where color is the
result of impregnation with yellow polymer. So caveat emptor !

Leonid Surpin
www.studioarete.com


#20
The blue / green color is due to copper, an essential and
intrinsic part of the chemistry of the mineral. Now, the exact
state of that copper content varies, as does the degree to which
turqoise is dense and pure rather than mixed with other minerals,
so theres the wide variation in quality. But turqoise is blue or
greenish blue due to the copper content in it. If its not within
that "copper caused" range of colors, then its not turqoise. 

I dont know what stone the poster has. It would require testing to be
certain. But you raise an interesting point. Copper is the coloring
agent in turquoise but there is a zinc analog of turquoise called
faustite which is bright yellowish-green. Sometimes the two minerals
occur mixed together, as with the well-known Damele material which is
found in a range of hues. Some of the greenish Damele material isnt
strictly turquoise but a turquoise-faustite blend.

Another hydrous phosphate found near or with turquoise is
copper-free variscite. It is invariably some hue of green, but
usually less saturate than faustite. The chromophore appears to be a
small vanadium substitution for phosphorus. Some is beautifully
webbed with black and definitely deserves to be ranked with the
finest turquoise as a gem in my opinion. Its often called “green
turquoise” or “variquoise.”

Then theres gaspeite, usually a vivid yellow-green or perhaps
"chartreuse" hue, thats often used in Southwest-style jewelry as a
turquoise substitute. Its a massive nickel iron magnesium carbonate,
mainly from Canadas Gaspe Peninsula and Australia, that cuts pretty
and striking stones. Im sure some sellers call it “turquoise” for the
reasons you mention.

Rick Martin
www.artcutgems.com