Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

How to find natural turquoise

In regards to natural turquoise being almost impossible to find, I
will stand by the statement that it is a myth. I just had a
correspondence with someone off list, “I don’t know where that guy on
Orchid got the idea that it is so hard to get.” I agree.

I have never had a problem finding any. The first piece I ever cut
was from a local rock shop, what few shows I have went to always had
some, by joining a club I was told who I may want to see, and there
are many other places. From time to time I have seen natural cutting
rough at a jewelry supply web site when looking for something else. I checked, typed in rough in the search
box, they are currently out, try later, some others do also.

Obviously that guy was looking in the wrong places, that is where
the problem was. Knowing where to look, and how will solve it. Type-
turquoise rough -in the google search engine, it will lead to many
hits; some, although natural, is not such a good deal. This will take
some effort; you have to do this yourself. It is you who have to
decide on type, size, color and what you are willing to pay for etc.

You may also wish, before the above, to go through the index of
advertisers on -

You may want to join these lists, and ask -

This guy has some small parcels, right now-

If all else fails I know these people have some. (I have never cut
theirs, they were mentioned on a list.) They also, have cabs.

For some high end material, I can say this is good,

I hope this may benefit someone, as always use good caution.

Jake you provided us with some wonderful resources here. Thank you so
much… anything we contribute to each other is appreciated !

Margie Mersky

Jake is trying to convince us that difficulty in locating high
quality, untreated in any way turquoise is a myth.

I wrote few comments on the subject of turquoise. It is obvious to me
that nothing that I would say will make Jake to change his mind. I
have been of making jewellery since 1972 and it was always
exceptionally difficult to locate good specimens. (Good specimens
means good color, absence of matrix, dense, and not treated in any

I guess that I am failing to communicate to Jake the quality I am
referring to. Of course there is plenty of turquoise on the market
and some of it called “natural”. I wonder if Jake knows that FTC
definition of “natural” does not mean untouched in any way except cut
and polished. I am intentionally avoiding term “treated” because FTC
definition contains loop-holes.

I am familiar with the websites Jake referring to. They carry
turquoise which can be used in some applications, but even if we
take them at their word about been “completely natural”, it is far
from connoisseur grade.

This is my last comments on this subject.

For a source that has all grades all the time try Thunderbird Supply
in Gallup NM they have mostly Kingman but all grades from junk to the
best. Phone is 800-545-7968 ask for a catalog.

Dave Owen

Leonid, I haven’t posted on this, because I’m not in touch with the
turquoise business anymore. But what you are talking about isn’t high
quality turqoise, which IS getting rarer but can be found. What you
are talking about is gem turqoise, and it is and has always been
Persian turquoise that dominates that sector. And gem anything is
always tough to get. But American and Chinese turqoise is only
occasionally gem quality, where a fair amount of Persian is. Look for
Persian turqoise in particular, and you’ll find it - they are also
becoming depleted more an more, but it’s out there.

I find this prejudice that turquoise with out matrix is the only
high grade hard to understand. I come from the Southwest US where
matrix turquoise is the norm and clear ( no matrix) is viewed with
suspiscion. The only clear no matrix turq. I have been seeing is the
Zachary process Sleeping Beauty which cannot be called natural by
me. I love using that Sleeping Beauty in gold with diamonds but I
can’t call it natural. The most I ever sold turquoise for is $95 per
carat for Lander’s which is heavily matrixed. To me that proves
there is a market for matrix stone and that there are some people
who would consider matrix turq. to be a specimen worth paying at
least that much per carat for. That Landers had been pulled out of
the ground, cut and polished (with diamond or maybe zam) which in
my mind makes it natural.

Tiffany’s turquoise market started with clear Persian and they built
an East coast and European market for the high grade clear Persian.
I have also learned that Sleeping Beauty has been shipped to Iran to
be cut in the distictive style that Persian is cut and sold as
Persian in years past. The Persian style of cutting turquoise is to
leave a belly under the stone. So I question if anyone can
distiguish between old clear Sleeping Beauty and old clear Persian
with out destructive chemical testing. This, in my mind, skews this
clear turquoise prejudice or maybe just makes it more interesting.

I’d take high grade Carico Lake, Candelaria, #8, Bisbee, Turq.
Mountain, Blue Gem or Royston to name a few over clear so called
Persian any day, hell I can get clear from Sleeping beauty
relatively easily.

Sam Patania, Tucson

For same reason I forgot about this when I posted about finding
natural turquoise. Sleeping Beauty has a toll free 1-800 number, how
had is that to find?

This stuff has little or no matrix, it is known for being one solid
color with no matrix. Sleeping Beauty turquoise "Wholesale price lists can be obtained by
faxing your resale ID # to 928-425-0638. Please include a return fax

or mailing address." (They will send a price list.)

I prefer most with some matrix, especially any kind of what is
referred to as spider web, and I like pyrite inclusions, for those
who don’t know, this polishes out to look like silver in the stone.


you are absolutely correct, there is nothing wrong with matrix as
far as artistic quality of the jewellery. However, there are
situations which require pure blue, and customer, for whatever
reason, wants natural stone, then it becomes a challenge to locate
one. This is the same issue like natural or lab-grown sapphires.
Lab-grown almost indistinguishable from natural to the naked eye,
color and clarity often is better, but many people shy away from
lab-grown stones even if there is no logical reason to do it. My
previous comments about turquoise should not be taken that presence
of matrix is a flaw, it is not. But geological conditions which have
to come together to allow crystallization of turquoise of pure blue
color without matrix present are rare, and locating of these specimen
are difficult. Frankly, the same situation persist with any colored
gem. Finding an emerald of good color free of inclusions even more
difficult and while there have been a lot of excellent jewellery
created using included emeralds, whenever flawless gem comes to
market, price per carat can exceed anybody’s imagination.

Presence of inclusions, and matrix in turquoise is an inclusion, is
not a flaw, it is what GIA call “a distinguishable characteristic”.
But it is the fact of life that absence of inclusions increased
desirability of gemstone due to the fact that geological formation
of such a gemstone becomes a very low probability event.

what you are talking about isn't high quality turqoise, which IS
getting rarer but can be found. What you are talking about is gem

You are correct of course,
I should have used the term Gem Turquoise

It seems to me there is a big difference between findings natural
turquoise and finding connoisseur grade natural turquoise. I lived
in Bisbee and was able to hunt the dumps from time to time I found
one piece I could consider top grade and much more that was light
colored chalk, pretty much useless for anything but they were both
natural. I guess my point is being natural isn’t necessarily a sign
of quality.

I have to agree with Mr. Patania on the clear vs matrix issue. There
are times I use “clear” turquoise but turquoise with matrix is far
more dynamic and intriguing, especially when the matrix polishes
well. The contrasts can be stunning, and the public seems to love it
enough to pay a good price for it.

What else is there to say?

Kenton Stevens