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Retail turquoise shopping

I had a quick supply question for the list. A friend of mine working
a contract gig in Chicago is looking for a turquoise cabochon that he
plans on having set when he gets back home to India. He was asking me
where he might be able to find a loose stone, and what one might
expect to pay. Of course, I’m not too familiar with the Chicago
market and I’m not that familiar with the turquoise market. So I’m
asking the list for some hints for my friend. One, where would a good
place be for a non wholesaler to go for a loose turquoise cabochon,
and what is a ball park for turquoise these days. I looked at the Rio
Grande catalog, and there was a 13mm x 18 mm oval for about $40. I’m
not sure how big my friend is looking, but probably around that size
or bigger-probably talking southwest jewelery big :smiley:

I realize that I’m being a bit vague in my perimeters, but I know
very little about turquoise, as it’s not something I particularly
care for, so I haven’t been keeping tabs on it.

thanks guys!

What I do is to ask what they mean by turquoise, are they looking for
high grade of a particular mine, are they looking for a certain
color, clear or matrix, Southwest US looking or East Coast look? Then
I would steer them to the appropriate area. Most people have definite
ideas of what turquoise looks like so I try to find out what that is
and show that. Then if they get going I show them what I like and am
passionate about.

Sam Patania, Tucson

Rio is among the highest cost- for just about all things they list.
Thunderbird Supply in the southwest, though not chicago, has quite a
wide variety ( and largest selection I know of in catalog form), for
turquoise of all types.and the prices are among the most reasonable
wholesale that i have found other than at a show where you can
discuss the price face-to-face with the salespeople,you might
consider loooking at their website ( i don’t work for them or
receive any kickbacks- they have just always been fa\ir and true in
their descriptions and wide in offerings).



If your friend is going to India, why doesn’t he buy the turquoise
cab there?

Rasesh Chasmawala.
Mumbai, India.