Do you think natural high quality Sleeping Beauty turquoise
that has the potential to absorb oils / liquids is more or less
valuable than similar quality Zachery treated turquoise from the
same locale ?
This issue always depends on two things: 1, who is buying, and 2,
who is selling. Well, actually, there is a third, but it doesn't
apply to Sleeping Beauty, and that is: does it REQUIRE treatment to
be an acceptable gem material? Examples would be blue topaz,
tanzanite, Mong Hsu ruby, etc. Most of these, and many other gem
materials are always treated.
Some buyers view natural, untreated gemstones as the most rare, and
therefore most valuable. Others view the added stability and
improved color as a value addition, along with the cost of
treatment. It depends entirely on that buyer's viewpoint, and many
argue their position vehemently (and I'm betting that'll happen in
this thread before it's all over).
A good salesperson will make an airtight argument either way. The
best ones can get a customer to believe that any enhanced gemstone
was treated "to finish what nature would have done" to bring out the
color/stability that their product has, and that treatment has
greatly increased its value. That same salesperson will also take
advantage of the elitist customer whose discriminating taste
requires "a gemstone that is naturally perfect, with no artificial
enhancement by the hand of man" and will sell it for a premium.
I know just such a person, who, in my opinion, ruins perfectly good
(however weak the play-of-color is), solid opal by gluing it to
practically any dark mineral to darken the base color and brighten
its play-of-color. You should hear his pitch about how well-improved
his opals are as he drops one on the table from six inches, or so,
telling the client that it is "so much stronger now, and will never
crack, as so many do." This man will take fifteen dollars worth of
material, epoxy it together, polish it and sell it for a thousand.
In some ways, I despise what he does, but I envy his payday.
I realize the above paragraph says nothing about turquoise, but it
illustrates my point about sales technique.
Oops, I forgot to answer the question of whether I think natural
Sleeping Beauty turquoise is more valuable than treated. Yeah, I do.
I don't care if it may absorb oils, is less stable, etc. I guess I'm
an "elitist with discriminating taste" But, I'm also a gemologist
who tries to collect examples of EVERYTHING. Which is more valuable
matters far less to me than being able to observe the difference, if
that makes sense. All I want are examples of every gem material in
existence that display all of the observable characteristics that
gemologists use to separate gems for identification. Is that asking
too much? (BTW, that's a rhetorical question).
James in SoFl