December’s fast approaching and aside from legitimate morning chocolate (yum) that also means that it’s December birthstone time, so if you’re searching for a piece of birthstone jewellery suitable for a lucky Saggitarian, then that means turquoise jewellery.
Sugarpuss London only use genuine natural (and/or stabilised) turquoise in their jewellery designs – never reconstituted or colour treated turquoise, or turquoise substitutes often passed off as the real thing having been dyed a turquoise colour (common culprits include howlite and magnesite). Buyers should always note that ‘chalk turquoise’ is not real turquoise but a powdered and reformed substitute that has been coloured to imitate the real thing. A guide to whether your turquoise is real turquoise or not can often be determined by price (though, admittedly, not always).. as with most things in life, if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. Cheap turquoise jewellery pieces will almost always be made of reconstituted, colour enhanced turquoise or a turquoise substitute. More expensive turquoise jewellery pieces from reputable web sites or auction sites where sellers have good reviews can usually be deemed to be genuine. Chinese and Tibetan turquoise is at the cheaper end of the turquoise jewellery market, whilst American and Mexican turquoise is comparably rare and, therefore, more expensive. Turquoise from mines that are depleted or near-depleted – or just not commonly mined for turquoise – will usually be significantly more expensive – just as natural and completely untreated turquoise is more expensive than colour treated or otherwise enhanced turquoise. Turquoise treated by stabilisation (a quick resin bath) or the newer Zachary or Foutz process (a process that impregnates the natural stone with quartz, making it much harder) doesn’t usually affect the price too much, as natural turquoise can be too soft and vulnerable to fading and chipping when used in everyday wear jewellery pieces. It should be noted, however, that some turquoise mines can produce a very hard natural turquoise – a good example of this is the Carico Lake mine.
So that was the technical bit, now for the turquoise jewellery eye candy, by way of some of our current favourite pieces: