Types of Turquoise: What's Your Favorite?

Water Street Jewelers has a deep appreciation for the allure of turquoise jewelry, not only for its natural beauty but also for its rich history. Turquoise has captured the hearts of many for its stunning appearance and its reputation for bringing tranquility.

This captivating gemstone was first uncovered in the Southwest around 200 B.C. by Native American Indians. They held turquoise in high esteem, believing it possessed extraordinary powers and was a gift from the creators of the Earth.

In the United States, turquoise deposits can be found in states like Arizona, California, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, and Virginia. American turquoise of exceptional quality has earned acclaim worldwide.

Among the myriad of turquoise varieties, a few have stolen our hearts. You might just fall in love with one of the turquoise pieces available in our stores or on our website.

Kingman Turquoise: Hailing from Arizona, Kingman turquoise showcases a spectrum of colors, ranging from greenish-blue to sky blue. Its distinctive matrix patterns add to its charm. Kingman turquoise is instantly recognizable by its prominent matrix, often dyed black to enhance contrast. 

The Kingman Turquoise Mine holds a special place in history, being one of America's oldest and most prolific turquoise mines, still operational today. It was originally discovered over a millennium ago by prehistoric Indians, experiencing a significant boom around 1000 AD, during the Mayan culture's extensive use of turquoise for personal adornments and ceremonial items.

Kingman Turquoise Kabana Ring

Sleeping Beauty Turquoise: Sleeping Beauty Turquoise from Arizona, originally discovered during Anasazi times, has become one of the world's most significant turquoise mines. The Native Americans mined it with hand tools, collecting small quantities at a time. This "Robin's Egg" blue turquoise was primarily used for beads and trade with Central and South American tribes.

The gemstone earned its moniker from the mountain where it's found, resembling a reclining woman with crossed arms. Sleeping Beauty Turquoise is highly coveted for its pure sky blue color, devoid of significant veining or webbing. Its rarity and natural beauty have made it a treasure, particularly since the mine's closure, causing its value to soar. Jewelry makers and artists worldwide cherish Sleeping Beauty Turquoise for its exceptional qualities.

Sleeping Beauty Turquoise Ring

Campo Frio Turquoise: Campo Frio Turquoise, sourced from the Campo Frio mine in Sonora, Mexico (meaning "cold field" in Spanish), has been a prominent turquoise source for many years. Renowned for its spectrum of blue-green hues and distinctive black or brown matrix, Campo Frio Turquoise possesses character and appeal.

The remote Campo Frio mine in Sonora, Mexico, has contributed turquoise valued for its unique colors and matrix patterns. It remains a favored choice among collectors and jewelry artisans.

Campo Frio Turquoise Pendant

In addition to these favorites, there are other noteworthy types of turquoise with their own unique attributes:

Persian (Iranian) Turquoise: Recognized as some of the world's finest, Persian turquoise boasts an intense blue hue with minimal matrix. Historically, it has held a position of great value.

Chinese Turquoise: China has a rich turquoise-producing history, offering a range of qualities and colors. Hubei Province, in particular, is esteemed for its high-quality turquoise.

Bisbee Turquoise: Hailing from Arizona, USA, Bisbee turquoise is celebrated for its deep blue color and distinctive matrix. Although highly sought after, the mine is now closed, rendering Bisbee turquoise relatively rare and valuable.

Cerrillos Turquoise: This historic American turquoise originates from the Cerrillos Mining District in New Mexico, USA. Noted for its greenish-blue to sky blue shades, it may also display a distinctive matrix.

The popularity of specific turquoise varieties can evolve over time due to factors like fashion trends, rarity, and availability. Additionally, the quality of turquoise within a given type can vary significantly, making each stone unique. When selecting turquoise, consider factors such as color, matrix, hardness, and source.

At Water Street Jewelers, we're always delighted to assist you in finding the perfect piece of jewelry that resonates with your style and preferences.