Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Caring for Turquoise Jewelry

You've finally decided to jump in and buy a piece of turquoise jewelry from Turquoise Canyon or another fine seller of Native American Jewelry. Or, perhaps, you have a piece or two (or maybe thousands!) already? No matter the number of items you have, caring for your turquoise jewelry is important to ensure that it remains as impressive as the first day you purchased it.

Turquoise is softer than most stones used in jewelry. Using Mohs scale of mineral and gem hardness, Turquoise is a 5-6 (out of 10). Mohs scale is based on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the hardest stone which is diamond. The softest of stones will be similar to graphite, which is used in everyday common pencils; obviously very soft. Stones in the range of 1-4 are rarely used for any types of jewelry without being stabilized.

Because turquoise is softer than most stones, you must be careful not to store turquoise jewelry in a way that would allow it to be scratched or jarred against other items. For example, storing turquoise rings in a large drawer with many other rings could cause the turquoise stone to scratch, or even worse, fracture.

It is also important to also understand what 'stabilized' turquoise is. Stabilized turquoise is turquoise that has been strengthened with an epoxy resin or other similar substance. The epoxy is infused into the pores of the turquoise stone. After this process, the turquoise is no longer porous and the resin provides greater strength to the stone. Its color remains unaffected. Stabilization allows designers to use softer stones such as turquoise that might otherwise not be suitable for jewelry. Due to the fact that turquoise mined in American is especially soft, almost all Native American Turquoise has been treated in this way.

Stabilization is often mistaken for reconstituted turquoise. Reconstituted turquoise is a turquoise stone that is made from many turquoise chips, or even pulverized turquoise powder, all glued together to form a stone.

Keep your turquoise away from high heat such as on top of radiators, and remove your turquoise jewelry if you will be working with cleaning agents, oils, paints, etc.

Inevitably your turquoise jewelry will get dirty. Clean your turquoise jewelry using warm soapy water and dry it using a clean towel. Avoid any chemicals or cleaning agents such as Windex, Comet, or ammonia.

To sum it up:

  1. Be careful to buy high quality jewelry with high quality turquoise. Click here to see our inventory.

  2. Avoid chemicals, paints, oils, etc. when wearing turquoise jewelry

  3. Clean your turquoise jewelry with simple, yet effective, soap and water

  4. Pretty easy, huh?!

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