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Turquoise Beads

What are turquoise beads?

Over the centuries, turquoise has been highly sought after for its blue-green color. This very rare gemstone has been said to bring good luck as well as peace and protection. In the United States, turquoise is most often mined in the Southwest in states like Nevada and Arizona, which have the perfect dry climate for turquoise to form. This December birthstone can be the perfect addition to any jewelry collection as it has very calming and healing properties. In this article, we will discuss the history behind turquoise, why it is so valuable, and how to care for this precious stone.

What is the origin of turquoise?

Turquoise has been a cherished gemstone by cultures all over the world and it was one of the first stones that was ever mined. The earliest evidence of turquoise was seen in 6000 B.C. in the burial tombs of mummies in the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt, most notably adorned on the burial mask of King Tut. The Egyptians used turquoise in gold necklaces and rings, believing it was a symbol of joy and light. Turquoise has also been mined by the Persians for over 3,000 years and was often used in Iranian architecture. Today, most turquoise is mined from Iran, Northern China, Egypt, and the American Southwest in Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, and New Mexico. Native Americans also highly valued turquoise for thousands of years and they believe this stone has healing properties as well as bringing happiness and luck. The American Indian Navajo and Zuni tribes perfected making turquoise jewelry often combining it with silver and they continue to make these highly sought after pieces today and many of them sell for thousands of dollars.

What Makes Turquoise Valuable?

Turquoise is a very precious gemstone because it is one of the first stones that was ever mined and it has such a vivid history behind it. Authentic natural turquoise is extremely hard to find with its supply being drastically reduced over the past few years. The Sleeping Beauty mine which is located in Arizona was one of the highest producing turquoise mines, but since its closure in 2012 due to mining costs and government regulations, the price of the turquoise found there went up dramatically. The Sleeping Beauty Mine had the sought after blue that most people associate with turquoise beads or turquoise jewelry. Beads of Cambay has a beautiful selection of Sleeping Beauty Turquoise beads for sale at affordable prices.

What are the factors that contribute to high quality Turquoise?

The value of turquoise really boils down to the quality of the stone based on three criteria- color, texture, and the presence or absence of matrix. A turquoise stone can cost more than gold. The most sought after color is a uniform blue which is often referred to as “robin's egg blue” or “Persian blue”. Deeper shades of blue occur in turquoise when there is a higher presence of copper and a lot of the green hues present in turquoise have a higher presence of iron. However, the higher the copper content is, the more valuable the stone will be because most people are looking for that deeper blue color when searching for turquoise. Another aspect that adds value to this beautiful stone is the texture. A perfect, evenly distributed stone without flaws is very rare and these stones reach the highest prices. Lastly, a stone with the absence of a matrix is much more valuable. Matrix would be considered any remnants or veins that is left as a result of the host rock the turquoise is embedded in.

Why should I choose Beads of Cambay to buy Turquoise Beads?

Beads of Cambay has the highest quality of turquoise beads available at reasonable prices. At Beads of Cambay we hand select all of our gemstones and source our beads of impeccable quality from cutting centers all over the world. We pride ourselves in offering the best customer service possible and all of our knowledgeable staff can help you find the perfect beads for your jewelry projects. Our Turquoise beads are all hand selected and sourced from authentic gemstone cutters.

Turquoise Beads - Frequently Asked Questions

What do turquoise beads mean?

Turquoise is loved so much for not only its beauty but also its power to bring protection, good luck, tranquility, good health and fortune. Ancient cultures prized turquoise so much because it embodies qualities of the sea and sky. Turquoise is formed by water in combination with copper, iron, and zinc in very dry and arid environments where water is scarce, so many civilizations considered this to be a very sacred stone since water was so precious and hard to find. Native Americans believed that because turquoise attracted water, it would bring rain so the stone was used in rituals or rain dances to call for rain. This meaning still rings true for many people today. Turquoise emits a calming peace that has the ability to ease the mind in stressful situations so it gives us the ability to attain emotional stability. At BeadsofCambay we offer rare and authentic natural turquoise that can bring you peace and tranquility. Our turquoise beads are available in a variety of shapes and sizes and we have all of the tools for your jewelry making needs.

How can you tell if turquoise beads are real?

The best way to tell if you have authentic turquoise or a fake, which are usually materials like howlite, is by doing a scratch test. Howlite is very similar in color to turquoise but it is a soft stone so it scratches very easily compared to the real thing. Try scratching part of the stone that is less visible and if it scratches easily, you most likely have a fake. Real turquoise has a very hard exterior surface, so it cannot be scratched easily and it also has a waxy finish. It is estimated that around 90% of turquoise for sale on the open market is howlite so you want to make sure to do your research and the “scratch test” to make sure you are getting the real deal. BeadsofCambay offers 100% genuine turquoise beads for jewelry making in a variety of shapes and sizes. 

How much do turquoise beads cost?

The price of turquoise beads generally ranges anywhere from $1-50 per carat but there are some stones that can be much pricier up to $1000 per carat depending on the quality. Turquoise, like most stones, is weighed in carats and the heavier the stone is, the more valuable it will be. This rare and precious stone is also measured by the Turquoise Quality Index and the higher the grade the more expensive the stone. Higher grade natural turquoise is rated as A, AA, AAA, and AAAA. At Beads of Cambay our genuine sleeping beauty turquoise beads are rated AAA in terms of quality which is in the top 10% category of turquoise stones.

What is the rarest color of turquoise?

Turquoise is such a unique and coveted stone and it can be found in up to thirty different shades of blue and green. However, there are certain colors that are very rare and much more valuable compared to others. The most sought after turquoise color is a medium, even toned pure blue often called “robins-egg blue” or “Persian blue”. Turquoise that was found in the Sleeping Beauty mine in Arizona is the closest to Persian or robins egg blue and it is extremely valuable. Turquoise that has more of a green hue is considered less valuable than blue tones of turquoise. However, many jewelers and gem collectors seek out shades of green because they find it quite unique. BeadsofCambay offers authentic Sleeping Beauty Turquoise beads sourced from the Sleeping Beauty mine in Arizona. You can find anything from small turquoise beads to large turquoise beads on our website that is most compatible for your next project. Also, all of our staff is extremely knowledgeable and we even have graduate gemologists that can answer any questions you may have.

How do I know if my turquoise is high grade?

As mentioned previously, the Turquoise Quality Index (TQI) is the best way to find out exactly how valuable turquoise is and whether or not it is a high grade quality stone or low grade quality stone. This index scores on a scale of 1-10 and it all depends on the color and smoothness of the stone. The color intensity of the stone is of great importance when trying to determine the value and quality of turquoise beads. The richer the color, the more valuable the stone will be so you must look for a deep, pure, and uniform blue. Because turquoise stones are mined from a host rock surrounding it, this can often influence how uniform the color is and how many imperfections can be found.

Is turquoise more valuable than diamonds?

Although you are probably thinking, there is no way turquoise could ever be more valuable than a diamond?! Well today, many experts would argue that turquoise is indeed more valuable. Turquoise is considered even more rare than diamonds of the same quality and it is more precious than gold and other precious gemstone beads of highly deemed value. How rare the turquoise is can affect the price of it drastically. There is a turquoise mine in Lander County, Nevada called Lander Blue that got the name “the hat mine” because it is so small you could barely cover the entrance with a hat. The turquoise that is found in this mine is of such a high grade and high quality that it can sell for around $500 per carat making it the most expensive turquoise mine in the world.

Can I wear turquoise everyday?

You can absolutely wear turquoise everyday because it is a perfect accessory that can go with any outfit! You can actually greatly benefit from wearing these precious stones on a daily basis because of the calming and peaceful energy it brings as well as its ability to uplift your mood. However, with most jewelry that is worn on a daily basis, turquoise needs to be cared for as well. Since turquoise is a very porous stone it can absorb things like oils and lotions and it is important not to wear it while in the shower to maintain its quality.

What Does Turquoise Symbolize?

There are many ancient beliefs about turquoise from cultures all over the world but most believed that it was a symbol of protection. Turquoise was even worn by the Native Americans for protection during battles because they saw it as a connection to the deep world around them. Turquoise has always been considered a color that has a calming effect because of its resemblance to the ocean and to the sky. Not only is turquoise stunning but it is said to have the ability to clear your thoughts, enhance spirituality, and provide emotional healing and well being. When you shop at Beads of Cambay, you can be assured that our turquoise is completely authentic and you can benefit from the amazing spiritual properties that this ancient stone possesses. We have the best turquoise beads for jewelry making that come in a variety of sizes and colors.

What Is the Most Valuable Kind of Turquoise?

The most valuable type of turquoise depends on several factors such as color, rarity, and hardness of the stone. Pure turquoise comes in the form of robin's egg blue and this is the most sought after color on the market because it does not have many imperfections and it is the clearest and darkest color. Another big determining factor in the value of turquoise is how rare the stone is. Stones that come from certain mines are extremely hard to access and many of the mines have run dry and can no longer be excavated. Lastly, the natural hardness of turquoise comes into play. A large percentage of turquoise can be softer and almost chalky so it is best to find a turquoise that has a natural hardness and hasn’t been treated with any chemicals.

Is Sleeping Beauty Turquoise valuable?

The turquoise stones that were excavated from the Sleeping Beauty Mine in Nevada are very valuable because the mine produced some of the most sought after turquoise which is pure blue with little to no markings. The most valuable stones have the absence of matrix or discolorations. Unfortunately, this mine was closed back in 2012 due to mining costs and government restrictions so the stones from this mine are much more scarce and rare making them much more valuable than most. At Beads of Cambay we offer a variety of genuine Sleeping Beauty turquoise beads that are perfect for your jewelry making or wholesale needs.

Can turquoise get wet?

Turquoise beads are so porous it is advised to not get them wet as moisture can affect the color of the stone. Turquoise, like many precious stones, can absorb liquids and oils like a sponge so it is best not to shower or bring it in contact with oils or makeup. Because turquoise contains metals such as copper, aluminum, and iron any oxidation can cause it to rust and actually change the color completely, especially over time.

How Should I Care for My Turquoise Jewelry?

It is best to store your turquoise jewelry in a jewelry box, pouch or someplace that avoids high heat such as direct sunlight since it can cause surface damage and alter the color. Also, it is best to clean your turquoise with a soft cloth and warm water and make sure to dry it as quickly as possible so the stone does not absorb the water. If you are worried about valuable turquoise, it is best to take it to a jeweler who can clean it properly so the stone isn’t altered in any way.

Does Soap damage turquoise?

It is safe to clean turquoise with warm water and soap, but it is advised to wipe your stone with a cloth and dry it immediately so the water is not absorbed by the stone. It is best to take your turquoise jewelry off before you take a shower or swim.

Where can I find the best Turquoise beads for sale online?

The best and most authentic turquoise beads for jewelry making at our online store at Our real turquoise beads are available in many sizes and we have gemologists on staff to answer any of your questions. We have natural turquoise beads as well as the very sought after and valuable sleeping beauty turquoise beads in a variety of shapes and sizes.

Can I buy Turquoise beads wholesale from BeadsofCambay?

Yes, our turquoise beads are available to buy wholesale. All you need to do is create an account at and enter your resale tax id number and upon receipt your account will be set to wholesale. All of our wholesale prices will then be visible online when you log in to your account.