Noname Antiques » 21 Most Valuable Turquoise Worth Money

21 Most Valuable Turquoise Worth Money

If you’re in the market for turquoise, you may be interested in the two broad categories – raw stone (aka rough) or jewelry. In both cases, sky blue is the most valuable turquoise.

You might see it listed as robin’s egg blue or Persian blue. That color of turquoise was initially mined in the Nishapur District, Khorasan Province, Iran. So let’s check out some gems!

Most Valuable Turquoise Worth Money

1. Exceptional Royston Turquoise Immense Ring OOAK Vintage Green

Exceptional Royston Turquoise Immense Ring OOAK Vintage Green

Visually, you may be drawn to the elegance of green-tinged turquoise. But you’ll get the best price from that robin’s egg tone, even if it’s not from Iran. Some buyers want smooth, even gems while others seek spider-web turquoise, with its network of dark seams and splotches.

  • Type: Royston Ring
  • Bids: Still Open
  • Value: $599

Chemically speaking, turquoise is mostly aluminum phosphate and hydrated copper, which explains the blue-green coloring. Raw stones (or roughs) typically contain bits of the gem blended into a host rock, so artisans have to carefully carve it out without lowering its value.

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2. Vtg. Navajo Kingman Turquoise Sterling Silver Belt Buckle Signed RIB

Vtg. Navajo Kingman Turquoise Sterling Silver Belt Buckle Signed RIB

Here in the US, turquoise is mined in the South West, with states like Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico holding the best deposits. Native Americans traditionally treasured turquoise, so you can find old indigenous pieces selling for thousands of dollars.

  • Type: Belt Buckle
  • Bids: 1
  • Value: $395

Outside the US, you can find premium turquoise in Iran (aka Persia), Egypt, Mexico, Tibet, Kazakhstan, and the North Western part of China. It settles in arid high-altitude regions, 3,000 feet to 8,500 feet above sea level. The most valuable American turquoise is Nevadan.

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3. Beautiful Large Natural Turquoise 7-18mm Graduated Gemstone Beads

Beautiful Large Natural Turquoise 7-18mm Graduated Gemstone Beads

Of course, not all turquoise is equal. Lower grades are sometimes hardened or ‘stabilized’ through pressure and enhanced with plastic or epoxy fillers. This brightens the color. Or you might find reconstituted turquoise – a mixture of powdered turquoise chalk and epoxy.

  • Type: Strands
  • Bids: Still Open
  • Value: $176

Sometimes, traders mimic turquoise using blue plastic or blue howlite, a kind of stone that’s way cheaper than the genuine gem. While howlite is said to have similar healing properties to holistic turquoise, it’s a calcite stone, so it’s not as profitable (or expensive) as true gems.

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4. VTG Kenneth Jay Lane Caterpillar Brooch Red Blue Turquoise Cabochon

VTG Kenneth Jay Lane Caterpillar Brooch Red Blue Turquoise Cabochon

You’ll hear YouTube experts claim how easy it is to differentiate real turquoise from fakes. But their methods involve crushing the stone and looking at the cross-section. The veining might stop on the surface, leaving a plain blue material on the inside of the so-called gem.

  • Type: Brooch
  • Bids: 4
  • Value: $112.50

Or you might notice the inside is white while the outside is blue or green, confirming that your piece was dyed. But both these methods ruin the stone. Instead, try gently rubbing the stone with a Q-tip dipped in acetone. If it’s a cheap fake, that vivid color will wipe right off!

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5. Sleeping Beauty Turquoise Tennis Necklace, Oval Turquoise Necklace

Sleeping Beauty Turquoise Tennis Necklace, Oval Turquoise Necklace

Before you rush to the South West in search of turquoise mines, watch a few episodes of Turquoise Fever to see how rough it gets out there. Also, keep in mind the bulk of mines are already tapped out, and that 90% of mined turquoise rough is unusable in its natural state.

  • Type: Necklace
  • Bids: Still Open
  • Value: $195.30

So if you’re looking to resell, you’re better off scouring attics and estate sales. Still, as a general rule, the harder the turquoise, the bigger the profits. Soft, chalky turquoise may be pretty but isn’t worth much to jewelers and collectors. Maybe to your local energy worker…

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6. Southwestern Style Necklace Sterling Silver Large Dry Creek Turquoise

Southwestern Style Necklace Sterling Silver Large Dry Creek Turquoise

Within the turquoise space, experts argue over what type of turquoise is the most valuable. At the moment, jewelers prefer clear, unblemished gems while collectors want spider-web pieces with tight striations of host rock. In English, that means lots of tiny streaks and veins.

  • Type: Necklace
  • Bids: 9
  • Value: $204

Buyers who are into Native American jewelry will lean towards webbing as well because it brings out the highlighted features in your bling. The veining is attractive on any skin tone while that bright blue sometimes seems plain, oversimplified, and unflattering to collectors.

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7. Turquoise AAA+ 105g Grade Gem Grade Light Green Polished Face

Turquoise AAA+ 105g Grade Gem Grade Light Green Polished Face

Have you heard of Lander Blue? It was a hat mine, meaning it had a tiny entrance you could hide with a (cowboy) hat. The mine didn’t have much turquoise – maybe 100lbs total – so it dried up pretty fast. But it was such a high grade that it’s still among the most expensive.

  • Type: Rough
  • Bids: Still Open
  • Value: $185

Because rarity is such a strong selling point, turquoise from ‘expired’ mines can be pretty valuable if you can prove where you dug it up. Also, remember that 1 in 4 turquoise finds are good enough for jewelry. Out of that portion, only 1 in 4 counts as high-grade turquoise.

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8. Thomas Byrd Native American Navajo Sterling Turquoise Coral Kachina

Thomas Byrd Native American Navajo Sterling Turquoise Coral Kachina

You might wonder why so many turquoise pieces are listed as Navajo turquoise. Many Native Americans (and holistic healers from other communities) see turquoise as a healing stone. But the Navajo valued it even more because it’s one of the four sacred stones in their culture.

  • Type: Bolo Tie
  • Bids: 1
  • Value: $1,800

The other three are abalone, jet, and white shell. Together, they represent the Four Sacred Mountains that frame traditional Navajo territory. They often crushed turquoise chalk into powder, mixed it with sand, and used it for healing rituals or sand-painting ceremonies.

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9. Morenci Turquoise .925 Sterling Ring with Dark Blue Turquoise

Morenci Turquoise .925 Sterling Ring with Dark Blue Turquoise

Curiously, the word turquoise comes from pierre turquoise, the French name for what they thought was a Turkish Stone. The French first bought the stone in Turkey, so they assumed that’s where it came from. The original source was probably Persia (today known as Iran).

  • Type: Ring
  • Bids: Still Open
  • Value: $275

Like many gemstones and precious metals, turquoise can be evaluated in carats. The TQI (Turquoise Quality Index) color-grades gems from 1 to 10. And this color varies across the stone. The highest scores go to even coloring with smooth transitions between the shades.

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10. Sleeping Beauty 955ct Turquoise Rough Hardness Enhanced STN171

Sleeping Beauty 955ct Turquoise Rough Hardness Enhanced STN171

You may have seen the word ‘matrix’ in turquoise spaces and wondered what Keanu has to do with gemstones. The answer? Nothing. Matrix is just the technical name for the rough or host rock your turquoise was carved out off. It’s the stuff in the webbing and dark splotches.

  • Type: Rough
  • Bids: 1
  • Value: $130.38

It’s also interesting that lots of turquoise is ‘harvested’ close to copper mines. Water seeps through the rocky ground, picking up traces of aluminum, copper, and phosphorous. This water triggers chemical reactions and settles into veins, eventually hardening into turquoise.

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11. Natural Campitos Turquoise Bracelet Genuine 8mm High Grade

Natural Campitos Turquoise Bracelet Genuine 8mm High Grade

Here’s another pro tip – lots of sites claim turquoise is more valuable than gold. And carat to carat, it is. But remember, barely 1% of all the turquoise harvested (ever!) is of a high-enough grade to fetch the stated rates. You’re unlikely to find a piece that honestly out-prices gold.

  • Type: Bracelets
  • Bids: Still Open
  • Value: $622

What about green turquoise? While it doesn’t hold the monetary value of blue turquoise, many collectors (and causal jewelry wearers) prefer that hint of green. So you can position your listing to focus on this niche and make a tidy sum. Just be sure it’s good green quality.

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12. Zuni Necklace Earrings Set Turquoise Burdian Soseeah Signed

Zuni Necklace Earrings Set Turquoise Burdian Soseeah Signed

Have you seen something listed as variscite turquoise? Buyer (or rather, seller) beware! This stone is brighter and greener than your standard turquoise gem, so you may find it prettier. But its value isn’t as high because it has trivalent chromium, heightening the visual verdancy.

  • Type: Necklace + Earrings
  • Bids: 1
  • Value: $1,600

But why is turquoise seen as a healing stone? It might be its kinship with the color of the sky and the water. Lots of people have a special polished turquoise stone that they carry for good luck. You can rub the stone when you need inspiration, comfort, calmness, or wisdom.

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13. Turquoise 5.8ct Ring for Women in 14k White gold Size 6.25

Turquoise 5.8ct Ring for Women in 14k White gold Size 6.25

If your turquoise items change color, does that mean you bought a fake? Not necessarily. In truth, if you expose your gem to sunlight, water, sweat, heat, and cosmetics, it will eventually develop a green patina. And since some buyers prefer that shade, mention it in your listing.

  • Type: Ring
  • Bids: Still Open
  • Value: $871.51

Speaking of color, a cynical salesman once claimed the public doesn’t know what it wants, so you have to tell consumers what to buy. You have to create – or manufacture – interest. It happens a lot in the turquoise industry, and Sleeping Beauty is a great example of the theory.

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14. Stunning VTG Navajo Turquoise Sterling Silver Cuff Bracelet 69.6 Signed

Stunning VTG Navajo Turquoise Sterling Silver Cuff Bracelet 69.6 Signed

The Sleeping Beauty mine in Nevada was known for producing clear, consistent gems that were almost translucent in their luster. So the market – particularly in Italy – adopted this as the standard for turquoise. Which led to fakers trying to mimic that gem’s color and quality.

  • Type: Bracelet
  • Bids: 1
  • Value: $375

As a result, inexperienced buyers (and sellers) might assume genuine turquoise is counterfeit if it doesn’t have that true see-through blue. Kingman mines also produce turquoise of that quality, and it’s why many casual buyers insist American-mined turquoise is the best kind.

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15. Genuine Turquoise Tennis Bracelet Gold | Natural 2.50mm Arizona

Genuine Turquoise Tennis Bracelet Gold Natural 2.50mm Arizona

Perhaps because of its instantly recognizable sky-blue color, residents of Tibet and Nepal refer to turquoise as sky stone. Their cultural mythology explains that the gemstone was sent down from the heavens, and it’s commonly gifted to small kids as a protective lucky charm.

  • Type: Tennis Bracelet
  • Bids: Still Open
  • Value: $1,100

But does the amount of blue or green in the stone dictate its value? Possibly. The color of the stone and the intensity of its matrix depends on where it was mined. Some areas have more copper, making it bluer. Others have a varied mineral content so they’re greener.

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16. Gold Diamond 15ct Turquoise Ring, Victorian 1890s Boxed

Gold Diamond 15ct Turquoise Ring, Victorian 1890s Boxed

A lot of the time, a turquoise trader might handle fakes without knowing it, especially as a beginner. So buying plastic doesn’t always mean you got scammed. Try reading the fine print on the listing. It may mention howlite turquoise, variscite turquoise, or even block turquoise.

  • Type: Ring
  • Bids: 1
  • Value: $427.72

We’ve discussed the other two, but what is block turquoise? This means it’s low-grade chalky turquoise that was crushed into powder then glued together to form a block. That block was then worked into jewelry and other items. It may look gorgeous but has zero resale value.

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17. Turquoise Statement Necklace, Bridal Necklace, Crystal Turquoise

Turquoise Statement Necklace, Bridal Necklace, Crystal Turquoise

Something else you might come across while working with turquoise is the term ‘apple green’. It describes the kind of vivid turquoise you might find at sites like Carico Lake. It often has a white matrix, though many jewelers dye it black to match buyers’ expectations.

  • Type: Necklace
  • Bids: Still Open
  • Value: $195

That said, not all green turquoise is valuable. A lot of it has more host than gem, so there’s minimal color shining through. With that type of rough, you can’t practically extract the gem because it’ll take too long and cost too much. It won’t yield enough viable carats to sell.

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18. Tommy Singer, Desirable Purple Spiny Oyster Turquoise Necklace

Tommy Singer, Desirable Purple Spiny Oyster Turquoise Necklace

Turquoise – when it’s used in jewelry – is most often cut into cabochons. You might think of these as round, curvy, or oval shapes, and it’s the preferred style for semi-precious gems. Cabochon means the stone is polished but it doesn’t have any clear planes, angles, or facets.

  • Type: Necklace
  • Bids: 1
  • Value: $200

The reason it works for turquoise is that the stone is cryptocrystalline, which means yes, it has crystals, but you can’t see them with your naked eye. You’d have to dramatically magnify the stone to see its inner edges. But you can find turquoise stalactites in specific mine shafts.

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19. Lab Certified, Natural Turquoise Necklace, Jewelry Necklace

Lab Certified, Natural Turquoise Necklace, Jewelry Necklace

In addition to variscite and howlite, you might see a piece of turquoise described as calcasiderite turquoise or Newlanders turquoise. This rough has way more host than gem. It has a speckled appearance, similar to backyard bird eggs (e.g. sparrow, cardinal, quail, etc.)

  • Type: Strand
  • Bids: Still Open
  • Value: $124.54

Calcasiderite is hosted in chert rock, and while it’s not categorized as turquoise, it comes from the same mines and is preferred by certain buyers. So you can still make money off it, just don’t label it as turquoise. Chert rock is made up of microcrystalline quartz fragments.

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20. Vtg Navajo Sterling Silver Natural Bisbee Turquoise Slab & Leaf Ring 25g

Vtg Navajo Sterling Silver Natural Bisbee Turquoise Slab & Leaf Ring 25g

While it’s important to confirm whether your turquoise is natural or treated, this doesn’t have to influence your selling price. After all, most of the turquoise that’s currently on the market is stabilized. It has to be because the rough is too soft to be crafted into jewelry.

  • Type: Ring
  • Bids: 1
  • Value: $175

Since experts are aware of this, stabilizing turquoise doesn’t lower its monetary value. It’s almost assumed that you would harden the gem before working on it. But it’s best to work with a trusted jeweler to tell you the quality of the treatment – it might be a shoddy job!

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21. Natural Sleeping Beauty Turquoise Stud Earrings and Necklace

Natural Sleeping Beauty Turquoise Stud Earrings and Necklace

We associate turquoise with peace and tropical beaches because of that rich sea-green tone. But practically speaking, turquoise is a water-based gem. As we said before, it forms when water seeps through rock formations, leaches the minerals into rock crevices, then solidifies.

  • Type: Necklace + Earrings
  • Bids: Still Open
  • Value: $229.99

So in theory, you might find turquoise stalactites (and stalagmites?) in cavernous mines. It’s where you get those glassy turquoise gems that sometimes pass for Kingman or Sleeping Beauty. But translucent stones are a novelty, so appraise them to be sure they’re not fake!

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Tips on Finding the Most Valuable Turquoise

Here’s some quick advice to prime you as you hunt for turquoise:

  • The ‘sold items’ tab will give you the most accurate market rating.
  • Account for shipping and settings as you settle on your price.
  • Check whether the turquoise is natural (aka untreated) or stabilized.
  • Don’t dismiss smaller stones – they can be crushed and reconstituted.
  • Classify your gems as healing, jewelry, or collector’s stones.
  • This helps with market segmentation so you can target likely buyers.

Do you have any more tips about turquoise? Share them with us in the comments section!

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