For centuries turquoise has been a valued gemstone for use in art, religion, trade, as well as jewelry. The demand and associated decrease in the availability of high quality turquoise led to the development of stone enhancements. These enhancements have been so successful they have made telling the difference between genuine and fake turquoise more difficult than ever.
The most desirable characteristics of turquoise are its signature color and matrix. Color ranges from light-sky-blue to green. The presence of matrix (matrix meaning the subtle line variations in the stone itself), varies from nonexistent to white to black. Contrary to popular belief, these characteristics do not affect quality or value, as it is an individual preference. There are many properties to define quality or value, but the most obvious are vivid and uniform color.
A fine line separates real and fake turquoise, which you can find in reconstituted turquoise. Sometimes called brick, reconstituted turquoise is a mixture of pulverized turquoise dust and pieces, with a resin as a bonding agent, dye and other minerals are added to simulate the matrix. Reconstituted turquoise can be identified by a distinctive odor produced by the resin itself.
Unfortunately, some unworthy dealers have been successful in passing off low quality or reconstituted turquoise as high quality untreated genuine turquoise. To avoid being a victim of this fraud, request written documentation that includes information pertaining to the value, authenticity, and any other information that has been made on the piece or pieces you intend to purchase before purchasing them. Any credible dealer will not hesitate to give you a written documentation to the authenticity of the product they are selling. Remember to use your best judgment and intuition; sometimes when something seems to be too good to be true, it most generally is and the more informed you are on the purchase, the more you will enjoy it and feel good about your creation from the piece.