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Where can you find the best Turquoise gemstone in the world?

JEWELRY OF THE MIDDLE EAST

Turquoise is found in blue and sometimes green and pale yellow color in Middle East

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  • Afghanistan
  • Armenia
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bahrain
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  • Iraq
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Turquoise is found in blue and sometimes green and pale yellow color in Middle East
Turquoise is found in blue and sometimes green and pale yellow color in Middle East

This stone is found in blue and sometimes green and pale yellow color in Iran, which is known as Neishabour Turquoise stone in Neishabour due to its extraordinary quality. Ajami turquoise with garlic blue color is round and large and Shajari turquoise has streaks that are composed of a community of several turquoise seeds inside the stone. 

The larger and smoother the turquoise stone, the more valuable it is. This precious stone is often found in cities such as Damghan and Neishabour and can be seen in blue and sometimes pale green or yellow. Ajami and Shajari type of stone is known around the world as Neishabour turquoise stone due to its extraordinary quality and beauty. 

Ajami turquoise is blue and its shape is round and large. Turquoise type of tree also has streaks that have been formed due to the accumulation of turquoise seeds. The larger the size of the turquoise stone and the smoother its surface, the higher its price. The name of this stone is derived from the French word “Turquoise” meaning Turkish stone. 

The smoother and larger the turquoise, the more valuable it is. The color of these Gemstones also changes from blue-green to pale yellow. Turquoise is found in Arizona, New Mexico, USA, Australia, Afghanistan, and Iran (Neishabour and Damghan); Neishabour Ajami and Shajari turquoise are very famous not only in the country but also in the world due to its excellent quality; Ajami turquoise is round and coarse and its pure color (garlic blue) is used as the most expensive type of turquoise to make a ring.

It may not be a topic you'd think of as reality television fodder, but when you consider that millions of dollars could be at stake in the world of turquoise mining, digging for stones suddenly seems undeniably compelling. "Turquoise has been in my family for at least three generations," says Trenton Otteson, one of the stars of INSP television network's "Turquoise Fever," in an email interview. "My life as a turquoise miner has taught me to appreciate other miners and to always offer help when I'm needed. Mining turquoise and helping people understand the hard work and dedication that goes into this line of work has been a life-long journey that never sees a dull moment," explains Otteson. "Turquoise has a fascinating and unique history," he says by email. Turquoise has been cherished and used by the Southwest Native American Indian tribes for centuries in trade, for ceremonial purposes, and to enhance their beautiful art forms — from sandpaintings to jewelry. Cultures all over the world have treasured turquoise for thousands of years, which is why the opaque mineral shows up in the history and modern art of communities across Africa, Asia, South America and North America. "Turquoise is formed by a complex combination of aluminum, copper, phosphorus, water, and other local ingredients that may change the color or add matrix (host rock)," Garland says. "Turquoise is found at elevations between 3,000 and 8,500 feet (914 and 2,590 meters) and typically in dry, arid climates. Only certain regions on earth provide this recipe for turquoise to form. Turquoise mines in the Southwest United States are the most famous, such as Bisbee, Lander Blue, Number Eight or Lone Mountain. However, other areas in the world produce high quality natural turquoise such as Iran, Tibet, China, Egypt and Kazakhstan. "Turquoise forms in dry arid regions of the world," Otteson adds. "The most common places known for good quality turquoise are Iran (Persia), Egypt, Northwest China, Mexico and the southwestern part of the United States. Most of the turquoise mines throughout the southwest are all mined out with the exception of Nevada and a few in Arizona. Nevada has been the leading producer for American turquoise for some time. Turquoise is primarily made up of copper, so it's not a big surprise to find there are also a lot of copper mines in both Arizona and Nevada. The combination of arid climates and copper rich regions make these places hot spots for good quality turquoise. "The value of turquoise comes from the quality and rarity of the stone," write Emerald Tanner and her dad, Joe E. Turquoise can be as soft as chalk or as hard as a 6 or 7 on MOH's scale — the harder and more intense colors tend to be more valuable. Another variable in valuing turquoise is comparing all-natural turquoise to 'stabilized' or 'enhanced' turquoise. Turquoise is generally a naturally soft, porous stone that sustains damage in the cutting process — only the truly rare, good stuff can be cut and shaped for jewelry without any kind of enhancement first. A 'stabilized' stone means soft, low-grade turquoise has gone through a special process that enhances its color and hardness. There are other types of cheap turquoise that you may have spotted in gift shops. Reconstituted (or chalk) turquoise is made up of fragments of stones that are crushed into a powder and mixed with epoxy. Then there's the fake stuff: Block or imitation turquoise is usually made of dyed plastic or produced by manipulating another stone like howlite so that it looks like turquoise. "Over 90 percent of the 'turquoise' on the world market has been stabilized, treated, or tampered with to enhance the color or harden the stone," the Tanners write. "Some of the 'turquoise' on the market isn't even turquoise at all, but an imitation material that has been dyed or colored to look like the stone. We always encourage anyone looking to purchase turquoise or turquoise jewelry to ask questions about the stones and forever say 'if you don't know your turquoise, know your turquoise dealer. ' Natural gem quality turquoise is one of the most rare and collectable natural commodities of our world. Like other gemstones, turquoise is graded according to criteria including the 4Cs — color, clarity, cut and carat weight — but it also has other unique factors to consider, like the location of its origin. "On average, less than 25 percent of turquoise mined at our mines or any other mines, are used in jewelry, and only the top 4-5 percent of that turquoise is considered 'gem grade," he says. "'Gem grade' is a term commonly used among high-grade turquoise buyers and collectors to describe the heavily silicate, deep blue, spider web turquoise. Gem grade turquoise will take your breath away and send your heart rate off the charts. Despite the apparent abundance of turquoise, high quality stones are actually quite scarce — so scarce in fact that in recent years, the best turquoise has been deemed "more valuable than diamonds. "Due to the fact that most mines have run dry and are now closed, compounded by government restrictions, and the high costs of mining; it has totally impeded the ability to find gem grade turquoise," Otteson says. "All of these factors play a role in the value and appreciation found in a good turquoise nugget, and that's what makes it so coveted. Otteson says that not only is really top-notch turquoise considered more valuable than diamonds, but it can be worth much more than other types of precious stones and metals that are often considered the most coveted jewelry staples. "High-grade turquoise is worth three times the price of gold because it truly is that rare," he says. Growing up in a mining family, I have learned to appreciate the difficulties of mining turquoise and the excitement of finding it. "The biggest factors for valuing turquoise are: 1. Hardness of the turquoise, 2. So how much money are we talking when it comes to truly high-quality turquoise? "Unlike gold or diamonds, no two pieces that are going into high-end jewelry are exactly the same — period!" Otteson says. "Turquoise of this quality is unique and extremely rare. For every 100 pounds (45 kilograms) of turquoise mined, only about 25 pounds (11 kilograms), or 25 percent, are considered jewelry quality, and of the 25 pounds, only about 1 pound (0. It's not uncommon for this grade of turquoise to sell between $40-$200 per carat. For the same pound (roughly 1,200-1,500 carats) of gem grade turquoise, on the low end, it would sell for $50 per carat x 1,200 carats for a total of $60,000 per pound — roughly three times the price of gold. "Turquoise is a sacred stone to many of the Native American tribes of the American Southwest," the Tanners write. "The unique appeal of turquoise comes from its color kinship to the sky and compatibility to water, which is the most precious thing in the Southwest. "Nearly every Native American tribe has made some use of turquoise, whether for healing or aesthetic purposes," Garland says. Each tribe has their own unique belief system and perspective on the significance of turquoise. But perhaps the tribe best known for celebrating the sacred beauty of turquoise is the Navajo. "Turquoise took on special meaning for the Navajo people, specifically, as one of the four sacred stones of the Navajo tribe," Garland says. Turquoise is not only known to hold spiritual significance for many native tribes, but it's also been applied practically for therapeutic purposes as well. Navajos in particular used crushed turquoise to perform their beautiful sand painting healing ceremonies. "Often revered as a healing stone, turquoise is believed to encompass a power of healing and wellness," Joe E. "My grandfather was a turquoise miner for many years at the Arizona and Colorado properties, so my family has a longtime love and kinship with the stone. My mother would always say she would never make one of life's difficult choices without first rubbing her turquoise. The name "turquoise" originates from a bit of a misnomer. It originates from a French phrase, "pierre turquoise," meaning "Turkish stone. " But while turquoise was traded in Turkey, the stones that were bought and sold probably originated in Iran or the Sinai Peninsula.

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