Treatment: Reconstituted / Dyed
Identification Tools Required: Magnification.
How to Identify:
Primary Test: There are many turquoise treatments on the market and more are showing up annually. Below you will see a fairly common type of turquoise material that falls somewhere between synthetic and treated. This is a reconstituted turquoise necklace, that is turquoise beads made by taking broken pieces of turquoise and gluing them together to make a new larger piece, and then creating turquoise beads from the reconstituted mass. In the process they used a black oxidizer material to create what would look like the natural turquoise patterns to the novice buyer. But under magnification the circular pattern of this material is unlike anything seen in natural turquoise, and the use of blue dyes to enhance the color of the material can easily be seen in high magnification. This can be a very difficult identification without the knowledge of the proper formation of the structure of natural turquoise, and without a proper level of magnification to identify the coloring material used to dye the stone.
We continue to research other turquoise treatments such as polymer impregnating and imitation material. As this work is complete we will add those sections to our Gemstone Treatment Report pages.
Secondary Tests: None needed.
Repair and Setting: Extreme caution should be used when handling any unknown turquoise submitted for resetting or repair. Any heat can cause wax impregnated fillers to bleed out, and heating and cleaning solutions can cause reconstituted turquoise to deteriorate and fall apart. Use care to unset when repairing prongs or sizing.