Is Turquoise an Expensive Stone?

Turquoise is a popular colorful gemstone that has been prized for thousands of years. But is turquoise actually an expensive stone compared to other precious gems? The cost of turquoise can vary quite a bit based on several factors.

Quality

Like most gemstones, the quality of turquoise drastically impacts its value. High quality turquoise with an intense robin’s egg blue color and no visible matrix (the black veining running through lower quality stones) demands a much higher price. The best turquoise will come from Iran or other localities like Arizona and Nevada in the United States. Lower grade, softer turquoise is abundantly available for very affordable prices.

Stone Size

Larger turquoise cabochons or beads cost exponentially more than smaller stones. While small turquoise chips can be purchased very inexpensively, fine turquoise that is 3 carats or more in size can run into the hundreds or thousands of dollars per stone.

Treatment

Most turquoise on the market today is stabilized or enhanced in some way to improve the color and durability of the gem. Untreated natural turquoise is becoming exceedingly rare and costs many times more than treated gems.

Demand

The demand for turquoise fluctuates depending on current fashion trends. When turquoise jewelry is hot in the public eye and celebs are flaunting it, the price can skyrocket. If large mines suddenly dry up, turquoise may become scarce, shooting costs upward. The availability of turquoise can change dramatically year to year.

Compared to Diamonds, Rubies and Sapphires

Turquoise is undoubtedly inexpensive compared to most other popular precious gems. Per carat, fine quality turquoise might cost $50 to $500. Meanwhile, diamonds begin around $1,000 per carat for melee stones up to tens of thousands per carat for large gem-quality diamonds. Top quality natural rubies and sapphires also start around $1,000 per carat, quickly climbing into the thousands or more per carat for larger stones.

While high quality turquoise is certainly valuable, it cannot compare to the per carat prices of diamonds and classic precious gems. That makes it a more affordable option for jewelry lovers looking for an eye-catching blue gemstone.

Compared to Other Colored Gemstones

Turquoise is moderately priced compared to other popular colored gemstones like emeralds, rubies and sapphires. But it is more expensive than semi-precious stones like amethyst, citrine, onyx and many others. Stunning turquoise can be competitively priced with high-end aquamarine, garnet, opal and tourmaline.

For collectors interested in rare, natural gemstones, turquoise provides an intriguing middle ground that is far more affordable than the “Big Three” while offering uniqueness, history and natural beauty. Prices remain accessible to a wide range of budgets.

In summary, turquoise is not an excessively expensive gemstone but does come with a considerable price range based on the quality of the stone. While turquoise jewelry costs more than adornments featuring semi-precious stones, it is dramatically more affordable than diamonds or precious rubies, emeralds and sapphires. For shoppers looking for a stunning blue stone with character, turquoise presents a high quality option at a very obtainable price point compared to many competing gems. The blue beauty of turquoise is surprisingly within reach.