"Color shot" as a description for treated turquoise

I bought this double strand of turquoise heishi a few years ago from a seller that has a booth at most of the lapidary shows across northern California. They have been a presence at these shows for many years. They are tagged as “Old Blue Gem Mine - Nevada Turquoise - all natural” The story is old stash, long working relationship with the stone cutter. Very unusual color…a first for me. I took them with me to the large Marin County Native American Arts show (Februarys) and showed them to the guys at Waddell Trading. Their consensus was the beads are “color shot”. I do not know what “color shot” means. Although the adage is, if it is too good to be true… Help. Opinions…and what is color shot? Beads are very sharp edged.

The medium to low-grade turquoise is stabilized and usually, color shot too. This is the turquoise they threw away back in the 1960’s and early 70’s. There is nothing wrong with stabilization as long as it is disclosed. It makes the lesser quality turquoise stronger so it can be used in jewelry, it makes turquoise beads less expensive so more people can afford them, and it keeps the turquoise from changing color as natural turquoise sometimes does when it touches the skin.

Stabilized and color shot: Medium to low-grade turquoise that is both stabilized and color shot to enhance the color. Color is added during the stabilization process.

Still nice affordable Turquoise.



still sold and represented as “all natural”


Is there any way you could get in contact with the vendor? That’s so frustrating to have purchased a piece that was misadverstied :rage:

Yes, at their next lapidary show, anywhere from Monterrey, CA to Chico, CA. I’m usually on their mailing list, haven’t seen them for about a year, they may have retired. My disappointment is my own, I questioned the authenticity, I am always looking for the really special piece. too good to be true.

Thank you for the explanation of color shot.

Not normally. Vendors are not doing anything illegal.

Not in this case in the minds I f the law, or its not in forced, I am unsure. Buyer beware, u bought it, it’s yours now. Capitalism and all.

my issue with the seller in this case, is, I questioned them on the “natural” part and they took the time to label the heishi as to mine sourced, state where mine was located and that the stones were “natural”. Had it been only verbal…but to label the heishi as such when it is not, is a fraudulent act.

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I have never heard of Heishi , except as a term for cut shells? Will have to look at the Turquois Mine list. I’ve been taken on Turquise & Coral. Not quite as bad as being mugged…but it sure does suck. What upsets me is when one gives a stright up lie… That’s the burn for me. Sadly, I will never buy from many stores, no need to name the types, most of us have seen em.