Do these Arizona turquoise beads look stabilised?

Hi all! Second post here :slight_smile:

I’m sorry but this is being falsely represented to you. Not turquoise, Arizona or otherwise. These beads are imitation (howlite, magnesite, or low grade composite material), with base metal. You can get a made in India (and elsewhere) similar thing for $18 or $23 or $167, whatever number they make up.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/1126954724/faceted-round-turquoise-necklace?gpla=1&gao=1&

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Interesting response! Even the metals dubious? This is on it’s way to me so I think the metal should be easily testable, what about the beads make you say what you say? I’d love to learn.

What did they say about the metal, and is there hallmarking? Did they represent this as Native American?

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18k gold. I have purchased from this vendor before, but it’s a pearl vendor (pearls check out). So the rest of the necklace has a circled Tahitian Pearl drop (I don’t doubt the pearl at all as they’ve always checked out - and pearls are my thing)! Beads… new to me.

No hallmarks, the “turquoise” beads are only 4mm as are the gold spacers and it’s pretty normal on something of that size /weight to not hallmark.

Not represented as Native American at all, just 100% natural Arizona turquoise. I do think they might fall for their bead suppliers promises however (and lack the expertise themselves) hence wanting to check the accuracy of the turquoise.

Well you’ll know soon, so that’s something. It was just a guess that these were brass beads with gold plating, supply store material like this
30 Pcs 4mm 24k Shiny Gold Faceted Beads Disco Ball Beads | Etsy Singapore

If this is a high-dollar item you’d definitely want to have the beads confirmed by a GIA person.

Not super high dollar £150 give or take so not sure if it’s something I’d be bothered to post back to the US for GIA lab testing. Was hoping these pictures of the turquoise up close could give some clues!

I would totally send them back for a refund if experienced /educated opinions really thought this was low quality turquoise however.

I’m also wondering about the likelihood of faceting tiny (4mm) beads such as these, wouldn’t the raw material have to be super super high grade to take such work and not crumble? So bearing that in mind, is it plausible that you could technically have high grade tiny turquoise beads faceted?

Or would this point alone rule out it being good quality /natural turquoise?

I don’t actually mind if it’s stabilised, but I do want good quality natural turquoise.

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I am not an expert, but I would expect if it was truly natural turquoise and solid gold beads it would be pretty doggone pricey.

Stabilized turquoise can be referred to as real turquoise, but not natural. Natural turquoise means unstabilized. I have a number of pieces that probably have stabilized turquoise and I still love them.

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How pricy is pricy, bearing in mind I’m sure this seller purchases raw materials from the east where things like gold are sold by weight and nothing like normal inflated western prices. The gold in the clasp and spacers will amount to barely anything, so the cost I’m guessing was in the circled Tahitian (£50) and beads and minute sized gold spacers (£100).

Agree with the terminology, I just wish everyone was honest enough to follow the rules! In my most recent ‘trying to buy turquoise stint’ out of every 50 vendors I’ve asked if their turquoise is 100% natural; only 2 have said no, they use stabilised turquoise haha. I’m pretty sure that doesn’t reflect the reality of the market!

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That’s a good question, because I’m not sure how much British converts to in American dollars. But, for example, I have a nice two strand necklace of what I believe are stabilized turquoise beads. They’re not faceted, they are nuggets. And it’s got some heishi, no gold (and no silver except at the clasp). I probably paid $200 to $250 for it 20 years ago or so. So obviously if that had been natural turquoise it would be much higher priced, how much I’m not sure.

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Faceting isn’t done to American turquoise, you just won’t see it in domestically worked natural turquoise. By US standards it’s against the nature of how to display its beauty, nor does it have an historical origin. Heishe bead and tab making, on the other hand, which is ancient, is done mostly with stabilized turq by today’s makers. There are just a handful of high-end NA makers who work with natural turq in beads.

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You may be better off dealing with well regarded stores/trading posts in the American Southwest.

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I don’t think these beads have anything to do with Native Americans, other then the fact they’re (supposedly) turquoise.

Obviously Turquoise is a material that’s used the world over, since the beginning of time, through various civilisations.

So, they not corresponding with Native American norms, doesn’t automatically mean they aren’t genuine Turquoise. Is there anything in the close up picture that points to either fake turquoise or very low grade turquoise ie veining, the colour, the luster etc.

I would think what @chicfarmer said would still apply to this. You wouldn’t be able to do the faceting on these small beads without them being extremely hard turquoise. I would think this much extremely high grade natural turquoise would have cost a lot more than what you mentioned.

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Ah gotcha, I think that’s what I was sorta thinking too. It’s a lot of work for tiny beads… is it really plausible. Thanks so much for your opinions, it’s helped me look past the ‘ooh pretty colours’ phase.

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It’s because the dealer framed this as Arizona turquoise that I mentioned US practices, aesthetics, and history with regard to turquoise.

Good luck, hope you get the pieces you enjoy having in your collection. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Totally understand (and really appreciate your opinions so thank you!). Normally the seller is great re pearls, but I think for beads they might not be as educated as to what’s legit and what might not be. Funny thing is if they had just called it stabilised I wouldn’t have started questioning it!

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I like the way you explained that.

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