Forgive a new poster asking for expertise! Travelling in Iran - beautiful country, beautiful stuff. Love stones, spent a long time looking and picked up a few. Iranians are scrupulously honest and sellers seem no less so - open about whether imitation or turquoise, Neyshabur or Kerman, treated or not, and the prices for lower-grade stones are very reasonable. I bought some jewellery I’m very happy with for the price, but also a couple of higher-quality stones I’m curious to hear your thoughts on. Sold as untreated Neyshabur.
Points that concern me:
- Low mine production from Neyshabur in general.
- Colours are outstanding.
- Stabilisation is very common.
Points that reassure me:
- The inclusions in the stones seem incredibly difficult to fake.
- Larger sections of the matrix can be physically discerned (which I imagine would also suggest no dying - smaller veins feel smooth).
- Mother stone on rear of blue stone looks legit.
- Small cavities (rear of blue stone) that I imagine would be filled by stabilisation.
- Sold as natural and untreated (at a corresponding price point). The same seller had treated/lower-grade stones for much less.
In some pictures I’ve included a necklace (which I still very much like) from the same seller for comparison, which he sold as natural and untreated, but much lower grade.
Please let me know any thoughts! I’d be most grateful.
Decades ago, for a brief period I sold Persian Turquoise to dealers and trading companies from the Levian family (the “Chocolate Diamonds” Levians). This looks natural to me. If anything the last stone looks like it may have come in contact with oil, but none of it has the look of stabilized stone. If you don’t mind, what did you pay per carat or gram for the stones?
Hey! Thanks for the reply - sounds like you’ve some fantastic experience! I think you nailed it…
I pressed the dealer again. His comments:
- Natural Neyshabur turquoise, natural colour.
- No stabilisation: Neyshabur is too hard to undergo stabilisation; Kerman yes, both stabilised and treated.
- No resin coating (which accords with the texture front and back).
- They apply aluminium powder during the polishing process which also provides some protection against foreign substances, colour-change etc.
- Final buff with sheep’s leather (so you were right re. some oil).
We split apart a reasonably high-grade piece (but not solid) as I was curious to see the inside. Having trouble uploading the photo - but I was satisfied: uniform colour and nothing untoward - slight additional sheen on the polished surface layer.
Overall, I’m pretty happy. Aside from a minor polishing treatment with good practical benefits, seems about as natural as you can really get?
Cheaper turquoise (necklace) was pretty uniform at $8-25 a gram.
Those stones were many times more. The pure Persian Blue was the same. I was happy to spend a bit on some stones and then get some advice. I didn’t see similar quality anywhere - and I looked hard.
What do you think?
Would love to here more thoughts/comments - but yeah, overall I’m pretty happy - the stones are breathtaking in person…
Will try this way instead…broken stone and the four I bought…
cropped view for the bleacher seats
Loved working with Persian turquoise when it was widely available in the US. Always appreciated the look, color and quality of Persian stones. The cutting quality was head and shoulders above what US cutters were producing owing tothe absence of backing and characteristic high dome. US cutters typically cut for yield, using relatively thin slabs and increasing depth with a metal filled, epoxy based backing.
The stones in the photos look really good. Would love to use Persian material of this quality in jewelry again! Thank you for posting.
Interesting…gems is a world I wish I’d had more of a chance to explore! Never too late for a career change, I suppose. Very tempted to buy a few more while I’m here…
Appreciate the words. I spent a panicked four hours on the toilet giving myself a crash 101 in turquoise while my girlfriend slept soundly.