Is Reconstituted Turquoise Real Turquoise?

At first glance, this looks like natural turquoise.  But in reality this is reconstituted turquoise.  It might have some real turquoise mixed in it during the making of it, but it is not considered natural. This type of turquoise is very common in the market, and it is also one of the most confusing things that turquoise collectors come across.

Reconstituted turquoise

Natural stones are formed in the earth over thousands of years and were formed in a very different way. Although we at Turquoise Skies do not feel it is ethical to call it real or genuine, these stones can technically be called “Turquoise” because the manufacturer actually uses a small amount of real turquoise in the composition.  A very rough low-grade version of turquoise in the form of chalk is crushed into dust and mixed with plastics, dyes, and resins to form the compound known as reconstituted turquoise. Using machines and special techniques, the factories can create matrix looking patterns such as the spider web to make the finished product look more natural. Reconstituted turquoise also has a plastic look and feel to it.

Our mission here at Turquoise skies is to promote real natural turquoise and educate anyone who is interested in keeping the industry pure and quality.  I recently had an interested customer contact our website with pictures of a set of turquoise stones that looked very similar to the stones in the picture above. She was asking if it was Number 8 Turquoise. This spider web matrix style that this stone displays was actually created to look like the spider web that is found on natural stones like the ones from the number 8 mine. 

My name is Shep, and I am one of the owners of Turquoise Skies. I want you to feel confident when shopping for turquoise. I feel this is a common problem that buyers run into when shopping for turquoise. I decided to go to my local arts and crafts store and buy a set of this reconstructed turquoise. A set of 4 stones in silver plated housing cost $7.99 before tax.

reconsituted turquoise example

Purchased this reconstituted turquoise from art supply store for $7.99. See label

Here is a picture of the stones, and as you can see on the tag, it is marked appropriately as reconstituted turquoise. It is required by law for stones to be labeled reconstituted if it is. If you are buying from a seller or artist that does not have labels on their pieces then you must ask the correct question. Do not ask if the stone is turquoise because technically it is. The question you want to ask is “Is this a natural turquoise stone or reconstituted?”

I hope this helps. Thanks again for supporting natural turquoise!

Keep it Real

Mathew Shepardson