What is Block Turquoise?
You may have heard this term block turquoise before when shopping for turquoise jewelry. If you are interested in buying turquoise jewelry, then it’s a good idea to know what it means! You must know what questions to ask. Did you know you shouldn’t ask the question “Is that real turquoise?” Because some dealers and artists will say that block is real turquoise. Well it does have a little real turquoise in it sometimes, so the question you might have to ask is “Is that block turquoise?”
What exactly is block turquoise? Block turquoise is either completely synthetic or reconstituted turquoise that is cut and sold in cubic blocks. So why to people call it turquoise? The synthetic stuff should absolutely not be called turquoise because it is just dyed plastic. The reason people get away with it is because turquoise is officially the name of a color. The reconstituted turquoise on the other hand does have some turquoise in it. Stones that are too small or too low quality to even be enhanced or stabilized are used to make this kind of turquoise. The stones are turned into a powder, the powder is then mixed with plastics and resins and compressed. Then they are molded and dried. When dry, the mass is cut into blocks. This is why when you ask if this is real turquoise, some unethical dealers will say yes.
This type of turquoise is really cheap and easy to work with. Blocks can be easily cut up and shaped to an artists desire. Some artists can do beautiful things with block turquoise, however if you truly want a valuable piece of jewelry stick to the natural and stabilized stones!