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A general guide for using the Forum with some rules and tips
Information about turquoise mineral
  
  Index -> Conserving, Preparing and Cleaning Minerals
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Lundy




Joined: 31 Mar 2017
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PostPosted: Mar 31, 2017 21:04    Post subject: Information about turquoise mineral  

Hello, I'm new here I was wondering if you guys could tell me more about this turquoise piece, I'm not really sure which mine it's from. I had it in a rougher state and I cleaned it up with a brass brush and some water but the dirt(lime?) on it is quite difficult to remove. How do you value these stones or is it only cut stones that people look after?

Thanks



20170331_153535.jpg
 Mineral: Turquoise
 Locality:
Arizona, USA
 Description:
 Viewed:  1874 Time(s)

20170331_153535.jpg


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SteveB




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PostPosted: Mar 31, 2017 21:42    Post subject: Re: Information about turquoise mineral  

Using a metal brush of any kind is a good way to ruin a mineral specimen. A soak in CLR can dissolve Lime . As for value I suggest reading the forum rules, any post hinting at trying to sell is locked. Value is with anything... it depends on what the buyer wants.

If you're not sure which mine its from can you provide details on what you know about where its from? Maybe someone familiar with the area can help with more information.
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Lundy




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PostPosted: Mar 31, 2017 21:53    Post subject: Re: Information about turquoise mineral  

SteveB wrote:
Using a metal brush of any kind is a good way to ruin a mineral specimen. A soak in CLR can dissolve Lime . As for value I suggest reading the forum rules, any post hinting at trying to sell is locked. Value is with anything... it depends on what the buyer wants.

If you're not sure which mine its from can you provide details on what you know about where its from? Maybe someone familiar with the area can help with more information.


Thank you for your reply, I'm from Tucson, AZ. A friend gave this to me but he wasn't sure where he got it from, maybe from the gem show I'm not sure. I'm not really looking to sell this piece it. I want to play around with it, maybe make try to make cabochons or something out of it but I don't want want to cut a valuable rock into pieces if that will ruin its worth. I hope I didn't harm the rock with a brass brush, but it did not seem to affect the turquoise itself. If I soak it in CLR it will be ok?
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Dale Hallmark




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PostPosted: Mar 31, 2017 21:58    Post subject: Re: Information about turquoise mineral  

One of my other hobbies is coin collecting. I have seen a coin sell for $25 and three weeks later the same type coin in similar condition sell for $160.

What ANYTHING is worth is subjective and varies day to day. In the end what something is worth is exactly what you sell it for. No more no less.

Dale
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SteveB




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PostPosted: Apr 01, 2017 17:11    Post subject: Re: Information about turquoise mineral  

Lundy wrote:
SteveB wrote:
Using a metal brush of any kind is a good way to ruin a mineral specimen. A soak in CLR can dissolve Lime . As for value I suggest reading the forum rules, any post hinting at trying to sell is locked. Value is with anything... it depends on what the buyer wants.

If you're not sure which mine its from can you provide details on what you know about where its from? Maybe someone familiar with the area can help with more information.


Thank you for your reply, I'm from Tucson, AZ. A friend gave this to me but he wasn't sure where he got it from, maybe from the gem show I'm not sure. I'm not really looking to sell this piece it. I want to play around with it, maybe make try to make cabochons or something out of it but I don't want want to cut a valuable rock into pieces if that will ruin its worth. I hope I didn't harm the rock with a brass brush, but it did not seem to affect the turquoise itself. If I soak it in CLR it will be ok?


While rocks feel hard they canbe incredibly fragile. So just some friendly advice, always be gentle with cleaning until you know what you're doing or do some research. As a first step you can soak a mineral specimen in water for a week or so to allow the water to soak into the dirt. Then in the water gently brush with an old toothbrush to remove the dirt. A little dishwashing liquid added to the water at the start of this process can sometimes help remove some of the crud. Dirt could be hiding small crystals of another mineral that may have formed in the crevices or even cracks in the crevices, so harsh brushing can damage these or split the specimen. I'm not criticising, its a common mistake people make (myself included, which I sorely regret). Soaking in CLR or acid or other toxic cleaners might do some good in cleaning up your specimen but I dont know enough about turquoise to say for certain. I know there is a lot of turquoise out there thats not really turquoise so how your specimen may react is unknown. If it looks like you have lime deposit coating the specimen you coule dip an ugly corner of the specimen in CLR and watch for bubbling that indicates a reaction. Fast bubbling is an agressive reaction, so have fresh water close by to wash the specimen in and rinse off the CLR. Then you can dry off the specimen and see if its cleaned at all or use a magnifying glass and see if the surface shows pitting (tiny holes) in the surface that differ from the rest of the specimen, this would indicate the mineral itself was being eaten away by the chemicals.

So now, if the test corner you feel is being cleaned and the mineral is unharmed you could then soak the whole specimen for longer. I would carefully watch a soaking mineral (in caustic cleaners) often over an hour then throughtout the day, then daily for a week or two. Just depends on the mineral specimen and the solution its soaking in. Acids should be used outside as they will evaporate into the immediate air and if inside this can then condense on metals and start eating away at them, so causing damage and corossion. Its also harmful to breathe so take care with any caustic cleaners for your own well being.

While your specimen didnt jump out at me as something I'd expect to see in a museum it looks bigger than my turquiose examples. So as a thing of beauty on its own there will be people happy to have yours in your collection. But if you decide to break it up for cabbing its not a huge loss to the world. That said breaking apart any specimen just jars me the wrong way. If I was going to practice cabbing I'd jump on ebay and grab a bag of low grade/offcuts to practice on before touching a larger specimen. As for value, in general mineral specimens and "gems" are greatly affected by their colour. The stronger more rich the colour the more desirable it is. Again though not being a turquoise expert I cant comment on your photo, plus a photo online offers little to help determine its colour as camera colours and monitor colours arent calibrated enough to give an accurate impression to others. You might be able to see some turquoise in a jewellery store for an idea of how strong your specimen's colour is. I guess the question the ask is is there are urgency in breaking up your specimen right now? If you get some small cab roughs to practice cabbing on you could make an interesting display of your finished cabs arranged around the raw turquoise specimen. Itd be interesting to show the beauty of nature and lapidary (not a subject for this forum though) and just proudly showcase your creations.

So, sorry I havent really given you an answer you want. To me in Australia turquoise is a rarity but to others it may be a common find and they may say "smash it up" without hesitation.
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Bob Harman




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PostPosted: Apr 01, 2017 17:58    Post subject: Re: Information about turquoise mineral  

Regarding turquoise, much of what is now found in the USA is not turquoise until proven to be by either showing it to really knowledgable folks or just plain having it analyzed. Genuine turquoise is rare so, much more common are look-a-likes like chrysocolla. And, in addition, much of the genuine western American turquoise is today found on Native American lands and the commerce of this part is their business. Much turquoise that you see in lapidary work is powered and/or dyed so it has been tinkered with or just plain phony.

Moral of this story is buyer beware when buying turquoise in either mineral specimens or lapidary items. As to value, if it is proven to be genuine, its value will be only what someone will be willing to pay for it. Make sure you have any analytical paperwork etc accompanying the specimen to prove the example's "genuiness." BOB
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Lundy




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PostPosted: Apr 01, 2017 19:21    Post subject: Re: Information about turquoise mineral  

Thank you for all your replies!

@SteveB, I'm in no rush to cut it open I've had this specimen for at least a year! I honestly regret brushing it with a brass brush even tho I can't see any visible damage. You can see a little bit of pyrite on there as well as quartz(I think?) I will try to get close up images with a better camera, right now I don't have the proper lighting to take good pictures. I'll try to get something tomorrow.

@Bob, I do wonder if this is even turquoise as well, it's green with white splotches as you can see in the image. I don't know what else it could be, maybe it is chrysocolla but the texture and color seems different to chrysocolla I've seen.
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SteveB




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PostPosted: Apr 01, 2017 21:39    Post subject: Re: Information about turquoise mineral  

Pyrite is likely to react with acids but quartz doesnt. Definietly worth soaking for a week or two in water with a splash of dishwashing liquid and give it a soft brushing clean. With those on it, its sounding more interesting. Take a look on this forum at the guide for identifying minerals, a streak or hardness test might help confirm turqoise vs chrysocolla, plus i would expect chrysocolla (being copper heavy) to be more reactive to caustics. Its all informative to confirm or eliminate possibilities. There are plenty of youtube videos on the dangers of buying turquiose due to the problems of autheticity. So anyone finding this thread and looking to invest in or buy expensive turquoise needs to do some reasearch before pouncing on that "bargain buy" on ebay etc.

The presence of pyrite may help experts determine if its turquoise and where it may be from as well as increase the visual appeal of the piece for display.


Just for fun, google chrysocolla then click on images. You'll see a vast variety of images that look like turquioise, malachite, and tons of variety in colour and shape . Not all of these images are the mineral "turquoise" so if you see a picture that looks like your specimen click on the image and read the page its on. This is not a great test but it give you an idea of the task involved in mineral identification and might give you possible mineral names if you doubt you have turquoise, I'm not saying you dont just that identification is very tricky at the best of times and without definitely knowing where out of the ground it came from a lot of people will assume a mineral is the more common one. Hence fools gold. So if you try polishing something that isnt what you think it is, it may not work as expected.
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