What is Royston Turquoise?
One of the oldest continually mined gemstones, Royston turquoise is an American classic. Originating in the Southwest state of Nevada, Royston turquoise is unique among other turquoise gems for its sheer variety of color and matrix combinations. If you want a stone that’s one-of-a-kind, you can’t go wrong with Royston turquoise.
Determining Royston Turquoise Value
Is Royston turquoise valuable? The value of colored stones is typically determined by a combination of its color, clarity, cut, and carat weight. This is no different when determining what Royston turquoise is worth. These guidelines will help you choose turquoise stones for your collection.
- Royston Turquoise Color
This gem stands apart from many other varieties of turquoise due to its range of color. Royston turquoise can occur anywhere from a light powder blue through a vibrant emerald green. Rare specimens of this stone will show a transition of color across the material, blending blues and greens. These blended stones are precious and are often the most valuable.
Royston turquoise also possesses a unique style of matrix, ranging in color from golden to brown. This results in a mix of styles. Some turquoise will show as strips, known as ribbons. Other material will be brecciated, or mixed up. This can manifest as a spiderweb pattern. Heavily mixed patterns are instead called boulders. A water web pattern appears as splashes of turquoise stone against the matrix.
- Royston Turquoise Clarity
The surface of Royston turquoise undergoes polishing until smooth. Due to the nature of the host rock, minor pits or blemishes may be present, even after polishing. However, this does not seriously affect the value of the stone, due to its formation.
- Royston Turquoise Cut
As an opaque stone, Royston turquoise is formed into cabochons. These are solid pieces shaped and polished into domes. The most common shapes are circles and ovals, but tear-drop shaped pears are also popular.
- Royston Turquoise Carat
The carat weight of a finished stone can vary, as the amount of matrix in finished pieces can also vary. Royston turquoise from Shop LC typically varies between one to five carats in finished pieces. Larger pieces are rarer, and there will be a minor increase in price per carat for bigger stones.
Royston Turquoise Treatment
It is common for Royston turquoise to receive a backing of black epoxy resin. Due to the nature of the stone, it helps increase the strength of the material for lapidary work. It also helps add thickness and weight to the material.
An epoxy coating will last with standard jewelry care, and no special care is required. Avoid high heat or exposure to chemicals as this might damage this backing.
Caring for Royston turquoise
Turquoise ranks five to six on the Mohs scale of hardness, and is known for a generally fair to good toughness. This gem is suitable for daily wear or just special occasions.
As a porous stone, Royston turquoise should never be exposed to chemicals as this can damage the stone. Turquoise can be discolored by exposure to cosmetics, lotions, or even the natural oils your body produces. It’s best to put turquoise jewelry on last and remove it first when undressing.
Exposure to high heat could cause discoloration in turquoise or even damage the stone’s surface. Do not clean turquoise jewelry with ultrasonic or steam cleaners. These kinds of cleaners can damage the gem.
The best way to care for Royston turquoise jewelry is through basic gemstone care. A simple solution of a drop of liquid dishwashing soap in a bowl of lukewarm water is all you need. Scrub the stone with a soft bristled brush and rinse with clean, cool water when you’re done. Dry the jewelry with a soft, lint-free cloth, and you’re done.
Store your turquoise jewelry in a jewelry box or the original packaging. It’s preferred to store gemstone jewelry away from other pieces. This prevents harder stones from accidentally damaging softer ones.
Who Can Wear Royston Turquoise?
As an opaque gemstone, turquoise jewelry can take a variety of forms. It’s a popular stone for both fine jewelry and handmade artisan pieces. Turquoise rings remain a popular option, but you’ll find this stone in every type of jewelry. Turquoise remains especially popular in like Southwestern jewelry, as seen in Santa Fe Style Jewelry from Shop LC.
With its range of gem color and neutral matrix, Royston turquoise works best against neutrals, where the unique color and formation of the gem can be showcased. However, jewelry is a personal expression, and you should always wear it when it makes you feel good!
Turquoise is the modern anniversary stone for the 11th wedding anniversary. Royston turquoise introduces a particular spin on this classic stone. Gift it for someone who appreciates organic design and natural elements in their life.
How Does Royston Turquoise Compare to Other Turquoise Stones?
Turquoise gems occur in a range of color, from blue to green. Most turquoise occurs in only one particular color. Royston turquoise is unique, as it can potentially display a transition of color.
The other primary factor that differentiates Royston turquoise from other varieties is its dense matrix. Matrix is the host rock of the turquoise. This matrix can vary greatly, creating many unique patterns within these stones.
Mojave turquoise comes close to Royston turquoise in matching the density of matrix. However, Mojave matrix is metallic compared to the golden or brown matrix of Royston. Mojave turquoise is available in several bright and vibrant colors, including blue, green, orange and purple.
Royston can match Sleeping Beauty or Sonoran turquoise in color, but these stones are known for lack of matrix.
Where Does Royston Turquoise Come From?
While high-quality turquoise can occur anywhere, the American Southwest produces some of best. Shop LC sources our supply of Royston turquoise directly from the Royston Turquoise Mine of Nevada. Located near the town of Tonopah, Nevada, the mining district is one of the oldest American mining claims still in operation.
Located in the Royston Hills, the mining claim is located about 25 miles north of Tonopah along the Esmerelda and Nye County line in the Royston district. In Esmerelda County, the area may also be known as the Crow Springs district. Turquoise mostly occurs in small veinlets and seams among the host rock.
The modern mining operation of today is comprised of four old turquoise claims. These are Bunker Hill, Easter Blue, Oscar Wehrend, and Royal Blue. The Royal Blue claim is the first known operational claim, with records showing turquoise production dating back to 1902.
The Otteson family, who mine Royston turquoise, have been producing this stone since 1958. Initially settling in the area in the mid-1940s, the Otteson family originally came to Nevada to work turquoise claims. The mine continues producing great material, but the family is digging further and further to obtain it. There is not a timeline to indicate remaining production at the mine.
How is Royston Turquoise Mined?
Originally, the turquoise was acquired through shaft mining. Over time, this evolved into the open pit mining done today. Royston turquoise is mined through a combination of explosives, specialized equipment, and artisanal techniques.
When a likely seam of turquoise is detected, the miners will drill in close to the material with machinery. An explosive, like dynamite, will then be used to blast away the remaining rock. The miners are careful not to blast too close to the material to avoid damaging it. After blasting is complete, specialized equipment is used to scoop out the turquoise rough. Hand tools may also be employed during this step.
Rough material is sorted and graded on site on a conveyor belt. From there, the turquoise rough will be sawn apart and the epoxy backing applied. Once complete, this material is now ready for market.
Material from the Royston mine is known for its good quality but limited amounts. Rough from the mine only produces a seven to eight-percent yield by the estimates of Shop LC lapidaries.
Royston Turquoise Properties
What Does Royston Turquoise Mean?
Both ancient and modern cultures treasure turquoise, and a wide variety of virtues are attributed to this gem.
Among Ancient Greeks and Egyptians, turquoise was regarded as a stone of protection, and amulets and statues would be carved from this stone. Arabic cultures recognize turquoise as a “horse stone,” protecting both horse and rider. In Medieval Europe, turquoise was thought to instill loyalty when given to women, while making men successful in their professional pursuits.
Modern gem therapists tend to use turquoise stones for the treatment of throat and lung afflictions. Others espouse its ability to spot treat areas of infection or pain, speeding along recovery times. Most agree that turquoise is a stone of confidence, aiding against feelings of depression.
Disclaimer: The information presented is for information purposes only and should not replace the advice of a trained medical professional.
Is Royston Turquoise a Birthstone?
Turquoise is one of three modern birthstones for December, alongside blue zircon and tanzanite. Royston turquoise is an excellent addition to this selection. With its amazing color range and unique matrix, this turquoise variety offers something for everyone. For someone looking for an option outside these traditional blue stones, look for Royston turquoise with elements of green.
Royston Turquoise Facts
- Royston turquoise measures 5 to 6 on the Mohs scale of hardness.
- This variety of turquoise is known to range in color from a light powder blue to emerald green with unique patterns of significant matrix.
- Royston turquoise originates from the Royston Mine just north of Tonopah, Nevada.
- Royston turquoise may be stabilized to improve durability.