Known for its greenish blue color, turquoise steals the spotlight with its striking hue. In fact, it has one of the most distinct and eye-catching colors and textures of all gemstones, which is why many non-traditional brides consider it for their engagement rings. However, not all gemstones are suitable for the harsh reality of daily wear. With that in mind, let’s take a look at whether turquoise engagement rings are a good idea and how to choose and maintain one for best results.
- What Is Turquoise?
- Pros and Cons of Turquoise Engagement Rings
- Turquoise Engagement Ring Designs
- Choosing the Best Turquoise
- Treatments, Enhancements and Imitations
- Turquoise Engagement Ring Meaning
- Cleaning and Caring for Turquoise Rings
- Turquoise in History
- Where to Buy Turquoise Engagement Rings
What Is Turquoise?
Turquoise is a rare gemstone commonly found in extremely dry environments, where copper-rich groundwater reacts with minerals composed of aluminum and phosphorus. Technically, the gemstone is classified as a phosphate mineral and called copper aluminium phosphate. It can be found in several different shades of green and blue depending on the amount of copper and iron it contains.
It’s said that the higher the copper amount, the more intense blue the gemstone will appear. Generally, turquoise has a translucent to opaque appearance and its surface has a waxy or dull luster. In some instances, turquoise can be seen with spiderweb-like veins that run throughout the gemstone opposed to a solid color, giving it its signature matrix look.
Turquoise was first introduced to Europe from Turkey— the name turquoise is derived from the French phrase pierre tourques which translates to Turkish stone. For centuries, the gemstone has been mined in Iran (formerly Persia), regarded by many to be the finest quality. Nowadays, it can also be found in the US, Australia, France, Poland, Belgium, England, Mexico, Chile, China and northern Africa.
Pros and Cons of Turquoise Engagement Rings
For future brides, a turquoise engagement ring can be an exciting and unique choice. However, if you want to incorporate the gemstone in your engagement ring, here are some of its pros and cons:
- Turquoise is extremely versatile, and pairs beautifully with silver, gold, or even pearl accents.
- Its striking blue color makes a statement even it lacks the clarity and sparkle of transparent colored gems like amethyst, emerald and ruby.
- It’s a unique gemstone of choice for engagement rings, adding a touch of individuality to the wearer.
- It’s a cost-effective option for engagement rings compared to diamonds and sapphires.
- There are a variety of turquoise engagement rings to choose from—think of classic solitaire, pavé setting, modern styles, bohemian designs, and so on. Some of these are even designed with other gemstones.
- In the US, turquoise is regarded one of the birthstones for December, making it more meaningful if the wearer was born in that month.
- On the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, turquoise ranks 5 to 6, which means it’s softer than other gemstones and can easily crack or get scratched. Fine turquoise is more durable but it’s also rare and pricey.
- The gemstone is porous, which makes it vulnerable to ordinary liquids, body oils, cosmetics and dirt. That’s also the reason why turquoise’s striking color can fade, especially when worn frequently close to the skin. Also, high heat can cause discoloration and damage to the gemstone.
While turquoise engagement rings offer many benefits, the main downside is how soft they are. An engagement ring is a piece of jewelry that’s often worn daily or at least regularly. If you’re not willing to provide the care that the piece requires, you could end up damaging the stone. Our verdict – only choose a turquoise engagement ring if you’re either planning to wear the ring only on special occasions or are willing to provide extra care for the ring (more on this below).
Turquoise Engagement Ring Designs
If you’ve decided to get a turquoise engagement ring, we’ve curated a range of highly stylish and stunning ring designs. From classic styles to modern and bohemian designs, turquoise engagement rings make a style statement. Here are some of our favorites:
Turquoise Solitaire Ring
Turquoise Engagement Ring by AUSGEMSCo. Check Price Here.
The most classic and traditional engagement ring style, this solitaire ring features a single gemstone in the design. Pair the turquoise with a unique band and you have a ring that gives off tribal and bohemian vibes, for something that looks familiar and yet is unique.
Chevron Turquoise Ring
Art Deco Wedding Band by JJewelryCrafts. Check Price Here.
Shaped bands are a big trend in jewelry design. Romantic and elegant, this engagement ring creates harmony between the turquoise stone and the chevron style.
Victorian Turquoise Bombe Ring
Victorian Bombe Ring by Eddie and Rose. Check Price Here.
When it comes to a dramatic statement, nothing beats a bombe ring. The name comes from the French term bombée, meaning domed. Inspired by the Victorian era, this turquoise ring has a dome-shaped setting with clusters of turquoise gemstones for a unique textural design.
Bohemian Turquoise Ring
Dreamcatcher Ring by MinimalVS. Check Price Here.
This ring set features turquoise and diamond engagement and wedding bands, designed to features as one ring. The classic look of the diamonds paired with the more bohemian style of the turquoise and the variety of ring shapes offers a style that’s stylish, different and classic yet bohemian.
Starburst Turquoise Ring
Turquoise Engagement Ring by Love Rings Design. Check Price Here.
This engagement ring is the perfect example of marrying antique elements with a modern design. The result is a classic ring featuring natural turquoise and diamonds set in 14k white gold that highlights the blue hue and smooth texture of the turquoise ring, contrasting it with the sparkling diamonds held by large prongs.
Turquoise Inlay Ring
Engagement Ring with Turquoise Inlays by Staghead Designs. Check Price Here.
If you’re looking for something modern and colorful, this engagement ring is perfect. It features hand crushed turquoise inlay in a 14k rose gold band with a diamond at the center. Apart from the look, turquoise inlay is an excellent way to incorporate the color of turquoise in a more durable way.
Turquoise Bezel Ring
Turquoise Flower Ring by Lomantic. Check Price Here.
The bezel setting of this design secures the stone in place while highlighting the natural beauty of the turquoise cabochon. What’s more, the unique floral elements work as a buffer for the stone, ensuring that it doesn’t get knocked about as much. These elements offer additional layers of protection for the stone ensuring it’ll last longer. This engagement ring is perfect for romantics—thanks to its floral design.
Art Deco-Inspired Turquoise Ring
Turquoise Engagement Ring by LstudioC. Check Price Here.
A halo setting is the perfect way to showcase the beauty of the blue turquoise. This stone features cubic zirconia stones set around a turquoise with matrix, for a truly unique ring.
Turquoise Infinity Ring
Turquoise Engagement Ring by LstudioC. Check Price Here.
If you love meaningful designs, this engagement ring says it all. The infinity shape of the band reminds us of eternal love, while the blue green turquoise makes everything more whimsical.
Coral Turquoise Ring
Ocean Inspired Ring Band by Arosha Taglia. Check Price Here.
Whimsical and ethereal, this engagement ring captures the magic of the underwater world with its blue turquoise cabochon and ocean-inspired band. It will make any bride-to-be feel like a sea goddess.
Choosing the Best Turquoise
If you’ve decided that you like the gemstone on your engagement ring to be a turquoise, here’s how to evaluate the quality of the stone:
The most desirable color for a turquoise ring is an even, striking blue, which is often referred to as sky blue or robin’s egg. In fact, the turquoise that comes from Nishapur, Iran has a sky-blue color—but never green. An interesting fact – the term Persian blue is now used to describe the gemstone with the color whether or not it came from Iran.
On the other hand, turquoise with a green or greenish blue color is generally less appealing in the trade, though it will depend on your preferences. You can even find stones with unusual colors like lime green, yellow green, deep green or avocado hues. There’s also a purple turquoise, but this variety is typically dyed and doesn’t have much value.
Clarity is not what turquoise is known for. Turquoise gemstones commonly have a semi-translucent to opaque appearance, but most of them have dark splotches or spiderweb-like veins in black, brown, yellow or other colors. It comes down to personal preference when choosing a gemstone with mottled patterns or a solid hue.
One benefit of the presence of patterns is that it provides contrast to the gem’s bright blue color. You can even find stones that feature attractive and delicate spiderweb-like design throughout. However, the most valuable turquoise is the variety with fine color and no visible patterns or veins.
Usually, turquoise is cut in smooth cabochons or gemstones with a rounded shape with flat backs, as opposed to being faceted. According to experts, the rounded cut of the gem will show off its beautiful color and texture, as well as complement its attractive mottled patterns. Faceting is usually done to bring out a gemstone’s sparkle and provide interesting angles and texture. In the case of turquoise, this doesn’t really apply.
Fine-textured turquoise stones are more attractive and generally have a waxy luster when polished. On the other hand, more porous ones have a coarser texture that looks dull even when polished. It’s best to opt for turquoise gemstones with finer texture, as it means they’re also more durable and have fair to good toughness.
Turquoise is weighed in carats and can be found in different sizes. Technically, a five carats stone is equal to one gram. Depending on the design of the engagement ring, the gem can be very small, medium or even clustered. Regardless of the size, the uniformity of color and quality of the gem make it more valuable.
When it comes to settings, you can choose from most of the popular engagement ring setting types. However, durability is a concern when choosing the right setting. While solitaire settings tend to highlight the center gemstone, bezel and halo settings offer more durability. In our opinion, because turquoise has a very eye-catching hue, it still manages to stand out in more protective settings.
Treatments, Enhancements and Imitations
Imitation turquoise is inexpensive and holds little to no value
Apart from the cutting and polishing processes, turquoise undergoes various treatments to enhance its color and durability. Porous turquoise is commonly soaked with a wax or polymer substance to improve color and stabilize the gemstone. There are several turquoise imitations on the market and tend to have very low prices.
- Turquoise vs. Howlite
Howlite, also called calcium borosilicate, is a grayish white mineral that’s often dyed in various shades of blue-green to resemble turquoise. Sometimes, they also have black veins similar to the web-like patterns of natural turquoise. However, howlite is much softer and more porous than turquoise. Even so, telling them apart can be tricky. Most turquoise in inexpensive bead jewelry is typically howlite.
- Turquoise vs. Variscite
Turquoise is often confused with variscite, also called aluminium phosphate, due to its black webbing. Just like the gemstone, variscite is porous and can fade easily when worn next to the skin. Most of the time, they’re sold in Nevada, U.S. as variquoise.
- Turquoise vs. Imitation Stone
Usually, imitation stones are cut into cabochons, but they lack the texture and color of natural turquoise. Also, imitation stones have more uniform hues compared to the real gem and are typically too perfect to be true.
Turquoise Engagement Ring Meaning
Turquoise has been used since ancient times, so naturally it has acquired a host of meanings over time and is viewed as a valuable stone to many cultures around the world, including to Native Americans, Egyptians and Persians.
As a December birthstone, turquoise is believed to be ideal for December born babies. As a symbol of healing and tranquility, some also believe that turquoise does wonders if you have depression—thanks to its calming influence. Also, it has been used as a purification stone that wards off negative energies and evil.
Did you know ancient cultures regarded turquoise as sacred as it’s associated with protection and luck? In fact, Native Americans wore turquoise to battles, decorating their arrows and amulets.
In England, turquoise along with other blue-green gemstones is associated with enduring love, making it a perfect choice for engagement rings. It’s also regarded as a symbol of good fortune and success. It only means that a turquoise engagement ring could invite abundance and blessings into the lives of a couple.
Cleaning and Caring for Turquoise Rings
To prevent any harm to your turquoise ring, store it away from harder gemstones and remove it before doing any household tasks, since commercial cleaners can damage the treated surfaces of the stone. Since turquoise is porous, avoid submerging it into water. To avoid discoloring the stone with harsh chemicals, apply perfume and cosmetics before wearing your jewelry.
You can use a soft brush and water to clean turquoise but skip chemicals and high heat. Never use ultrasonic cleaners and steam that will only scratch and cause discoloration to the gemstone. Contrary to popular opinion, mild soap can also damage turquoise. If there’s any tarnish that appears, simply rub it gently with a jewelry polishing cloth.
Turquoise in History
This striking gemstone dates back to thousands of years, around 5000 B.C.E. in Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq) and Egypt. Back in the time, turquoise was one of the first gems to be mined and cut for decorative use, since it was soft and could be easily carved and polished. Apart from jewelry, it also decorated thrones, sword handles, cups, bowls and other ornaments.
In ancient Egypt, clothing was seen as plain and boring, as it was commonly made of off-white linen, so Egyptians adorned themselves with colorful gems, including turquoise. In fact, several artifacts including the famous death mask and a scarab pectoral found in the tomb of Tutankhamun features turquoise.
In the 17th century, turquoise decorated the royal crown, given by the Ottomans to Prince Stephen Bocskai of Transylvania and Hungary. The Marie-Louise diadem originally had green emeralds but was later redesigned with turquoise cabochons. The famous historic jewelry was named after Marie-Louise of France, wife of Napoleon I, dating from 1810.
Where to Buy Turquoise Engagement Rings
Shopping for an engagement ring is exciting, but it can also be overwhelming. When purchasing turquoise, you can check on jewelry stores such as Blue Nile and James Allen, which sometimes carry exclusive, stylish selections of turquoise jewelry. However, for a wider selection and artisan options, we recommend searching on the following two platforms:
If you’re looking for vintage, one-of-a-kind and alternative engagement rings, Etsy has a wide range of turquoise rings to suit any personal style and personality. Just make sure to read customer reviews and only buy from trusted artists and vendors.
When it comes to turquoise engagement ring designs, your options at Amazon are endless. The platform features classic, modern and eccentric styles in various metals and settings. Just check each item carefully and ask questions from the seller as each Amazon store may have its own policies.