What is Matrix in a Turquoise Stone?

Matrix is the term used to describe the contrasting material in a parent rock – usually turquoise.

Matrix can be thick channels or delicate fine lines like a spiderweb.

Spiderweb Matrix in #8 Turquoise

It is usually made of iron pyrite and can look like fleks, spots or distinct veins.

Some people like stones WITHOUT matrix – they are called “clear stones”.

Clear Turquoise Stones in a Donovan Cadman Cluster Bracelet

Other people are drawn to the variations in the shapes and colors of turquoise with matrix.

Matrix can add texture to the stone as well as a bit of glimmer in some cases.

The most common matrix colors seen in turquoise are black, brown and honey.

Black Matrix in Turquoise Mountain Turquoise

Brown Matrix in Fox Mountain Turquoise

Honey Colored Matrix in an Emerald Valley Turquoise Bracelet

When turquoise is cut so that there is more Mother Rock than Turquoise, it is called Boulder Turquoise. So in this case the “veins” are turquoise !

Boulder Turquoise Pendant

So many beautiful stones to enjoy !


3 thoughts on “What is Matrix in a Turquoise Stone?

  1. I have a lapidary and I was cutting a few stones when I found a stone with a gold sheen and what looks like turquoise on the stone too. The main color of the matrix is reddish brown with the gold stripes looking like a sheen. The matrix is very soft and when cutting, the water and dust was black like cutting Jet.
    Do you or can you tell me what I have?
    I don’t know if I have anymore of this stone. I will look today, but I don’t think so. I don’t remember seeing anything like it.
    It is beautiful.
    Any help you can give me will be appreciated.
    Veva Bailey

  2. Hi,

    I purchased a turquoise ring in Pakistan and at that time it was blue and after some time short after it started turning green and new matrices started appearing in the stone.

    I was hoping to know is this turquoise a natural , enhanced, stabilized or fake turquoise ring.

    Thank you,

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