What Makes Turquoise Change Color?


My mom bought a ring and bracelet many years ago on a family trip and she wore them all the time, including when she did the dishes.

I’ve inherited those items but the stones are a very dark green. I remember them being bright and more blue. What happened to them and is there any way I can scrub them to restore them. Thank you, Sandy.

Vintage Fred Harvey Era Green Turquoise Ring

Hi Sandy,

You don’t say what kind of jewelry this is, but I’m guessing it is turquoise you are talking about. Here is one post I’ve written on the topic of Green Turquoise

and here are some more thoughts on the subject.

Turquoise Changing Color

Turquoise is porous. Grease and oil can change the color of natural turquoise by seeping into its pores. I’m not talking about your car’s grease and oil here, but simply human body oils and products we all use around the home every day.

Skin oil is produced as a normal, healthy part of keeping skin pliable. Some people routinely produce more skin oil than others and all people tend to produce more skin oil in warm or humid climates. Exercise and stress can increase the production of natural body oils.

Products that can cause turquoise to change color include moisturizers, suntan oil, body butter, conditioners. And many cosmetic sprays such as hair spray, spritz, cologne and other products can coat or clog a stones pores and change its color.

Household products such as dishwater, soap, detergent, furniture sprays and anything with an oil or grease ingredient have the potential to alter the appearance of turquoise.

Untreated, natural turquoise of very high quality (sometimes called Precious Turquoise) resists color change.

Natural Blue Ridge Turquoise Bracelet by Arnold Blackgoat

But if turquoise is of moderate or lesser quality, it can be more likely to change color when it comes in contact with water and oils.

However, 10 stones from the same mine might all change colors at a different rate. That’s why, for example, on old pawn pieces, such as a cluster pin or squash blossom necklace, as the stones age, some stones might turn a slightly different color than others. Here is a good example of that.

Vintage Squash Blossom Necklace - All stones are original. Note the variation of color between the stones as they have aged.


Stabilized turquoise (treated with resin) resists color change. Turquoise used to make heishi necklaces is stabilized for two reasons – to prevent breakage and to protect the color.

New Stabilized Turquoise Heishi Choker by Santo Domingo Ella Mae Garcia

An unstabilized turquoise choker would turn dark green in a matter of months from skin oils of the neck area.

Some turquoise is enhanced, that is, it is treated to bring out the intensity of its color. When oils come in contact with turquoise, they essentially do the same thing, they deepen or enhance the color….at least in the short term…..but eventually, not only does the turquoise become darker, it becomes greener also. I’ve seen some vintage stones that almost look a blackish green.

If a bracelet has a very large stone that has turned green, it is possible to have it buffed to restore the original color somewhat. But this is something to be done by an experienced jeweler familiar with turquoise. He or she will know the right products to use and procedures to follow.

In closing, I have to admit I LOVE the old greenish turquoise as is – it speaks stories ! Enjoy !

Vintage Turkey Track Turquoise and Sterling Silver Pawn Bracelet


31 thoughts on “What Makes Turquoise Change Color?

  1. Thank you for your information above..I have a gorgeous necklace..very old with very large turquise stones that have LOST their folor becoing lighter and whiter with age..I dont know why…

    • What can I do to restore the color. I inherited a turquoise and silver bracelet and it is lighter than I remember it to be. Help

  2. I recently was given a bracelet with a red(?) turquoise and its turning more pink every day.
    I like it but wonder if its the same

  3. I recently bought a sleeping beauty turquoise ring and had it for about a month. Rarely wore it and it has become lighter and not pure baby blue in color. Can cold weather cause it yto change?

  4. Hello Paula. I buried my turquoise in the garden
    for a cleansing process and I noticed the colour has faded. Soon after I put it back around my neck the stone started restoring its original colour. What does it mean? Is it even possible ?

  5. Hi,

    I normally buy Feroza/ Turqoise from Turkey and that Turqoise is of Arizona….. i need some thorough knowledge that high quality turqoise does not change colour. Is that true?…
    And how to understand the true genuiness and natural turqoise untreated…Normally they range from 100$ to 200$ a gram?

    But my main question is how may i understand a true high quality turqoise/feroza…. although its not easy to explain and understand. But, dont worry i pick n comprehand very quickly…

    Amjid Noor.

  6. I bought a dark green turquoise cuff 39 years ago. The color has not changed. Where would that turquoise have been mined.

  7. how do you return turquoise back to it’s orginal color and how can you get the shine back on my white buffalo turquoise

  8. Hi, I may have just ruined a ring that it really sentimental, purchased in Turkey. It was bright blue and today it turned a brownish color. Earlier in the day I had suntan lotion on my hands but had washed them a number of times. On the drive home, I had my finger on the top of the ring without knowing it and now the beautiful blue is a terrible murky brown. Is there anyway to fix this? I am guessing I had residue on my hands from earlier and am heartbroken.

  9. Hello from Australia 🙂 On my recent visit to America I bought a beautiful Native American bangle from a little town in Arizona, with the most gorgeous piece of Turquoise. I was recently cleaning it and put bangle in some jewellery solution, wasn’t for long, but has totally ruined the stone, has turned very pale, and looks like its corroded it, I am devastated 😦 Is there anything that I can do, to restore the stone back to original colour?

    Kinds regards,


    • Did you ever find out a solution? I just did the same thing. I’m not sure what will help and what could possibly make it worse? I hope it’s not ruined.

    • There is a white stone, similar to turquoise, that is sometimes dyed and sold as turquoise. I wonder if that is what happened? I recently tumbled a large chunk of turquoise, and it is lighter in some areas, and still bright in others. Mine may be the same.😒

  10. Hi there,
    I did the same thing just now.
    I accidentally turned my turquoise earrings white by leaving them in hydrogen peroxide too long to clean them. They went from bright blue to bone white 😦 Is there anything I can do to reverse this?

  11. Hi, I too made this mistake on a turquoise bracelet I’ve had for 50 years. Without thinking I was cleaning my silver jewelry with baking soda and aluminum foil and soaked it in there. Now it’s gone from a beautiful dark rich green to a light green. Is there anything I can do? I am heartbroken.

  12. Hi I accidently dropped my sleeping beauty turquoise earring in sterling silver cleaner an it turned green is there any way I could fix it. Or is it a lost cause. My nanny just gave them to me. 😦

  13. Pingback: What Mine is this Turquoise From? Bisbee | Native American Jewelry Tips

  14. Pingback: White Turquoise Demystified | Native American Jewelry Tips

  15. Thanks so much! Have been researching a turquoise ring i love but could not i.d. the stone which is teal blue and black. Happy to have the info i needed. Polly

  16. Hi Paula,
    I was wondering how you would be able to tell if your green turquoise was affected by a cleaner? Would it turn brown or darker in color?

    I cleaned a piece incorrectly that was from my grandma, and I think it looks a shade or two darker, but since it was new to me I am not sure.

    Thank you for your help,

  17. I have a robin egg blue turquoise ring that got wet and now has a greenish tint to the blue. What can I do to restore it to the solid blue color? It is a large stone about a 9 mm size.

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