Is there a green turquoise that has no blue in it at all?

Daer Paula,

I am interested in purchasing the Authentic Navajo
Adjustable Turquoise Choker at $89 by Susan Teller Kingman. The website
says it is green turquoise. Does this mean that it is really green?
Silly question, I know colors are subjective, but there is “green”
turquoise that is not blue at all. On the computer what I see seems to
be a deep turquoise color with a greenish cast and that is what I want.

If colors do not match is it possible to return the item for a
restocking fee?

thank you for your time and any information.



Hello Alicia,

I got out that necklace and looked at it in the office light (which is fluorescent) and outside in natural light and I’d say the photos on my computer screen look accurate in
color but I’ve asked the webmaster to alter the word description to this

Blue turquoise flat ovals alternating with blue and green turquoise heishi
and sterling silver disc beads.

My overall impression is that the necklace looks blue with the ends looking
a bit more green than blue……and the turquoise heishi throughout
alternating between green and blue.

As you said it is relative – we all see blues and greens differently.

bluegreendivide2and depending on the settings and condition of computer monitors, the colors you might be seeing are different than what I am seeing.

17f3mzzx04r2tjpgUnderneath the following photos I will write the color I see. What do you see?









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Does iron make turquoise more green and copper make it more blue…..or Vice Versa???

Hi Paula,

I hope you can settle a bet I am in with my boss and co worker. We all work at a store that has the biggest collection of dead pawn jewelry here in xyz. Great museum worthy collection. Both my boss (owner of the shop) and co worker tell our customers that the color of turquoise is dependent on blue being more iron and green being due to more copper present. That is the exact opposite of what I learned as a life long rock hound and native jewelry collector / enthusiast. Their argument is that Bisbee has iron matrix (hematite mostly) and it is the famous Bisbee blue, and not so much green. There is also Morenci, which is noted for the iron pyrite, and is typically blue. Although I have seen some pretty green Morenci as well. They claim that since pyrite and hematite are both iron and appear in these noted “blue” turquoises, then it is iron that gives the blueness. My boss also tells people that the matrix in Royston is copper. Which sometimes the copper does actually appear in the matrix, but mostly I thought it was limonite or rhyolite. The copper usually seems deeper and will darken with age, like a penny does. But the limonite or rhyolite remain the same.

Morenci Turquoise

Morenci Turquoise

Royston Turquoise

Royston Turquoise

I showed them I could not force google to say blue is due to iron and green is due to copper. Is always says the opposite, or “did you mean green is due to iron presence?” or “did you mean blue is due to copper presence?” But they still won’t believe me, or google. Do you have any resources that I could use to show them? I’m not trying to be a know it all, I just don’t want them perpetuating bad info. Please help!



We are NOT rock “experts” but we do have a fair bit of knowledge and
experience among us.

All of us here agree with you, as evidenced by the content of some articles from our website and this blog.

The more blue, the higher the copper content. The more green, the higher the iron content.”  Turquoise and Mines  and Green Turquoise

As you will read in various articles on our website, some turquoise will turn green as it ages due to effects of oxidation, dehydration and exposure to the elements and products (lotions etc.). So turquoise once blue will sometimes end up green – that’s why you see more green turquoise in vintage pieces.

Here are some other internet sources – there are many.

“Also, within the same mining operation, sometimes within the same vein, both greens and blues will be found. The blue is the copper, and greens are molecules of zinc or iron. So value is not necessarily based on color even though blue does often sell for more because more people prefer it.” Learn about Turquoise

“Colour is as variable as the mineral’s other properties, ranging from white to a powder blue to a sky blue, and from a blue-green to a yellowish green. The blue is attributed to idiochromatic copper while the green may be the result of either iron impurities (replacing aluminium) or dehydration.” Wikipedia

The Wikipedia article has references that might lead you to more technical information should you desire it.

Like you, I could not find any reference to copper being associated with green turquoise and iron being associated with blue. It was always the other way around.

A fun thing to google is copper sulfate – hit images and wow, is that blue or what ??!! I don’t know if this has any relevance, but here copper definitely = blue.

copper sulfate

Copper sulfate

I hope others might weigh in on this topic because I am not a geologist by any stretch of the imagination !

I wonder if some people associate green with copper because copper pennies can turn the inside of your wallet green. And copper roofs turn green over time depending on the climate and location. And copper bracelets can turn the skin of some people green. But that is a whole other topic related to oxidation and acidity.  Maybe that is where the confusion lies?

Green Patina on Copper Roof

Green Patina on Copper Roof


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