Everything You Need to Know About Turquoise Engagement Rings

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Courtesy of David Yurman / Design by Bailey Mariner

It can be tough to relinquish the notion that all engagement rings should feature a diamond center stone, but once you welcome the possibility of a non-traditional approach, you’ll discover an expansive world of beautiful, historic gemology to choose from. One of these options that warrants a closer look is turquoise.

What Is Turquoise?

Turquoise is an opaque gemstone known for its striking color. It occurs in several different shades of blue and green, though the highest valued is robin’s egg blue (or sky blue).

Turquoise Gemstones 101
Bailey Mariner/Brides

The History of Turquoise Gemstones

This striking gemstone dates back thousands of years; perhaps most notably, turquoise jewelry that was discovered in ancient Egyptian tombs in the el-Qaa region circa approximately 5000 B.C. It is now primarily mined in Iran, China, and the American Southwest and the name turquoise is derived from the French phrase pierre tourques (Turkish stone), which implies it came to Europe from the Turkish region (though its original origins are believed to be from Iran).

What to Look for in a Turquoise Ring

Turquoise is relatively rare and found in dry regions where copper-rich groundwater is present. The higher the density of copper, the more intensely blue the turquoise appears. Another element of turquoise is its matrix, which is when you see spiderweb-like veins that run throughout the stone (opposed to a solid color). Naturally, matrix vs no matrix comes down to personal preference when choosing your stone.

“Smooth Cabochon cut seems to be the most common cut for turquoise,” jewelry designer Grace Lee explains to Brides. Because turquoise ranks 5-6 on the Mohs scale (meaning it’s softer than several other gemstones), it’s easier to cut and carve. Unfortunately, this also means it can get scratched or crack.

Meet the Expert

Grace Lee is a fine jewelry designer who founded her eponymous collection in 2008. The pieces are produced in Los Angeles and Lee only sources from vendors that adhere to The Kimberly Process.

If you’re considering a turquoise engagement ring, Lee notes that in addition to cut, settings are also important to think about. “Personally, I think prong settings work best so you don't put too much pressure on the turquoise,” she says. “But it is often set in bezels and even as an inlay.”

As for cost, the Gemology Institute of America says that turquoise is judged on three basic quality factors: color, texture, and the presence or absence of matrix. Lee also mentions that the primary cost will be the gem itself as well as “the value of the metal used and how intricate and detailed the setting is.” Many engagement ring options featuring turquoise also incorporate other stones into the design, including diamond halos and other complementary side stones. Similar to diamonds, turquoise is also weighed in carats.

How to Care for Your Turquoise Ring

Lee recommends avoiding harsh chemicals or high heat when cleaning your turquoise jewelry (the former could compromise the color of your gemstone).

Scroll through stunning turquoise rings below.

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Michelle Fantaci Diamond and Turquoise Octagonal Ring

Michelle Fantaci Diamond and Turquoise Octagonal Ring

Courtesy of Michelle Fantaci 

The center stone for this ring features “Persian Turquoise,” nodding to the history of this beautiful gemstone.

SHOP NOW: Michelle Fantaci, $1,800

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Yi Collection Turquoise and Diamond Eos Ring

Yi Collection Turquoise and Diamond Eos Ring

Courtesy of Yi Collection 

The stunning turquoise center stone on this ring is further accentuated by a dazzling halo of diamonds.

SHOP NOW: Yi Collection, $1,995

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Ila Felicia Turquoise and Diamond Ring

Ila Felicia Turquoise and Diamond Ring

Courtesy of Catbird NYC

Proof that several pretty stones can be better than one statement diamond.

SHOP NOW: Catbird NYC, $650

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Grace Lee Maman Crown Bezel Turquoise Ring

Grace Lee Maman Crown Bezel Turquoise Ring

Courtesy of Grace Lee 

This ring features a rose-cut turquoise stone set in a 14k gold crown bezel.

SHOP NOW: Grace Lee, $785

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Effy Yellow Gold Turquoise Diamond Ring

Effy 14k Yellw Gold Turquoise Diamond Ring

Courtesy of Effy Jewelry 

The kind of engagement ring that gives off serious royalty vibes.

SHOP NOW: Effy Jewelry, $1,256

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Retrouvai Triple Coil Mini Compass Ring

Retrouvai Triple Coil Mini Compass Ring

Courtesy of Retrouvai 

This handmade ring offers a unique turquoise inlay design that’s perfect for the bride-to-be who works with her hands and doesn’t want to accidentally knick the stone.

SHOP NOW: Retrouvai, $2,165

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Dru Jewelry Halo Signet Ring

Dru Jewelry Halo Signet Ring

Courtesy of Dru Jewelry 

This modern turquoise ring is surrounded by 34 brilliant white diamonds for a sleek, architectural finish.

SHOP NOW: Dru Jewelry, $3,160

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Victorian Old Mine Cushion Cut and Turquoise Ring

Victorian Old Mine Cushion Cut and Turquoise Ring

Courtesy of 1st Dibs 

A turquoise engagement ring that also features a delicate old mine cut diamond.

SHOP NOW: 1st Dibs, $4,500

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Samantha Tea Laluna Ring Persian Turquoise Ring

Samantha Tea Laluna Ring Persian Turquoise Ring

Courtesy of Samantha Tea 

This bold ring is made of 18k rose gold with Persian turquoise and 0.20 ct of grey diamonds.

SHOP NOW: Samantha Tea, $1,248

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Shahla Karimi Mini Honey Ring

Shahla Karimi Mini Honey Ring

Courtesy of Shahla Karimi

If you’re looking for a low-key engagement ring featuring a turquoise center stone, look no further than this option from a cult favorite jewelry designer.

SHOP NOW: Shahla Karimi, $350

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Gemologica Diamond and Oval Turquoise Yellow Gold Ring

Gemologica Diamond and Oval Turquoise Yellow Gold Ring

Courtesy of Gemologica 

The matrix on this turquoise stone looks especially antique thanks to the halo of small diamonds.

SHOP NOW: Gemologica, $260

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The Last Line Turquoise and Gold Heart Ring

The Last Line Turquoise and Gold Heart Ring

Courtesy of The Last Line 

Though subtle, this heart-shaped turquoise stone feels whimsical and romantic.

SHOP NOW: The Last Line, $415

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Tamara Comolli Large Bouton Yellow Gold & Turquoise Ring

Tamara Comolli Large Bouton 18K Yellow Gold & Turquoise Ring

Courtesy of Saks Fifth Avenue 

Though minimalist in design, this 18k gold band ring featuring a breathtaking turquoise center stone is the epitome of timelessness.

SHOP NOW: Saks Fifth Avenue, $3,080

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Melissa Joy Manning Milkyway Ring

Melissa Joy Manning Milkyway Turquoise, Moonstone, And Tourmaline Ring

Courtesy of Melissa Joy Manning 

Does it get much dreamier than turquoise, moonstone, and tourmaline? An engagement ring for the lover of natural splendor.

SHOP NOW: Melissa Joy Manning, $2,640

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David Yurman Châtelaine Turquoise Ring with Diamonds

David Yurman Châtelaine 18k Gold 14mm Turquoise Ring w/ Diamonds

Courtesy of Neiman Marcus 

Turquoise is the star of this statement piece, which is set in an 18k gold band with pave diamonds nestled in each claw.

SHOP NOW: Neiman Marcus, $2,900

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