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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).
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).
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.
Wondering if turquoise is a good option for you? Read on to learn more about turquoise engagement rings.
Pros and Cons of a Turquoise Engagement Ring
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. As for cost, prices can vary. The Gemology Institute of America says that turquoise is judged on three basic quality factors: color, texture, and the presence or absence of matrix. Jewelry designer Grace Lee explains 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.”
What to Look for in a Turquoise Ring
Here are a few questions and answers you should know before purchasing a turquoise engagement ring.
• Are there different variations in color for turquoise engagement rings? 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 versus no matrix comes down to personal preference when choosing your stone.
• Is there a particular setting that works best? 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.”
• Can other stones be incorporated with turquoise? 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.
• What’s a good cut for a turquoise engagement ring? “Smooth Cabochon cut seems to be the most common cut for turquoise,” Lee says.
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).
Below, scroll through some of our favorite turquoise engagement rings.
ILA Felicia Turquoise and Diamond Ring
Who needs a big sparkler when you have a trio of turquoise stones to elevate your ring selfie game. To be fair, the 14K gold band is flanked with two diamonds for a pretty finish.
Sophie Jane Antique Edwardian Turquoise and Diamond Ring
Are you a modern bride looking to add a special heirloom piece to your wedding day look? This charming Edwardian ring from the 1900s consists of a round turquoise center and eight old mine cut diamonds.
Retrouvai Triple Coil Mini Compass Ring
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. In addition to a polished 14K yellow gold finish, you'll notice white diamond accents completing the triple coil silhouette.
No.3 Star Gypsy Ring
Say "I do" to this incredibly unique etched gold ring with stackable appeal. Lavish details coupled with a turquoise stone give it the royal treatment.
Yvonne Léon 9-Karat Gold, Turquoise and Diamond Ring
We're enamored with this panache-packed ring that looks like it has a story of its own. The vintage-inspired design from Yvonne Léon is made from 9-karat gold and includes a gorgeous turquoise stone with a 0.015-carat diamond bringing a hint of sparkle.