If there were ever any doubts about turquoise’s deluxe reputation, the slew of turquoise jewels that debuted during Las Vegas Jewelry Week in early June quelled them—and then some.
For decades, the hard stone wore its Southwestern connection on its sleeve. Set in folksy bolo ties, chunky silver cuffs, and spectacular Navajo-style squash blossom necklaces, not to mention in scores of inexpensive beaded pieces, the gem exuded a dusty, rough-hewn charm.
Then designers around the world took a liking to it—especially the variety known as Sleeping Beauty, whose Platonic sky-blue hue remains sought-after even though the mine, in Globe, Ariz., stopped producing over a decade ago.
The turquoise jewels that occupy the highest realms of the designer jewelry universe now regularly feature the gem set in 18k yellow gold, peppered with diamonds and the occasional colored stone (turquoise and pink sapphire is an especially popular pairing, followed closely by the blue gem combined with white onyx, white agate, cocholong, or other white hard stones for a super summery look).
However it’s featured, turquoise boasts a newfound sophistication that is impossible to deny—with nary a bead in sight.
Top: Bracelet in 18k yellow gold with diamonds and Sleeping Beauty turquoise, $54,550; Aletto BrothersFollow JCK on Instagram: @jckmagazine
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