The history and origin of Turquoise
One of the most popular stones throughout the ages has been Turquoise. Although Turquoise has been around for thousands upon thousands of years (known to man since at least 6,000 BC), it is still very popular and always seems to be in fashion.
Turquoise was a favorite stone of the Ancient world, primarily Ancient Egypt and Persia. The ancient Egyptians used the stone for its protective qualities and thought that it would protect one from doom and an untimely death. It was also thought to make one less vulnerable and was aptly placed on swords, turbans and knives.
The word Turquoise is a French word that means stone from Turkey. It seems incredible, but Turquoise was unknown to the Europeans up until the crusades – hence the name.
Turquoise is known for its beautiful hue of blue. The finest colored Turquoise are usually sky blue, however turquoise does come with some green in it. Turquoise can even be greenish-grey. Turquoise is considered an aluminum phosphate and it should be noted that its beautiful blue hues come from the element of copper. Greens in Turquoise are usually from the element iron. While it does come in crystal form, they are extremely rare. You will most likely find Turquoise as a grainy opaque stone that is Cryptocrystalline.
Turquoise makes excellent looking jewelry; however, it is usually treated to protect the stone. Wax or a clear resin normally covers the stone to protect it. However, Turquoise can be enhanced either with coloring or reconstituted from Turquoise dust. While clear resin or wax will not reduce the price, color enhancements, will greatly reduce the value of the stone.
What is Turquoise used for?
Turquoise is one of the oldest gemstones known to man. It was very popular during the days of Ancient Egypt and Ancient Persia and amazingly is still extremely popular today. This fact, states something about the timeless beauty of Turquoise, its warm blue hues are irresistible to no matter what period of time we live in. Turquoise is mainly used today as ornamental jewelry, however in the past it was associated with a long list of magical and mystical qualities.
Turquoise is an aluminum phosphate and while it can come in crystal form, is usually overwhelmingly opaque and grainy in nature (Cryptocrystalline). Turquoise comes in a variety of colors, however it’s most amazing and most valuable color is that of sky blue. Turquoise can be bluish green or even greenish- grey. Generally speaking, the greener seen in the gemstone, the less valuable it is. In addition to the color, there are sometimes veins or blotches that run through the gemstone. This is usually called the Turquoise Matrix, a wonderful Turquoise Matrix will enhance the beauty of the stone making it more valuable.
Today, Turquoise is made into a variety of ornamental jewelry, mainly in cabochons or beads. In the past, it was adored for its beauty, but also for its magical and mystical properties. For instance, it was said by the Ancient Egyptians to ward off untimely, unnatural death. It was also said to make one invulnerable and placed on body armor, turbans, swords and knives. It was also good for marital fidelity and made one emotionally stable. Even today, many people wear Turquoise as a talisman to ward of evil, it is seen many times worn by individuals that are employed in risky or dangerous professions.
How and where is Turquoise formed and found?
One of the most timeless gemstones to be worn throughout the ages is Turquoise. Turquoise is a beautiful sky-blue gemstone that is usually opaque in appearance and has wonderful blotches and veins. It has been a favorite for many people and while extremely popular in the ancient world (especially Ancient Egypt and Persia) continues to be popular for today’s fashion sensibilities as well.
Turquoise is an aluminum phosphate. It can be both crystal form or Cryptocrystalline, however, the vast majority is Cryptocrystalline. Turquoise is found in areas where there is a high concentration of copper. In fact, the element of copper is what gives Turquoise its beautiful blue hues. Besides beautiful blues, Turquoise can come in greens as well, such as bluish greens or even greenish – grays. Iron is what gives Turquoise its green color. Other minerals that are sometimes associated with Turquoise are Limonite, Quartz and Pyrite.
It should be noted that Turquoise is a softer gemstone and usually only scores a 5 to 6 on the Mohs hardness scale. While it is worn frequently for ornamental jewelry purposes, a resin or wax is usually added to protect the stone. Turquoise generally has a dull luster that without any sealant is very waxy to the touch.
While Turquoise is found in places with high concentrations of copper, it is mostly mined in Northern Iran, the Southwest of the United States, Pakistan, Mexico, Israel and China. It should be noted that the highest quality Turquoise, that of sky blue is usually found in Northern Iran and sometimes in the Southwest of America.
The different colors, shapes and sizes that Turquoise comes in
One of the most popular gemstones to grace the earth has been Turquoise. Since the beginning of civilization, dating back to 6,000 BC, Turquoise was used as a beautiful ornamental stone. Turquoise was original worn and treasured in Ancient Egypt and Ancient Persia and it wasn’t until the crusades that Europeans learned about this great stone. Turquoise is a French word that means Turkish stone.
Turquoise comes in a variety of hues; however, it is the sky blue that is most treasured. Other hues consist of bluish green and a greenish grey. However, the greener present, the less valuable the stone. Turquoise also has beautiful blotches and veins called Turquoise Matrix, this can enhance the beauty of the stone and ultimately the price.
Most Turquoise sold today comes in the Cryptocrystalline form, meaning it is opaque and grainy in appearance. Almost all Turquoise sold today is covered in either wax or a sealant to protect the stone. Turquoise is softer than most stones and must be protected so that it can be worn on a daily basis. Usually wax nor clear resin will not reduce the value, however if the Turquoise is dipped into a color solution or made from reconstituted Turquoise (Turquoise dust), the value will be reduced greatly.
Turquoise can come in large sizes, while crystals are very rare, opaque forms do come in larger pieces that are usually used to compliment other gemstones or precious metals. For instance, Native American Indians use the combination of Turquoise and silver. It should be noted that Turquoise is usually not set in rings, it is mostly used in either cabochon or bead shapes.