Turquoise is a beautiful and rare stone valued for centuries for its unique color and striking appearance. It is commonly used in jewelry and can be found in various forms, from natural nuggets to polished beads. But it isn’t just a pretty stone – it also has a rich history and spiritual meanings that make it a truly special and powerful stone.
In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at the physical and spiritual properties of Turquoise, as well as its benefits and meanings.
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What Is Turquoise?
Turquoise is a hydrated copper aluminum phosphate mineral typically found in shades of blue and green. It is a porous and fragile stone often stabilized with resin to improve its durability.
Turquoise is commonly used in jewelry, but it has also been used in ancient times for carvings, amulets, and as a pigment in art and pottery.
The color varies from light to dark greenish blue depending on its composition and the location where it was mined. Historically the stone has been used for protection against bad luck or evil influences. It is enjoyed as a beautiful gemstone with unique characteristics that make it perfect for use in jewelry designs!
How is Turquoise Formed?
Turquoise is formed through a complex process that involves the interaction of water, minerals, and time. It typically forms in the presence of copper and aluminum-rich rocks, such as granite and sandstone, which act as the host rock for the mineral.
The process begins when water containing dissolved copper and aluminum seeps into the host rock and reacts with other minerals. This reaction causes the formation of a mineral called “crustiform turquoise” a blue-green mineral that forms in thin, crust-like layers on the surface of the host rock.
Over time, this mineral may continue to grow and develop, forming larger and more substantial masses of Turquoise. Then, as the host rock is gradually worn away by erosion, the Turquoise is exposed and can be mined.
The color of Turquoise can vary depending on the amount of copper and iron present. Some turquoise is blue, while others are green, and some are even yellow or brown. The presence of iron oxide can give Turquoise a brown or black matrix or veins, which some consider a desirable feature.
Physical Properties of Turquoise
|Mineral Group||Turquoise Group|
|Formula||CuAl6(PO4)4(OH)8 · 4H2O|
|Hardness (Mohs scale)||5 to 6|
|Refractive Index||1.610 to 1.650|
|Luster||Waxy, Dull (Earthy)|
|Specific Gravity||2.30 to 2.90|
Etymology of Turquoise
The word “turquoise” comes from the French word “turquoise” which means “Turkish stone.” This name likely came about because the stone was originally brought to Europe through Turkey. The name is derived from the French word for “Turk,” as Turkey first brought the mineral to Europe.
The original name of this stone in other languages is also similar such as “Firouzeh” in Persian means “victorious” as it was believed to bring victory to the wearer, also “Farsi” in Arabic means “Turk stone” which refers to the origin of the stone. It is also called “Xīn qīng liú” in Chinese, “Turquoise” in English, and “Turkoois” in Dutch.
Turquoise is one of the natural gemstones known for its unique color and striking appearance. It is typically found in shades of blue and green but can also be found in shades of yellow, brown, or black. The stone’s color can vary depending on the amount of copper and iron. In addition, the stone is often banded with different shades of blue and green, which makes it even more unique. Green Turquoise is one of the most beautiful and saught-after gemstones. Persian Turquoise is also a very popular stone in this family.
The stone can also have a matrix or veins of brown or black, which is caused by the presence of iron oxide. Some collectors consider this a desirable feature, as it adds to the stone’s character and uniqueness.
It is a relatively soft stone, with a Mohs hardness of 5 to 6, and it is also porous and brittle. It is not a good stone for everyday wear and tear. It is often stabilized with resin to enhance its hardiness and durability.
In terms of shape, the stones can be found in a various forms, including natural nuggets, polished beads, and cabochons. It can also be found in larger, more substantial masses, often used for carvings, amulets, and other decorative items.
Types of Turquoise
There are several different turquoise gemstones, each with unique characteristics and properties. Some of the most notable types include:
Natural Turquoise: This is the most traditional and highly sought-after type. It is found in its natural state and is not treated or enhanced in any way. The genuine piece is known for its deep, rich colors and is highly prized by collectors.
Stabilized Turquoise: This type is treated with resin to improve its durability and reduce porosity. The stabilization process can also enhance the color and matrix of the stone.
Reconstituted Turquoise: This type is created by mixing powdered stone with a binding agent, such as resin or plastic. It is then shaped and polished to create a finished stone. Reconstituted stone is known for its uniform color and texture, but it is less valuable than natural or stabilized.
Dyed Turquoise: This type is treated with dye to enhance its color. While the color may be more vibrant, it is less valuable than natural or stabilized.
Block Turquoise: This type is made from natural stone that has been stabilized and then cut into a specific shape or size. It is usually used in jewelry.
Spiderweb Turquoise: This type is characterized by its intricate web-like matrix, usually made of black or brown iron oxide. It is highly sought after by collectors and can be quite valuable.
Sleeping Beauty Turquoise: This is a very rare and highly sought-after type. It is named after the Sleeping Beauty mine in Globe, Arizona, and closed in 2012.
Synthetic turquoise: It is an artificial material that resembles the look of natural stone. It is created by combining different materials to achieve the desired color and hardness. Howlite is a white and grey-veined mineral that can be dyed to resemble a natural piece. It is often used as an imitation in jewelry and other products.
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Turquoise Value and Price
Turquoise is a valuable stone, and the price can vary depending on several factors, including carat weight, cut, clarity, and color.
Carat weight: Turquoise is usually sold by the carat, and the price per carat increases as the size of the stone increases. Larger, good-quality stones can be quite valuable.
Cut: The cut of a turquoise stone refers to its shape and how it is cut, which can affect its appearance and value. A well-cut stone will be symmetrical and have smooth, even edges.
Clarity: Turquoise is a porous stone, and it can often have natural inclusions, cracks, and matrices. The clearer the stone, the more valuable it is considered to be.
Color: Turquoise is found in various colors, and the color can affect the stone’s value. Blue is considered the most valuable color, while green and yellow are highly prized. Brown and black stones are less valuable but are still sought after by some collectors.
The most valuable gem is naturally untreated, rich, and even colored, with a spiderweb and minimal matrix. Stabilized and reconstituted are less valuable than natural ones. A dyed one is considered to be of the lowest value.
How Can You Tell if Turquoise Is Real?
There are several ways to tell if a turquoise stone is real, including visual inspections and physical tests.
Visual inspections: One of the easiest ways to tell if the stone is real is to look at it closely. Real ones should have a waxy or greasy luster and be relatively uniform in color. It may be fake if the stone has a dull, chalky appearance or a mottled or inconsistent color.
Hardness test: The stone is relatively soft with a Mohs hardness of 5 to 6. So, you can test the stone by scratching it with a harder mineral, such as quartz or glass. If the stone is scratched, it is likely, not real.
Specific gravity test: Real sample has a specific gravity of 2.6-2.9. You can determine the specific gravity of a stone by using a device called a hydrostatic balance, which measures the weight of a stone in the air and water.
UV light test: Real stone will fluoresce under long-wave UV light. If the stone does not fluoresce, it may not be real.
Acid test: It is a carbonate mineral, so it can be tested with a mild acid such as vinegar or lemon juice. If the stone is real, it will fizzle or bubble when in contact with acid.
It’s worth noting that even experts can sometimes be deceived, so it’s always best to consult with a professional appraiser or a reputable jeweler to confirm the stone’s authenticity.
What Does Turquoise Symbolize?
Turquoise has been valued for centuries for its beauty and unique properties and is associated with various symbolic meanings.
Protection: It is considered a protective stone and is believed to bring good luck and ward off negative energy. It has been worn as an amulet for centuries to protect against accidents and injuries.
Healing: It is believed to have healing properties and is said to be helpful for various ailments, including respiratory problems, headaches, and fatigue. It is thought to be a healing and balancing stone. The ancient Egyptians were one of the first cultures to mine and worked it into jewelry and ceremonial objects. Jewelry items like chakra bracelets, pendants, and rings have been valued for healing properties for thousands of years by many cultures.
Friendship and Love: The gemstone is most commonly associated with the throat chakra, which helps to enhance communication and expression. It is also associated with friendship and love. It is said to help strengthen relationships and promote communication and understanding.
Wealth and Prosperity: The stone is believed to bring wealth and prosperity and is sometimes given as a gift to bring good luck to businesses and financial endeavors.
Spiritual Connection: The gem is associated with spiritual connection and inner peace in many cultures. It is believed to help the wearer connect with their intuition and higher self and access spiritual wisdom and guidance. The Aztecs prized it for its healing properties and thought it to have the power to protect the wearer from evil.
Creativity and self-expression: The stone is said to help the wearer access their inner wisdom and creativity, allowing them to express themselves more fully and authentically.
Symbolic meanings may vary depending on the culture and can be interpreted differently by different people. For example, some people may see it as a decorative stone, while others may see it as a powerful tool for spiritual growth and healing.
Uses of Turquoise Stone
Turquoise has been used in a variety of ways throughout history, including:
Jewelry: It is a popular stone for jewelry making and can be found in various forms, including beads, necklaces, cabochons, and inlaid in silver or gold. It can be combined with other gemstones like emeralds, gold, and silver in jewelry making. It is often used in traditional Southwestern and Native American jewelry and is also popular in Middle Eastern and Persian jewelry.
Carvings and Amulets: For centuries, the stone has been used to create intricate carvings and amulets. These carvings and amulets are often used for spiritual or ceremonial purposes and are believed to bring good luck and protection.
Art and Pottery: The stone has also been used as a pigment in art and pottery for thousands of years. The green and unique blue-green colors of the stone have been used to create vibrant and striking works of art.
Home decor: The stone can be found in various home decorative items. It can be used as a mosaic, inlaid in furniture or ornaments, and as a focal point in a room.
Medicine: Stone has been used in traditional medicine for centuries and is believed to have healing properties. It is said to be helpful for various ailments, including respiratory problems, headaches, and fatigue.
Industry: It is also used in the production of ceramics, glass, and porcelain, and it is also used as a pigment in paint and other industrial applications.
From ancient Egyptians to Persians, Aztecs and many others have been dazzled by its beauty for thousands of years. Highly cherished for its emerald pigment and long legacy, it always beautified jewelry and ceremonial items. It is not just a beautiful stone but also has cultural and spiritual significance, making it an important and valuable stone.
Is Turquoise Stone a birthstone?
Turquoise is accepted as a Birthstone for December. Those who believe in its powers think it gives strength, health, and luck. According to Hindu mystics, viewing a turquoise after sighting the crescent moon guarantees unimaginable wealth.
Birthstones are not universally accepted, and different cultures and traditions have different birthstones. The idea of birthstones is believed to have originated in ancient times and has undergone several changes over the years.
How To Take Care Of Turquoise Jewelry?
Turquoise is a beautiful and unique stone often used in jewelry, but it requires special care to keep it looking its best. Here are some tips for taking care of its jewelry:
Avoid Exposure to chemicals: The gem is sensitive to chemicals, such as perfume, lotion, and cleaning products. To avoid damage, put your jewelry on after you have applied any chemical products.
Avoid water: It is sensitive to water, so it’s best to avoid wearing it in the shower, swimming pool, or while doing water activities.
Clean gently: Use a soft, damp cloth to clean your jewelry. Avoid harsh chemicals or abrasive materials, as they can damage the stone.
Store carefully: When not in use, store the jewelry in a soft cloth or a jewelry box with a soft lining to protect it from scratches and other damage.
Professional Cleaning: It’s a good idea to have the jewelry professionally cleaned and inspected every few years to ensure it is in good condition.
Repair: If you notice any damage or the setting becomes loose, take the jewelry to a professional jeweler for repair.
By following these tips, you can help ensure that your jewelry stays in good condition and continues to be a beautiful and valuable addition to your collection.
Does Turquoise have healing properties?
Turquoise is considered a calming stone and has been valued for centuries for its beauty and healing properties. In addition, the stone is believed to be helpful for various ailments, including respiratory problems, headaches, and fatigue.
Is Turquoise durable enough for everyday wear?
It is very durable and can be safely worn every day. It is enjoyed as a beautiful gemstone with unique characteristics that make it perfect for use in jewelry designs!
Can I clean my Turquoise at home?
You can clean your jewelry at home using a soft cloth and warm soapy water. However, avoid using abrasive materials or harsh chemicals, as they can damage the stone or its setting.
What color variations are available in turquoise stones?
The gemstones come in various colors, from a light greenish-blue to a deep blue with hints of mossy green. Some variations may also feature flecks of yellow or brown, and some have darker veins running through them.