Borrowing colours from the sky, turquoise has an enigma that’s rarely seen in any other gem. With a smooth and shiny surface combined with its exceptionally brilliant colours, it makes for the perfect idea of unique jewellery. As popular as it is, there’s still a lot more that you need to know and learn about it. We have collected a reservoir of all that you wish to know about this spell-binding jewel.
Blue as the sky and smooth like the mirror, turquoise is a gem that is loved and coveted by plenty. Its gorgeous hue in combination with the unique patterns make it so beautiful that no other gem parallels its beauty. With webbing and veins making it seem much prettier, every stone in the range is different than the other. The gem is primarily known for its gorgeous blue colour, which has a shade named after it, called “turquoise blue.” Seemingly affordable, it is a favourite stone of all jewellery enthusiast and a lovable selection of designers. There are a lot of things that the stone is famous for, and we’re going to list them for you here. Come and read about the stunning gem and all there is to know about its famed tales of beauty.Shop Turquoise Jewellery
Origin and Supply of Turquoise
The term has been derived from an old French word “turquois,” which translates in to “Turkish.” This was said so because the shiny and perfect-looking gem was imported to Europe from Turkey, where is was famous of. The name was given as old as in the 17th century.
Turquoise is a gorgeous opaque gemstone that is rare to find in high-grade quality. It has been composed of hydrated phosphate of copper and aluminium. It can be categorised as a mineral and is available in a stunning blue-green colour. It is usually seen to be found in arid regions where the land is barren and dry.
When it comes to the supply of this beautiful stone, its gemstone-quality specimens are rarely found. There are only a few regions where you can mine the high-grade and fine-quality jewels. In fact, turquoise’s varieties are sometimes also categorised by their origins! Below are some of the more popular origins of it.
Arizona – Both Mojave Turquoise as well as Sleeping Beauty Turquoise are being mined from the state of Arizona, USA. Sleeping Beauty Turquoise is called so as the mountain from where it is mined resembles quite closely to the shape of a woman lying on her back with her arms closed. The mine started operating about 40 years ago, when it was dug up to locate copper and gold. Other source in Arizona itself is Arizona Kingman Mine, which is popular and famously known for the rare, prized, and extraordinary Mojave turquoise.
Iran – Previously known as Persia, the country is extremely popular for its finest grade of the said gemstones. Persian turquoises have an exceptional brilliance of both colour and texture. These extraordinary features are the reason why they are counted among the most expensive varieties of the stone. Major mines of the jewel are located near the city called Nishapur.
How is Turquoise Mined?
The procurement of turquoise is usually done using heavy machinery. Light explosives are used to break the surface of Earth and promising veins are located that might carry the beautiful gem. Then the rubble is raked and small rocks carrying the stone are collected. Even though using dynamite and other explosives offers a higher yield, it is destructive if you wish to locate bigger sizes. Turquoise has stability that is only a little bit more durable than that of glass, so explosives cause damage to the size.
Commercially, only a single location has been placed in Iran, from where they mine the beautiful gem, and it is located in a small section of Ali-Mersai Mountain Range, which lies just on the outside of the city called Mashhad. More turquoise is mined from popular locations in Arizona as well as Nevada, where the gem is only the by-product of mines that are dig up to locate copper and gold.
Properties of Turquoise
Famous and coveted for its brilliant blue-green colour, the stone is quite popular in the market for beautiful jewellery. Smooth, soft, and pale blue, there are more things and features about the stone that you need to know. In this section, we’re going to list all the factors and qualities of this stunning gem that affect its value. Read to know just how you can determine the value of your own stone:
Among the most noticeable features is the turquoise colour. The gem is known for its blue-green hue that can be seen in almost all specimens. However, that’s not the only colour that is available in. The gem sees many other bright and vibrant shades, most of which are featured in its variety called Mojave Turquoise. Other than that, you may also note webbing and/ or copper veining that make its aesthetics more appealing. That said, the most popular shade you’ll find is blue. Other rarer stones feature a lime green-blue colour slightly green-ish blue, too.
Another feature of turquoise is its clarity, or lack thereof. It is a gem that is only found in opaque clarity. In some extremely rare cases, you may locate a stone that is semi-translucent. The major factors affecting its clarity are the webbing and veining that are seen on its surface. Available in smoothened cabochon forms, these stones are among the few stones that are make the cut famous, and not the other way.
Due to its smooth and polished nature, the stone looks best in cabochon forms. The most popular cuts of this stone are smaller, given its soft nature. You may find lots of different shapes in the cabochon, like round, cushion, heart, circle, and many more. In other variances, you may also find popularity in its beaded forms. Many designers experiment and also deliver oval or oblong beads, which bring a fresh wave of new cuts in the field.
Lastly, the quality of turquoise is also affected by its carat weight. Turquoise is available in a whole range of sizes, from the small versions to rarely seen bigger specimens. However, carat doesn’t have a lot of effect on fluctuation of prices of these stones. You may find the gem in several carats from as little as 1 to even 5 or 6!
Turquoise Gemstone Treatment - Like many other gemstones, turquoise too, undergoes treatments. One of the most popular of these treatments is oiling or waxing. In this, a sheen layer of smoothening oil or wax is applied for a “wetting” effect. This forms a layer on the stone, which enhances its lustre and colour both. Other noted treatment is stabilization, where epoxy or resin is filled on the stone to make it more durable. This is done because naturally, turquoise is a relatively softer stone.
Turquoise Best Paired With
The lush and beautiful blue shade of this stone can be seen paired with a whole lot of other gemstones, too. Its light tones make it easy to be paired with many other colours. Turquoise blue is best to be matched with colours that are stronger than it or that are absolutely clear, so the blue is more enhanced. Below, we have mentioned a few of the more popular combinations as seen with this stunning gemstone:
Sky Blue and Night Stars – Turquoise and Diamonds
Among all the other combinations, the contrast of blue and white is the most loved. The lovely hues of turquoise are more noted and brilliant when they’re placed in the dazzling company of white diamonds. You will note many diamond and turquoise designs that have made trends in the market. To make matter even more luxurious, you may also find designs featuring premium metal tones. Some of the more popular ones are traditional yellow gold and classy platinum, while more affordable ones are silver, rose gold, rhodium, and a few more.
Blue Tones – Turquoise with Other Blue Gems
Another gorgeous combination you will popularly note is of turquoise in different-toned clusters. Seeing that it is available in a whole lot of different cuts, designers love playing with its sizes. You will popularly find several designs that feature different tones of the colour blue. Varying from the intense shades of sapphires, there are also lighter-hued stones like apatite and aquamarine that look absolutely perfect with the said stone. Lighter tones of other gem seem to bring more attention to the patterns seen on turquoise itself.
Healing Properties of Turquoise
Turquoise has been known as probably the oldest stone known to mankind. Over the centuries, it has been seen worn as talisman or amulet to ward off negativity. It has also been found in ancient remains of Egypt, where it was believed to harbour lots of metaphysical and healing powers. It is believed to be the first stone ever mined and holds a sacred and holy place in the beliefs of Native Americans. Beliefs as old as centuries have led us to believe that the stone is a powerhouse of several healing properties. Below are mentioned some of the more popularly known benefits of decorating it as well as wearing it.
Decorating Turquoise Gemstone
The powerful stone has been known to symbolise independence and freedom. Some believe that by keeping it in the bedroom, it may bring you calmness and peace. The pale blue and sky hues not only look lovely but also have a pleasing effect on the psyche.
Another benefit of it has been noted when it is placed in workplaces. It is believed that placing the stone in your office might help you a lot with making big decisions. It also aids in leadership as well as keeps you away from unwise investments or decisions.
There are several people who believe that turquoise is the best stone for travellers. They believe it protects you from theft, attacks, or accidents. Some even believe that it also protects your pet! As for meditational purposes, it holds high grounds in that area, too. It is believed that turquoise is ground-keeping stone. It keeps you rationalized and keeps you away from air-headedness. It brings peace to the mind while you’re meditating and prevents any distractions or interruptions.
Wearing Turquoise Gemstone
When it comes to wearing the stone, the benefits believed are truly countless. Most of them are believed because this is perhaps the oldest gemstone known to humanity. It is associated with immense power and strong energies. Therefore, wearing it will always have the best healing and metaphysical benefits.
Turquoise was reputed for a unique trait by the ancient Turkish. It was believed that it seems to change colour, depending on the health of the individual. If the wearer is healthy, the colour is vibrant and bright blue. The stone seems to lose colour as and when the health depletes and goes almost colourless when the wearer lives no more. This was used to signify the health of the wearer for a while.
Other benefits associated with wearing the stone have to do with its powerful protective powers. Turquoise is believed to be fantastically powerful if it is worn as an amulet or a talisman. People claim that it effectively wards off the evil eye or the harmful emotions. It is also believed that people in ancient times wore it to protect their falls from horses.
Other Gems Like Turquoise
The redeeming features of the stone are its beautiful colours as well as the smooth surface that resembles a mirror in the best-grade specimens. The sky-blue colour looks absolutely bespoke when placed in jewellery ideas. The seemingly affordable stone is abundantly available. However, if you don’t wish to flaunt this particular gem, there are several stones just like it. Below, we have mentioned a few of the gemstones that flaunt the colour and cabochon property as perfectly as that of turquoise.
Blue Stones Like Turquoise
If you’re loving the stone for its colour, there are so many stunners that have the same colour as this. That said, you may not find the webbing or veining in these other stones. Here’s a list of popular stones that have blue colour similar to those of turquoise blue.
Available in both beaded as well as crystalline forms, apatite is a stone that is popularly loved for its stunning and bright blue colours. The open-sky hues come extremely close to those of turquoise, but the stone does not display any other patterns on it. Known to be slightly cheaper, these stones are the fancy of countless.
Incredibly poplar and loved for their oceanic hues, aquamarine is a stone that everyone knows and acknowledges for its beauty. The stone features stunning tones of blue colour that look spectacular sitting in company with other stones or metal finishes. The pale blue colour of aquamarine is also extremely similar to the shining blue of turquoise.
Gems with Smoothness Like Turquoise
If you’re seeking stones that are very much like turquoise itself, we have a list for that, too. The below-mentioned stones can be easily used in place of turquoise, given their charming bright blue colour. Some of them even display some extent of webbing or veining.
Alarmingly similar to not only the colour of turquoise, but also the patterns seen on it, howlite is a stone that is commonly known as an extremely cheaper alternate. It has been noted in the stunning blue colour as well as sharp green colour. The blue variety also displays dark-hued patterns on it, which makes it stand out beautifully in designs.
Smooth and blue just like turquoise, amazonite is a lovable stone seen in plenty jewellery ideas and designs. It features several different shapes as well as sizes. However, it lacks the valuable property of turquoise that displays other colours and patterns on the stone, too. That said, it has been the popular choice of countless, and it all comes down to its delightful colours.
Yet another gemstone that looks much like turquoise is agate. It is a stone available in several colours and among them is also the beautiful blue. In some specimens, you may also have patterns on this stone that look very much like, if not the same, as turquoise. It may even have darker varieties if blue, if you’re seeking those.
Yet another stunning blue stone that is available in smooth cabochon forms, larimar is loved and adored for its bespoke bright hues that are straight from your best dreams. It also displays clouding of white, which makes it even more beautiful. Some might observe a lighter colour of it, as compared to turquoise.
What to Remember While Buying Turquoise?
Even though turquoise is a comparatively cheaper stone, there are still lots of tips and advises that you can never have too much of. It always seems to be helpful when you know a little bit about the stone beforehand as you go out shopping for it. Here are mentioned a few tips and tricks that will bring you the best grade for your buck:
1. First and foremost, you need to educate yourself about the stone. If you’re going out specifically to buy this, know about it as much as you can. Having more information on it may ensure that it has a better quality for the price you’re paying.
2. Another tip is to try determining the value by yourself. Like most of the other gemstones, turquoise has distinguishable 4Cs, too. These quality factors are colour, cut, carat, and clarity. Study the affecting factors as they’re described above in detail.
3. Most of the gemstones in today’s circulating market have gone under some sort of treatment. There is a high possibility that your stone, too, has been through some process that enhances it colour or stability. Always ask your jeweller about the treatment before investing in the gem.
4. No turquoise is alike the other stone of the same family. It will always have some difference in colour or patterns. Whereas, the imitations have perfectly same colour and patterns as the other.
5. Origin of your stone is also extremely valuable. Turquoises mined from different locations have different prices. The specimens mined from Nevada will always be cheaper than the stones that are procured from Iran (Persia.) Know where your stone comes from.
6. Best qualities of the stone boast of AA, AAA, or AAAA grade. These mean that the stone has barely been through any treatment and is presented in its completely natural form. These stones are extremely rare, and therefore, usually higher priced.
7. Turquoise ranks extremely low on the Mohs Scale of Hardness (only 5-6.) This means that the stone is tougher than glass, and by only a little grade. Make sure that the stone you’re buying features the same strength as imitations usually have a different structure and stability.
8. Natural turquoise is always a lot more expensive than the treated pieces. If you’re getting an astounding price bargain for your gem even though dealer claims it’s real, then beware. Only the treated stones come in cheap.
9. Turquoise is a water-based stone. It is formed over the years as rainwater falls on the mountains and is collected in the rocks of aluminium and copper. This results in the brilliant streaking, too. Know that your stone will always be slightly porous due to this construct.
10. If the dealer is claiming that what you’re being given is natural turquoise, know that your stone is going to change its colour when it is exposed to detergent, water, and some other chemicals, too. If it doesn’t, it’s not natural.
Facts About Turquoise
There are so many fun facts and light pieces of information about this stone that make it so much more loved. Below, we have mentioned some of the lesser heard facts about the stone:
- Birthstone Turquoise has been assigned for the month of December. Other days when you can gift it are 5th and 11th wedding anniversary. It is believed that it will bring good luck and prosperity and fortune to the wearer.
- The stone is actually believed to be among the oldest stones found by and known to humanity. In fact, many gorgeous specimens have been noted in Egyptian temples and palaces, used as décor.
- Ancient Persians associated the colour change of turquoise with health of the wearer. They believed that if the colour was bright and even, it meant that the wearer is healthy. As the stone lost it colour, it signified depleting health, and when it comes to almost white, it usually meant the death of wearer.
- It is believed that the stone is formed over years in barren lands and arid rocks, where water slowly seeps into rocks rich with aluminium and copper. It is because of the presence of these that it gets it colours and patterns.
- In ancient times, the stone was also associated with masculinity as well as nobility. It was believed that every rich man or aristocrat had do wear a stunning piece of this noticeable gem. This would signify of their wealth and manners.
- It is popularly believed that the stone gets it name from the colour “turquoise blue.” However, this is not true. The name actually has French origin and translates into Turkish. This is because in older times, the stone was imported into Europe from Turkey.
- Native Americans consider it to be a sacred stone. They continue to believe that it holds an incredible amount of positivity and power. This might be a reason why most shamans in their culture are seen wearing it.
- Turquoise ranks very low on the Mohs Scale of Hardness. It only ranks at 5-6, which means that it has a very weak structure. Some might even say that it has hardness only a little more than glass.
- Persian Turquoise, which are known to be mined in Iran (previously known as Persia,) are the most expensive variety of the stone. They’re rare and the country has restrictions against its export, which make it extremely valued.
- The gem is considered to be among the most prized gems of Tibet. They believe that by wearing it, it may protect the wearer from evil and negative energies. This is why you’ll note its popular use in amulets and talismans.
Frequently Asked Questions About Turquoise
There are lots of questions and mysteries about this commonly loved gemstone. We have collected all the popularly asked questions and tried to answer then all for you.
1. Does Turquoise Have Gold in It?
No, even though some of its varieties may have gold tinge in streaks, it doesn’t mean that the stone has gold. Most of these deposits are copper. The boulders that turquoise come from rocks that are rich in copper and aluminium, hence the streaks of gold.
2. What Is the Most Valuable Colour of Turquoise?
The most precious colour of this gem is considered to be in medium blue. The absence of matrix just makes it even more beautiful. If it comes in a shape that offers great polishing, its value will instantly shoot up.
3. What Is Sleeping Beauty Turquoise?
A precious and beautiful variety of the stone that is mined from Sleeping Beauty mines, located in Arizona, USA. The mines are called so because the shape of the mountain where they’re located resembles the silhouette of a woman lying on her back, with her hands crossed.
4. What Is Turquoise Stone Good For?
Since ancient times, the gem is known to harbour lots of powers and benefits. It is believed to be the stone of protection and is often worn as talisman or amulet. Many believe that it offers good luck and positivity to the wearer.
5. Is Turquoise A Birthstone?
Yes, turquoise has been assigned as birthstone of the month of December. It was added to the list back in the year 1912. Many believe that by wearing it, people born during the month may wear luck, joy, and happiness.
6. What Does the Stone Turquoise Symbolise?
To many, this gem symbolises protection and strength. To many others, its open-sky hues represent freedom and independence. Ancients also wore the gem as a protective stone that keeps them away from evil eye.
7. Where is Turquoise Most Commonly Found?
The gorgeous blue gem is found in several locations spanning across the globe. Most of its reserves are found in arid and barren areas. As of current, the most popular mines of it are placed in Arizona, Iran, Mexico, China, Chile, and Australia.
8. Does Turquoise Scratch Easily?
Turquoise ranks extremely low on the Mohs Scale of Hardness, which is only at 5-6. This means that the gem is extremely susceptible to damage and cracks upon impact. Its low durability makes it very to be chipped off or scratched.
9. How Do I Clean My Turquoise Jewellery?
It is not advisable for you to place your stone in water, and most of it has to do with the fact that it has water elements in it. To clean your stone, you can dampen a cloth or a brush and very gently scrape off the grime. Clean the stone once again using a lightly damp cloth. Do not place in in water for a long time.
10. How Can You Tell Real Turquoise from Fake?
There are some extremely easy tricks for that. If your stone is in the beaded form, check its insides; if it’s white, then your stone is probably a fake. Also, if there are small bubbles in your stone, it is more probably made from glass.