What Gives Turquoise Its Unique Colour?

| 3 min read

With its captivating blue-green hue, Turquoise has fascinated civilisations for millennia and is seen as a symbol of protection, healing and prosperity.

Found primarily in arid regions across the globe, Turquoise forms over millions of years through a complex interaction of weathering, copper deposits and geological conditions. As a result, each piece of Turquoise not only tells the story of Earth's remarkable history but also showcases the natural artistry of its colour palette, ranging from sky blue to rich green and often interspersed with intricate veins of black and brown.

Turquoise Jewellery

Turquoise is renowned for its vibrant and diverse colouration, and it owes its distinct appearance to a unique blend of mineralogical processes. But before we delve deeper into how this semi-precious gem gets its colour, let's review some basic information about Turquoise. 

TURQUOISE: GENERAL INFORMATION

Turquoise is one of the birthstones for December, alongside Tanzanite and Zircon. Its name derives from the French word 'turquois', meaning 'Turkish', as the gem was historically transported to Europe through Turkey from Persian mines. 

Silver Turquoise Jewellery

This prized stone has been mined and used for thousands of years, with notable sources including Egypt and the United States. It was highly regarded by Ancient Egyptians and Native Americans and has been crafted into jewellery, amulets, and ceremonial objects in the past. Sitting at 5 to 6 on the Mohs scale, Turquoise is a delicate stone and is most often seen in a bezel or channel setting in jewellery to ensure maximum protection. 

Due to its aesthetic appeal, cultural significance and metaphysical properties, Turquoise's popularity endures today. But where do its unique colours come from? 

HOW DOES TURQUOISE GET ITS COLOUR?

Turquoise

Turquoise appears in different shades ranging from a striking sky blue to a rich grass green, often adorned with a matrix of black and brown veins. Its colours are determined by trace amounts of iron, zinc and copper inside the gem during its formation. 

THE SCIENCE BEHIND IT

Turquoise is a hydrous phosphate of aluminium and copper. It is scientifically classified as a secondary mineral, as it's created through the transformation and weathering of primary minerals cemented into stone. It forms via a sedimentary process at the Earth's surface, unlike other gemstones such as Diamond, which requires immense heat and pressure deep inside the Earth in order to crystallise.

Turquoise & Silver Jewellery 

Turquoise's formation occurs through the filtration of acidic and watery solutions into the cracks within sedimentary or volcanic rocks. Most often, these cracks contain levels of copper, iron and zinc, which can either mix with the copper and aluminium present within the solution or even replace it entirely. This natural process determines the gem's colour, and the amount of copper, iron or zinc within the chemical composition influences the shade.

We have copper to thank for Turquoise's blue colour, and iron in the place of aluminium gives the stone its green tint. If you see an entirely green Turquoise, either iron or zinc has replaced copper.

Blue Turquoise jewellery 

FINAL THOUGHTS

Owning Turquoise is like holding a piece of natural artistry, with each stone telling a unique story through its colours and patterns. Its vibrant hues enhance any jewellery collection, adding a touch of elegance and individuality to your style.

Investing in Turquoise is not only a celebration of natural beauty, but also a connection to a timeless tradition cherished by cultures all over the world. Discover our Turquoise jewellery to add this gem to your collection. Or, to find out more about this enchanting stone, read our blog on its popularity within other civilisations.

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