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Learning Library

Turquoise Gemstone

The gemstone  Turquoise  has  been  highly prized since Egyptian times and its name means “Turkish Stone” as it was imported to Europe  via Turkey. The colour of this historic gemstone ranges  from  a  greenish  blue  to  a  beautiful, striking sky blue and is one of several instances  where the name of a colour is derived from the name of a gemstone.

It is interesting to note that in order for it to be deemed Turquoise  it  has  to  be  of  the  highest quality. When Turquoise is mined it can often  have traces of chrome or iron set deep within it  and it is these elements which give the gemstone its unique colour.

If  Turquoise  has  definite  visible  patterns  viewable to the naked eye these are known as  “Turquoise Matrix”. The patterns are caused by  differing elements running through veins and,  more often than not, are brown, grey or even  black depending on the area the gem was mined.  As the gem is opaque, it is rarely faceted and is  usually cabochon cut or made into beads. 

Turquoise  is  said  to  have  been  mined  more  than 6000 years ago in Sinai. In Persian times  people would adorn themselves with Turquoise,  usually around the neck or on the wrist, as it was  believed the stone would prevent fatalities.

It  has  long  been  thought  to  be  a  holystone  bringing  the  wearer  good  fortune  and  a  prosperous life: even today Turquoise is thought  to  clear  the  mind  and  cheer  people  up.  Its  colourful blues denote a sense of wellbeing and  spiritual harmony.  Turquoise often gets given  as a gift to a loved one or dear friend and as  it is one of the birthstones for December, it  makes an ideal Christmas present! 

Because Turquoise is porous, when wearing  a piece it is important to avoid contact with  any chemical liquids. Therefore, it is strongly  recommended  that  any  item  of  Turquoise  should  only  be  put  on  after  showering  or  applying make-up.   It should ideally also be  kept away from heat and intense light. 

Deposits  are  found  in  a  number  of  places  around  the  globe;  these  include  America,  Mexico, Iran, Israel, China and Afghanistan.

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