Turquoise is an extraordinarily popular gem that has been worn in jewelry since ancient times!
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is one of the most popular gemstones used in jewelry.
It has been mined and used for over 6,000 years - many ancient Egyptian artifacts contain turquoise.
The finest quality stones have traditionally come from Iran, where it has been mined continuously for over 3,000 years.
However, the southwestern United States, primarily Arizona has been producing some of the most valuable material recently.
There are many famous mines that produce turquoise in the area, such as the Kingman and Morenci mines, and the most well known, the Sleeping Beauty mine.
Very fine material is now being mined in China.
Turquoise is a phosphate mineral, and it gets it's vivid blue color from copper. This stone can also contain iron, which occurs as a familiar black matrix in many stones, or if it is well integrated, can give turquoise a green color.
Turquoise is very commonly treated in several different ways - mostly to seal it so it is protected from moisture and exposure to air. Most lesser quality "chalk-like" material is treated this way - it is coated with a plastic polymer after it is dyed to give it a good blue color.
This is called "stabilized" turquoise and is less valuable than natural turquoise.
Another variety is "colorshot" - powdered white turquoise is "reconstituted" by mixing it with a colored epoxy resin based adhesive, and it is pressed into blocks which are then cut into cabochons or beads.
The best material is a natural blue, which is cut and polished with a natural wax
coating to seal it.
Many people believe that turquoise has strong influence on clear, positive thought and many social attributes - friendship, trust, sincerity, strength and emotional balance.
Turquoise Care Tips
Turquoise is a very soft and porous stone, and will
be stained if it absorbs a colored liquid.
It should never be dipped or soaked in a cleaning solution. Ultrasonic or steam cleaning is not recommended. Polishing with a soft cloth is the best cleaning method.
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