Wednesday, October 24, 2012

What's the deal with turquoise?

Turquoise is a bit of an enigma to me. It's a stone, but is it mined? Is it found loose on the ground?



  • Turquoise is easily identified. The gemstone itself is a bright blue, close to the color of a robin's egg. Found only near copper deposits, turquoise is made in rocks containing aluminum ions. Once water is introduced to the base rock, a reaction takes place and the turquoise stone is formed. It is because of these chemical reactions that turquoise often has copper or aluminum veins running throughout the stone.


  • The earliest mentions of the stone come from ancient Egyptians who began mining the gemstones about 8,000 years ago. The Persian empire, now present-day Iran, mined turquoise. Persian turquoise was known for a long time to be the pinnacle of the mined turquoise. Native tribes in the southwestern United State and Mexico also found and mined this stone to use in jewelry and decoration. Today a majority of turquoise is mined in the southwestern U.S. and Iran.

Read more: Where Does Turquoise Come From? |

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