Turquoise is one of the oldest known semi precious gemstones known to man. This popular gemstone is opaque, clear and transparent. This stone was used to make jewelry for the Pharaohs of Egypt and also used as jewelry to compliment the ceremonial dress of the early native Americans. It is said that this stone was used to make jewelry as early as 5000 B.C.
In India turquoise is known as ‘phiroza’ and ‘December birthstone’. In ancient Mexico turquoise was believed to be a stone of the Gods. In Asian countries like India, Persia and Afghanistan, people had a belief that wearing Turquoise promoted good health, prosperity and protected one against evil. In Persia people believed that the reflection of the moon when seen on a turquoise stone would bring good luck to the person wearing it.
Turquoise is a blue stone; however the color varies from shades of green to yellowish gray. The most attractive blue turquoise is said to be the idiosyncratic ‘robin’s egg blue’, ‘Persian blue’ or ‘sky blue’. The color of this gem depends on porosity. If the porosity is quiet high, there is a possibility that the gem may fade off. The luster is feeble and waxy and is made up of hydrated copper and aluminum phosphate.
Turquoise is an opaque stone formed by the deposits of circulating water or found as a granular veins running inside rocks. It is also found among sandstone and the limonite deposits because of which matrixes of brown or black are formed. Several times these stones may not be found without these matrixes and the value of the stone comes down if the matrix is present. The stone is usually cut into dome shaped pieces. However, they may also be custom cut in oval or round shapes which are used in inlay work and designer jewelry. Turquoise bracelets, necklaces, tings, earrings and beaded necklaces are quiet famous and are a favorite of many.
There are many stones like howelite, stained chalcedony, variscite, smithsonite, dyed jasper, etc. which resembles turquoise and there are quite a few synthetic turquoise stone that are available as well.
Turquoise stones should be handled with care as their luster and color may fade if they are exposed to sunlight or other strong lights for long durations of time. They should also be kept away from strong chemicals and hot water.
This stone is found in Iran, China, Tibet and Southwestern United States, Siberia, Australia and Europe. The best quality turquoise is said to be found in Neyshabur in Iran.
It is said that when you gift this stone to someone you send them a message saying that “forget me not” and it is a best gift that can be given for anniversaries.