The best turquoise comes from Iran and from Arizona and New Mexico, but it can be found in Australia, Afghanistan, Tibet, Israel, and China.
Turquoise (Hydrated Copper Aluminum Phosphate) can be found in a wide range of blue and green shades in places where there is a high copper content in the soil. The blue shading comes from copper and the green from iron and chromium. Veining or spotting of iron oxide on turquoise is called spider web and is especially valuable in the western and far eastern countries. In the near east, stones without it are more popular. Turquoise is formed in the earth’s crust as a secondary mineral, encrusting other rock, veined within it, or found in nuggets and nodules.
A fairly soft stone that can fade in color with exposure to skin oils, cosmetics, or light, turquoise is most often treated for protection. Stabilized turquoise (which I use) has absorbed epoxy or resin (through soaking or pressure), hardening the rock and deepening the color. Reconstituted turquoise (which I do not use) is made from powdered turquoise and binders pressed into solid pieces. Of course, naturally beautiful stones that have been stabilized are worth more than dyed or reconstituted turquoise. Despite treatment, turquoise should still be handled with care, not worn constantly, and kept away from cleaners.
Birthdays & Anniversaries:
Turquoise is a traditional birthstone for December and a talisman stone for Taurus and Sagittarius. Turquoise is the anniversary gemstone for the 6th year.
Turquoise has been mined and used as a gemstone for thousands of years, going as far back as 6000 BC when the Egyptians buried in their tombs artifacts decorated with turquoise. Turquoise was used as currency in many areas of Tibet. It was highly valued in ancient Persia, which is now Iran, the producer of the world’s highest quality turquoise. It was believed that a change in the color of the stone being worn was believed to be a warning of impending danger. Turquoise was also attributed the power to ensure material wealth. When the stone was brought to Europe, it was dubbed pierre turquoise, French for “Turkish stone,” a misnomer since turquoise isn’t actually mined in Turkey, though it was traded there.
All along the American continent, turquoise was also highly valued. Aztecs, who regarded turquoise as a holy stone, used it in ceremonial masks. North American natives sensed a strong connection between the stone and the spirits of the sky and water. It’s a Navajo belief that tossing a piece of turquoise into the water with a prayer will bring rain.
Turquoise is considered a token of friendship, promoting faithfulness and reliability. It is recommended to those with depression, for offering a boost in self-confidence, a brightening of disposition, mental and spiritual clarity, deepening wisdom, trust, kindness, and understanding. It is also known as a good luck stone and given to high-risk professionals. Turquoise is also used to help start new projects, as a motivator.