Ancient and yet always at the height of current fashion: that is
Turquoise for you. Its brilliant sky-blue belongs to the all-time
favourite trend colours in the world of fashion and jewellery.
In many cultures of the Old and New World this gemstone has for
thousands of years been appreciated as a holy stone, a
good-luck-charm or a talisman. It is a virtual "peoples’ gemstone”.
The oldest proof for this lies in Egypt, where in tombs from the
period around 3000 B.C. there were found artefacts set with
Turquoise. In the ancient Persian Kingdom the sky-blue gemstones
were originally worn around the neck or on the hand as protection to
ward off unnatural death. If the stones changed their colour, there
was an imminent danger for the wearer. However, in the meantime it
has been uncovered that Turquoises may in fact change their colour,
but this reaction is not necessarily an indication of danger
impending. The reason for the colour change is rather the influence
of light, cosmetic products, dust or even the ph-value of the skin,
which may all trigger off chemical responses.
Turquoise will protect
and let you enjoy life
In earlier times Turquoises were sometimes thought responsible for
the material wealth of their bearers. For example, Persian
philosopher Al Kazwini wrote: "The hand wearing a Turquoise and
using it as a sealing stone, will never be poor.” Turquoises were
loved as ornaments decorating turbans, often set in a border of
pearls, in order to protect the wearer from the "evil eye”.
They were used as talismans decorating daggers, scimitars or the
horses’ bridles. Turquoise came to Europe only during the time of
the crusades. And from this period comes the name "Turquoise”,
meaning simply "Turkish stone”.
Also in South, Middle and North America Turquoise has always been
enjoying a special position among gemstones. For example, the
ancient Aztecs in Northern Peru used to decorate their ceremonial
masks with this stone, a "holy stone” in their belief. The North
American Indians, who are still producing quite a few pieces of
traditional silver jewellery set with Turquoises today, believed
that the gemstone the colour of the sky would establish a direct
connection between the sky and the lakes.
At all times in history Turquoise was worn as protection to ward off
the influence of dark and evil powers. In former times thought to
protect riders and horses from accidental falls, they are nowadays
considered the ideal good-luck stones for aviators, flight staff and
other professions which need special assistance to ward off
In the contemporary teachings of the Healing Power of Stones,
wearing Turquoise is recommended to solve the problems caused by a
depressed outlook on life. The bright and happy colour is supposed
to lend self-confidence to subdued personalities, and it is also
very popular as a token of friendship, since Turquoise is reputed to
be responsible for faithfulness and reliable relationships.
The blue from copper, the green
Turquoise is a copper aluminium phosphate achieving hardness six,
thus considerably softer than quartz. It occurs naturally in all
shades ranging from sky-blue to grey-green, usually in such
locations where copper is hidden in the soil in high concentrations.
However, only the best quality Turquoises show the real turquoise
colour, which in ordinary stones is normally rather pale, blue-green
or greenish. The blue colour is caused by copper, while the green
colour is caused by iron or chromium. Often the material is veined
or shows spots, which depending on the respective occurrence are
brown, light grey or even black. These vivid, more or less regular
patterns are called the spider web. The micro-crystals are really
tiny and almost not discernible with the bare eye. Usually turquoise
occurs as encrustation, in veins or as nodules or nuggets. The most
famous occurrences are situated in the USA, Mexico, Israel, Iran,
Afghanistan and China. The most beautiful of Turquoises in wonderful
light blue are found in Northern Iran.
Turquoise is only rarely facetted. Usually it is shaped as cabochons
or as beads, or even given a fancy cut.
Wax will lend Turquoise
Turquoises are relatively soft gemstones and thus quite sensitive.
Since the colour may also fade out in the course of wearing, today
even the top qualities receive a waxing and subsequent hardening
treatment. This procedure will make the sensitive gemstone sturdier.
Turquoises which have been sealed with artificial resin are also
available in large amounts and at competitive prices. Their colour
appears fresh, and they show a high resistance. But one should be
careful, because many of these stones have been additionally dipped
in colour before being sealed, and this colouring is a kind of
treatment which according to the rules set down by ICA must be
indicated. In addition, there are also so-called "reconstructed”
Turquoises, which have been assembled from pulverised Turquoise.
Due to their high sensitivity, then, almost all Turquoises have been
treated to preserve their beauty, however, the kind of treatment
differs considerably. It makes sense, then, that naturally beautiful
stones which have simple been waxed or hardened with artificial
resin achieve higher prices and are more valuable than such stones,
which have received colour-enhancement. Valuable Turquoise jewellery
should therefore best be purchased from a jeweller you can trust.
A piece of sky in your hands
The best Turquoise quality shows a clear and light sky-blue. The
colour is highly appreciated, with or without the fine regular
spider web lines. The quality decreases with the increase of green
in colour, and the increase of spots and irregularities in the
Turquoise should be protected from cosmetics, heat and bright
daylight. The gemstone does not really appreciate sunbathing. It is
recommended to clean it from time to time after wearing with a soft
The colour of a Turquoise will make you feel happy and relaxed, for
it combines the light blue of the sky with the invigorating green of
the seas. It is so unique that the language took the stones’ very
name to describe it: Turquoise. So if you decide on a Turquoise, you
will hold a piece of the sky in your hands.