An Artist's Choice: Where is Turquoise Found?
Turquoise has been used in jewelry and for adornment almost since jewelry was a thing. Beads discovered in Iraq trace back to 5000 B.C. It was also prevalent in ancient Egyptian civilization during the same period of time.
Turquoise gets its name from a French term that means 'Turkish Stone.' It refers to the trade routes that originally brought turquoise to Europe. Nowadays, it is so widely known that its name is synonymous simply as a color.
Turquoise is one of Michelle's favorite stones to work with. She sources stones from several specific mines (with unique properties) to make her beautiful rings and pendants.
Just What is Turquoise?
Scientifically speaking, turquoise is a hydrous phosphate of aluminum and copper. As one of the few naturally-occurring blue minerals, turquoise became a staple in the gemstone market. Unlike a gemstone, it is opaque with a waxy sheen. The color can range from nearly white, a light robin-egg blue, blue-green, and even a green-yellow color.
Where is Turquoise Found?
Turquoise is found in arid climates. The majority of turquoise mines are found in a handful of locations: Mexico, Egypt, Iran, China, Chile, and the southwestern United States.
Turquoise comes in a spectrum of colors, and like some of our favorite diamonds, they can come with mineral inclusions. The specific locale of where it's mined often denotes the color. These are Michelle's favorite mines that she works with all the time:
- Royston Turquoise Mine in Nevada permits the public to enter and find their own turquoise! Stones found here range in color from emerald green to soft blue. The story goes that Tiffany & Co was inspired by the stone's colors coming from this mine in creating their signature blue. Stones from this mine are often two-tones with a golden-brown matrix around the blue and green. It always looks beautiful set it gold.
- Kingsman Mine in Arizona is home to a unique pyrite-flecked turquoise. It gives the appearance of gold sprinkled throughout. You'll also occasionally find stones with a black matrix that contrasts with a vibrant blue.
- Sleeping Beauty Mine in Globe, Arizona, is one of North America's largest mines. It produces a recognizable, sought-after hue of light blue turquoise with no matrix - just pure turquoise.
- Number 8 Mine in Nevada yields turquoise with a dramatic matrix and lacy, almost spiderweb-like inclusions.
What is Turquoise Famous For?
Since its earliest discovery, turquoise has been used ornamentally to represent wisdom, nobility, and immortality.
In North America, turquoise objects were highly regarded among the Native Americans and traded widely. It was used to guard sacred burial sites, based on the idea that turquoise signified the God of the sky alive in the earth.
These days, turquoise is popular in various energy and spiritual healing therapies within the higher consciousness community. Its most prevalent use is jewelry. Turquoise stones make for beautiful necklaces, rings, and earrings.
Add Some Turquoise to Your Life
As you can see, not all turquoise is created equal. Different geographical locations, mines, and treatment processes yield different results.
Are you ready to add a new piece or two to your turquoise collection? Browse the online collection, or contact us for a custom-designed piece.