What is Turquoise? Everything You Need to Know

Royston Turquoise

 

We know that nearly everyone with a December birthday loves turquoise. After all, it's their birthstone. Let's not limit our appreciation for this marvelous mineral to those born during a single month, though. Everyone should value and enjoy their beauty.

What is turquoise? Turquoise is an opaque blue-green stone (that sometimes contains yellows and reds). Its lovely colors come mainly from the hydrated copper and aluminum phosphate that partially comprise it.

Did you know that in its natural state, Turquoise is quite rare? Learn more about turquoise, its properties and uses, and the cultural beliefs that enshrine it.

What Is Turquoise and Where Is It Found?

The word "turquoise" is the French word for a female Turk. It seems appropriate since Turks buy and sell a lot of turquoise jewelry. It is not mined there, though. Turquoise only moved through Turkey from Iran (Persia) and other parts of Asia en route to Europe.

Turquoise was first mined in the Sinai Peninsula before the 4th millennium BCE. Other places where turquoise can be found include Iran, Afghanistan, China, Australia, Chile, Mexico, and the U.S. states of Arizona and Nevada.

What Is Turquoise Used for Today?

The chemical symbol for turquoise is CuAl6(PO4)4(OH)8·4H2O. If you've studied chemistry at all, you probably realize that this describes the component minerals of pure turquoise. Not all turquoise is 100% pure, however.

Michelle's stones are a type of turquoise matrix, which is any natural aggregate of turquoise interspersed with the host stone pieces. When minerals and aluminum leak through porous rock, turquoise clusters in the cracks.  We love the look of the turquoise matrix in jewelry because it adds interesting colors and flecks. 

Cultural Mythology of the Turquoise Stone

Besides its modern-day use for jewelry, through history and many cultures, turquoise has appeared in both art and everyday objects. For many, turquoise is not just decorative but also holds symbolic value.

For example, in the Ottoman Empire, turquoise was sometimes embedded in saddles due to a prevailing superstition about the stone preventing horses' falls.

In the Americas, various Native societies had myths and legends that involved turquoise—as you can see in some of these intricately detailed artifacts in museum collections.

Add Turquoise to Your Lifestyle

You might not be superstitious or believe another culture's myths. But turquoise can make you feel beautiful and happy, nonetheless. Why not have a necklace or a ring custom-made for you featuring this iconic stone?

What is turquoise, if not a fashion statement?

You might think that turquoise's brilliant colors would clash with other items in your wardrobe. Not so! Hold a piece of turquoise up to any article of clothing you own, and see if it doesn't complement that item.

If you're looking for a new piece of turquoise jewelry, or any precious or semi-precious stone, for that matter, take a look at our website. You're sure to find at least one piece you can't resist.