Monday, December 7, 2009
GEMSTONE OF THE MONTH - TURQUOISE
From the days of the Aztecs to the present day, the turquoise gemstone has been around for millennia adorning everyone from Egyptians to Native Americans.
Mined around the world, including China, Israel, and Mexico, the copper aluminum phosphate is found in copper-rich soil and is best known for its pure blue color.
Of course, like many gemstones depending on its composition its color can range from mint green to neon yellow to white. The variation in color is caused by the amount of copper, iron, or aluminum present in the soil.
Widely known as a "sensitive" stone, turquoise nuggets are often treated with clear wax in order to preserve its color as well as increase hardness and durability.
It is also important to handle turquoise items with great care to promote longevity as body oils, heat, and extreme light pose a detrimental effect on the stones.
Believed to be a stone of good fortune, turquoise was worn by ancient Persians to protect against the evil eye, a sudden violent death, and dark forces.
Turquoise is used in gemstone therapy to alleviate depression, and increase confidence. The most valuable turquoise is a pure blue tone without veins or a matrix--as veins are also called--most turquoise of this quality are mined in Nevada.
One of the world's largest known turquoise nuggets was found in Sante Fe, New Mexico and is prominently featured in one of the local stores.
Photo (top left): Blue Turquoise Nugget