Turquoise

The word Turquoise comes from the French word "Turquie" (named after the country Turkey) as trading routes brought Turquoise from Persia through the Middle East towards Europe in the 17th century.  Turquoise can come in different shades of blue or green, and is commonly veined or mottled with brown or black oxides or a sandstone base. Some prefer colour veining while others prefer a solid-coloured deep turquoise-blue hue.

The turquoise that is found in the USA contains iron rather than aluminum, so it is actually a mixture of turquoise and chalcosiderite. Since it contains iron, it is a green color. Pure blue turquoise is rare and turquoise is mostly interspersed by brown, dark-grey or black veins, which can be sparse or dense. These veins are either the host rock or other minerals and turquoise that contains veins is referred to as "turquoise matrix". Turquoise is mined chiefly in Iran, Afghanistan, China, Australia, Chile, Mexico, and in Arizona and Nevada inthe US.

Turquoise has a long history of use as a talisman or amulet. The ancient Egyptians believed that the color blue was a symbol of regeneration, so turquoise was treasured for both decorative and superstitious purposes. Turquoise was also used by Native Americans in works of art and jewelry, some of whom believed that it possessed protective properties. The Tibetans believe in the healing properties of turquoise and have valued turquoise jewelry for centuries.

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