What is turquoise? Since 3000 BCE, turquoise has been valued all over the world for its beauty. It is commonly used in jewelry and other adornments.
What is Turquoise? – Chemistry
What is turquoise? Turquoise is made up of three elements:
These metals can be found in different concentrations, depending on where the turquoise rock is mined, and the chemical composition affects the color. For example, a higher concentration of iron will lend a strong green tint, while a higher copper content will make the stone more blue.
Few would call turquoise rough. Turquoise rock is fairly soft. In fact, it is only slightly harder than window glass. If you wear turquoise jewelry, be careful not to scratch or chip it!
What is Turquoise? – History
The ancient Egyptians were probably the first culture to take advantage of what is turquoise. They used the stone in jewelry and decoration. Egyptian turquoise is noted for its almost translucent color, which is unlike turquoise rock from anywhere else in the world.
In Persia (now modern-day Iran and Turkey), turquoise has been mined for more than 2000 years. It was considered to protect the wearer against harm and unnatural death, so it was often used in shields and knife hilts. Turquoise rock from this area of the world tends to be a very intense, pure blue color. While fighting in this region during the Crusades, Europeans discovered turquoise and brought it home with them. The word “turquoise” comes from the French, meaning “Turkish stone.”
Inhabitants of the southwestern United States and northern Mexico also mined turquoise rock and used it for decoration. In recent years, turquoise from this region has become more common, and it is often used in silver jewelry.
These cultures prized turquoise for its beauty, and for the healing and protective powers they believed it possessed. Take a look at the rest of our site to learn more about turquoise rock’s properties and the ways it can affect wearers.
What is Turquoise? – Care
What is turquoise? It is a beautiful, versatile stone, but it requires some special care. Jewelers and distributors sometimes treat turquoise rock with substances like oil, water, and wax, to make the stone more durable and enhance its color. Some of these methods are controversial, but many simply stabilize the stone and make the blue or green shade more intense. To keep turquoise jewelry in good condition, do not expose it to direct sunlight for prolonged periods of time, as this could alter the color. If wearing turquoise jewelry, be careful to avoid hitting or scratching it on hard objects. When thinking about what is turquoise remember it is a soft stone that can be easily damaged.