Are you interested in finding a gemstone that’s nothing short of timeless? Turquoise is one of the oldest gemstones known to man, having been mined since 3,200 BC. Everyone from Egyptian Pharaohs to Native Americans have embraced this brilliantly shaded gem, which ranges in color from blue to gray-green.
In terms of consistency, turquoise is a copper aluminum phosphate. Turquoise is typically formed from the chemical reaction that happens when water rich in certain minerals leaks through a rock, forming veins that later turn into turquoise. The mineral is categorized as a phosphate of aluminum, which typically also includes a small percentage of copper. It’s the copper however, that gives turquoise it’s blue color. If a turquoise gemstone has more of a green hue, this is because the mineral has more iron content. If the turquoise is a yellow tone, this is due to the presence of zinc.
Historically, turquoise has been regarded as possessing healing powers and even having the ability to enhance the wealth of the wearer and improve their social status. Turquoise is also thought to have the power to bring good luck and protect the wearer from evil spirits.
As a means of improving both color and durability, turquoise is often times treated with plastic. It can also be found treated with colorless oil or wax, although these are not as stable as plastic, so are less commonly used. Turquoise can also be dyed as a means of improving its vibrancy, but this is considered to be an unstable enhancement.
Special care must be taken for all types of turquoise, even if it is of the enhanced variety. This is a particularly porous gemstone, and has the ability to absorb nearly anything it comes in contact with. You should be particularly careful with your turquoise around cosmetics, perfumes, skin oil, acids, and other chemicals. Try to avoid letting it get dehydrated or exposing it to too much heat, if possible. By caring for your turquoise gemstones properly, they can last a lifetime, making them worthy of passing down to the next generation.