One of the first gemstones to be mined, Turquoise has long been prized for its intense colors, which vary greatly from sky blue to green, depending on the quantities of iron and copper found in it. Even though turquoise is found around the world, the right type of minerals must be in just the right place for a very long time (millions of years) before Turquoise is finally created.
Turquoise is found in only a few places on earth: dry and barren regions where acidic, copper-rich groundwater seeps downward and reacts with minerals that contain phosphorus and aluminum
Turquoise's history as a spiritual stone goes back over 7500 years. Whereas Egyptians prized Turquoise as a Life Stone, Native Americans believed the stone brought protection to a rider upon a horse, and great protection in general. Turquoise was also highly revered in Tibet, where a stone was carried throughout one’s entire life and the material was exchanged as currency, the finest stones being more valuable than gold.
Turquoise is relatively soft, so it’s ideal for carving. Artists in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and the Americas choose turquoise as a medium for carved jewelry and art objects. It’s often fashioned into talismans with Native American significance, such as bird and animal carvings, called fetishes.
Turquoise deposits usually form in iron-rich limonite or sandstone. Limonite creates dark brown markings in turquoise, while sandstone creates tan markings. These markings are remnants of the host rock within the turquoise, and can resemble splotches or veins. They’re called matrix.
Turquoise is found in only a few places on earth: dry and barren regions where acidic, copper-rich groundwater seeps downward and reacts with minerals that contain phosphorus and aluminum, while the middle eastern region of Iran and Pakistan is a traditional source of mining, places like Mexico, Tibet and the US are home to a wide varieties.
Pictured are just a few varieties mined in the USA: Tyron, King man, Nevada and Number 8.
And lastly this beauty: