TURQUOISE DATES BACK TO ANCIENT EGYPT and is prized by many cultures throughout the world. The Aztecs in Mexico forbade any mere mortal to wear it, and restricted turquoise to the Gods, using it in religious rituals and masks. In the Near East, turquoise was believed to protect against the “evil eye,” and provide a barrier against the powers of darkness.
Linked to the constellations Sagittarius, Pisces and Scorpio, turquoise is believed to possess many mystical powers: To wear it means you will experience good fortune, success, friendship and true love. It’s rumored to ease the mind and heal the body.
–But the most stunning attribute of this exquisite stone—or stones, as they come in a variety of shades and mineral makeup—is the color, which ranges from clear sky blue to blue-green (turquoise) to heavily green-blue. In Persia (Iran) and throughout the Middle East, clear robin’s egg blue, vein-free turquoise is prized; but in the American southwest, native craftsmen traditionally choose electric blue and other shades of turquoise with silver matrix, or subtle tracings of light orange or rust or brown and gold matrix.
Turquoise wasn’t brought to Europe until the time of the crusades, and the word turquoise (French) means “Turkish,” as Europeans believed it came from the Turks.
This opaque stone has been esteemed by many cultures, over thousands of years, and, for colored stone enthusiasts, turquoise is on par with, say, the jades of the Orient.
What a marvelous gift, a stone of remarkable beauty infused with life-enhancing magical powers! Who wouldn’t want that?
DISCOVER THIS STONE’S RISING POWER TO ATTRACT YOUR CUSTOMERS:
- Turquoise Necklace in bold design. Elegant.
- Chunky turquoise cross necklace – classic and trendy!
VIBRANT COLOR DOMINATES the fashion scene now, and turquoise places naturally in the palette and dimensions of jewelry today. Many cultures have their own styling for turquoise bracelets, necklaces, rings and earrings: here in the U.S., the Zuni, Navajo and Hopi tribes each developed their own distinctive craft style.
–We’re so used to seeing turquoise set in silver that we take it for granted, but it was the American Navajo tribe that became famous for turquoise/silver pairing in their jewelry creations. The Navajos set this as the standard for all Native American turquoise handicraft, and it continues to this day. And, as American Indian men embraced turquoise jewelry from pre-settler times, outfitting themselves handsomely with silver/turquoise belt buckles, rings, bracelets, necklaces and more, the history of turquoise for the U.S. is truly uni-sex.
Nothing is more flexible than turquoise in a social context. The same cabochon necklace looks as dazzling on a long strapless evening dress as with jazzy skinny jeans or a demure 9-5 business ensemble. True versatility!
Ways to Improve Perfection
NATURAL TURQUOISE is the choice of fine jewelers, but even the finest grade turquoise is often waxed and oiled, as the stone is comparatively soft (registers between 5 and 7 on Mohs scale) and the stone can be compromised by exposure to light or heat or bodily oils.
In everyday use, over the years, untreated natural turquoise can fade, even discolor.
For this reason, turquoise can be dyed and infused with resins (this is called “stabilized” turquoise.) The result is a much harder, hardier stone that will keep its true color and any finish. When enhanced, such treatment is hard to detect, even by experts.
Reconstituted turquoise is for costume jewelry, and is made from pulverized turquoise chips mixed with chalk blended with dyes and resin. Today much turquoise is reconstituted in China to service the global market (accounts for 80% of U.S. turquoise costume jewelry.) This technique creates an attractive, inexpensive product that incorporates lesser grades of turquoise and compensates for the fact that many turquoise mines around the world have been played out.
Only a few mines in the U.S. continue production, such as the legendary Nevada Blue Mine. Because of its popularity and the fact that it is becoming more and more of a rare commodity, all grades of turquoise are sure to increase in cost and intrinsic value in the coming years.
Basic Care: Minimal care will ensure long life and unchanging appearance. Turquoise jewelry should be dipped in warm, soapy water, rinsed and quickly dried with a soft cloth. Commercial jewelry cleaners should never be used on this stone…too harsh! Don’t expose turquoise to too much light or heat (no sunbathing); you want to protect that gorgeous color!
Get rich turquoise fashion at recession-savvy prices. Fantastic!
- Turquoise nugget bracelet – primitive look, tribal aura, semi-precious,
created by nature
Epoxy simulates turquoise – silver plate setting