Turquoise Where To Find

9 min read Jul 02, 2024
Turquoise Where To Find

Turquoise: A Gemstone's Journey from Mine to Marketplace

Turquoise, the gemstone that evokes images of the vast, clear skies and tranquil waters, has captivated humans for centuries. Its unique blue-green hue, often laced with intricate patterns, has made it a prized possession across cultures. But where does this captivating gemstone come from? And how can you find the perfect piece of turquoise for your collection or jewelry?

This article explores the journey of turquoise from its origin in the earth's depths to its appearance in the market. We'll delve into the different turquoise mines around the world, the characteristics to look for when buying turquoise, and the diverse ways you can incorporate this gemstone into your life.

Turquoise: A Global Gem

Turquoise is a gemstone that has been cherished in various parts of the world for millennia. Its origins can be traced back to ancient Egypt, where it was prized for its vibrant color and believed to possess mystical powers. The name "turquoise" itself derives from the French phrase "pierre turquoise," which means "Turkish stone." This moniker arose because turquoise was initially brought to Europe via trade routes that passed through Turkey.

Turquoise deposits are found across the globe, with each location producing unique variations in color, pattern, and quality. Some of the most notable turquoise mines include:

  • Navajo Nation, United States: Renowned for its vibrant blue turquoise, often with matrix (darker veins or inclusions) that add to its beauty.
  • Kingman, Arizona, United States: This mine produces turquoise with rich blue tones, often with intricate patterns and variations in color.
  • Cerro Colorado, Chile: Known for its exceptionally hard and vibrant turquoise, often with a greenish hue.
  • Iran: Home to some of the oldest turquoise mines, producing a variety of shades, including a distinctive "Persian blue."
  • China: Produces turquoise in a range of colors, from sky blue to greenish-blue, often with a distinctive matrix.

Finding the Perfect Turquoise: A Buyer's Guide

Now that you're familiar with where turquoise comes from, let's explore the essential factors to consider when purchasing this captivating gemstone.

1. Color and Pattern:

  • Turquoise is renowned for its vibrant blue-green hues. The intensity of the blue, the presence of greenish tones, and the overall color distribution can vary widely.
  • Matrix: This refers to the darker veins or inclusions within the turquoise, which can create intricate patterns and enhance the gemstone's beauty. Some turquoise lovers prefer matrix-rich specimens, while others prefer a more uniform color.
  • Stabilization: Turquoise is a porous gemstone that can be susceptible to damage. To improve its durability, turquoise is often treated with a stabilizing solution. This process fills in the pores and helps to prevent the turquoise from fading or cracking.

2. Quality and Durability:

  • Hardness: Turquoise is a relatively soft gemstone, ranking 5-6 on the Mohs Hardness Scale. While beautiful, it's susceptible to scratching and damage.
  • Treatment: As mentioned, turquoise is often stabilized to improve its durability. While stabilization is a common practice, it's important to be aware of the treatment methods used.
  • Origin: The origin of the turquoise can influence its quality and value. Certain locations are known for producing particularly high-quality turquoise.

3. Price and Value:

  • Turquoise prices are determined by a combination of factors, including color, clarity, size, treatment, and origin.
  • Rare and highly sought-after turquoise specimens, such as those from the Navajo Nation or Kingman, Arizona, can command premium prices.
  • Matrix-rich turquoise can also be highly valued, especially when the patterns are intricate and visually appealing.

Bringing Turquoise Into Your Life

Turquoise is a versatile gemstone that can be enjoyed in many different ways. It's a popular choice for:

  • Jewelry: Turquoise is often used in rings, necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and pendants.
  • Decorative Objects: Turquoise can be found in decorative objects, such as vases, bowls, sculptures, and boxes.
  • Spiritual and Healing Practices: In many cultures, turquoise is believed to possess spiritual and healing properties, making it a popular choice for amulets, talismans, and meditation objects.

Where to Find Turquoise:

1. Jewelry Stores and Boutiques: Many jewelry stores and boutiques carry a variety of turquoise jewelry pieces.

2. Online Retailers: Online retailers offer a wide selection of turquoise jewelry and decorative objects.

3. Gem and Mineral Shows: These events are excellent places to find unique turquoise specimens and meet with experts.

4. Native American Arts and Crafts Markets: Native American artisans are known for their beautiful and intricate turquoise jewelry and crafts.

5. Direct from the Source: If you're looking for raw turquoise specimens or pieces directly from the mine, you can visit turquoise mines and dealers in areas like the Navajo Nation, Kingman, Arizona, or other known turquoise mining regions.

Conclusion

From ancient Egypt to modern times, turquoise has captivated humanity with its vibrant color and unique beauty. Whether you're searching for a stunning piece of jewelry, a decorative object to brighten your home, or a gemstone to connect with its spiritual significance, turquoise offers a wide range of possibilities. By understanding the characteristics, origins, and value of turquoise, you can find the perfect piece that resonates with your style and appreciation for this captivating gemstone.


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