Tuesday, July 19, 2011


The gemstone turquoise has been around for centuries, yet it remains one of the most popular gemstones worn in fashion jewelry today.  Genuine, naturally occuring turquoise is quite expensive and getting rarer every day as known mines are mined out and closed. In fact, only about 25 percent of the once prolific turquoise mines are still in operation the American Southwest. Today, much turquoise comes from China and in general, is inferior in grade, having a more greenish tint than the highly prized Robin Egg blue color.  Much of what we see in jewelry today is of lesser quality and has been treated in one or more of various ways.  Because it is a fairly soft stone, most turquoise is stabilized before it is cut or carved, and often is dyed to enhance the color.  The color can deteriorate if exposed to heat, sunlight, or weak acids, so it is best not to wear it when using hot water or household chemicals.  It can also chip easily, so be careful not to strike or drop it.

Many imitations of turquoise are found in today's jewelry.  The most common is howlite and magnesite.  Both of these stone are naturally white and are dyed to give them their color.  Often they can be found in various colors, such as purple, red, orange, yellow, bright green, black.  Other colored turquoise, which is not really imitation but is dyed, is called chalk turquoise.  This is turquoise infused with resin to stabilize and harden it.  Often the resin is dyed prior to the infusion.  Thus, you may see colors such as lime green or magenta chalk turquoise.

Turquoise is the traditional birthstone for December and is the anniversary gemstone for the 5th year of marriage.  It is believed to be a guard against diseases and to warn the wearer of danger or illness by changing color.  It brings happiness and good fortune to all wearers.

Here are a few of my turquoise pieces.

Turquoise With Copper Bali Style Beads Bracelet

Turquoise and Coral Necklace

Turquoise With Pale Pink Crystals and Stardust Beads Bracelet

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