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The Magical Stone Turquoise

November 21st, 2022

Turquoise is classified as a mineral and is categorized in the class of phosphates with its chemical composition consisting of hydrated copper aluminum phosphate. It is considered by many to be one of the most valuable and prized non-transparent minerals to be utilized in today’s Native American turquoise jewelry markets.

Throughout time, turquoise has been thought of as a stone with magical properties and ancient folklore tells us that the stone can bring about good luck in matters of health, money and romance. Once the stone has been unearthed and is exposed to the atmosphere, it will change colors as it dries. As it is worn and touched, it will absorb body oils and exhibit further changes in coloration. This changing of colors was a primary reason that turquoise was and still is considered to have magical and mystical properties. Many of the indigenous Southwestern Native American Indian tribes believe that the sacred gem has great healing powers and will promote good luck in matters of security and family.

The earliest turquoise mines can be traced back to as early as 3500 B.C. with Egypt’s Sinai Mines which provided stones for mosaics and the personal adornment of ancient Egyptian kings. The stone was later introduced to medieval Europe by Turkish traders. In the Western Hemisphere, the Aztec Indian tribes had discovered the stone as early as 1000 B. C. and turquoise artifacts have been found in central Mexico and the Andes Mountains dating back to this period.

Depending upon its point of origin, the beautiful gem can exhibit a surprising range of colors. A very appealing sky blue color is quite common and widely popular in today’s Southwestern and Native American jewelry markets. Dark blue to greenish to greenish blue colors are also quite common. The distinctive Mojave Green is a common example of the more greenish coloration of the gemstone. The veining (often called matrix) in the stone can be seen as black or brownish streaks running through it. Not all forms have matrix. Some of the most beautiful and highest quality examples have no matrix at all and exhibit a consistent and clear coloration. A good example of this matrix free stone is the Sleeping Beauty variety mined in Arizona.