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Turquoise Jewelry - a Look at the Places From Where the Story Begins

Sep 15, 2008
Turquoise jewelry has been a hot favorite amongst women for a very long time. However it has probably been worn by men for far longer. Being the birthstone of those born in the month of December and the gemstone for those completing eleven years of married life, turquoise jewelry also make for an excellent gift. Turquoise jewelry was also worn in ancient times but the Aztec kings and Pharaohs. Today, this gemstone is probably one of the oldest known gemstones that there is. Besides jewelry the turquoise stone has been used by Native Americans for centuries to bring good fortune and to ward of evil and illness. Like them there were many other tribes who had their respective beliefs about this magical gemstone, making turquoise jewelry a part of their everyday attire. Today turquoise jewelry is in great demand. Not all the colors of the stone have the same value though. The value of a piece of turquoise jewelry depends mainly on the quality and color of the stone. Let understand what parts of the world this stone comes from.

The mines in Nevada, USA

The mines of Nevada have been churning out turquoise since the 1930's. They were the largest producer of turquoise in the USA till the 1980's. There are about 75 to 100 mines in this area, all of various sizes. The stones that come from this region vary from shades of blue to green. If there are traces of iron in the stones then they might appear yellowish. The spider webbed stone is also found in this area and the webbing occurs in brown or black. Not all of the stones that are found here can be used in the making of turquoise jewelry. The softer porous stones are used in the treatment, stabilization and enhancement process.

The New Mexico mines

The Mew Mexico mines were the leader in producing turquoise till about the 1920's. Post that, the mines of Nevada and Arizona took over. However the production of turquoise from some of these mines dates back to prehistoric Indians, which makes these mines ancient. Today, most of the mines that produced high quality stone in their day are depleted. However the other functioning mines still produce turquoise ranging from dark green to sky blue.

The Arizona mines - the best by far

The mines in Arizona today not only rank first for the quantity of production but also for their quality. As expected, most of these deposits are found around copper mining areas. The operating terms vary from mines to mines and a lot of the times turquoise has been extracted from these mines as a by product of the copper.

The turquoise mines from the east - China

The turquoise from China is perhaps one of the best known in the world. The two places in this province that have turquoise mines are the Yungai and Zhuxi. The Yungai mine has been in use and exploited since 618 A.D. and the color of the stone available here is mainly blue and green. The turquoises from this mine are known for its rigidity and texture and are the most expensive stones in China. Zhuxi is located about 20 km from Yangai and is famous for the largest piece of rough turquoise that was uncovered from it. This piece weighed 82 kgs and is currently located at the People's Congress Hall, where it is preserved as a national treasure. Most of the gems that enter the American market from China come from here.
About the Author
Queen Bee Jewelry offers a great selection of Turquoise Jewelry and Sterling Silver Jewelry. Visit us on the web today for a great offering of Turquoise Jewelry including earrings & necklaces.
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