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Turquoise As A Jewelry Gemstone

Aug 18, 2007
These magnificent stones are some of the most popular in the world. Though most stones used in jewelry have been treated to enhance their appearance and durability, this does not take away from their value and beauty. The value of these is measured by the depth of color and often by the appearance of crystal streaks and specks that highlight many stones. Turquoise has long been manufactured synthetically so buyers must be wary of stones that are offered at a budget price. Several naturally occurring minerals are also used as substitutes for turquoise including amazonite, hemamorphite, howlite and magnesite.

History

Derived from the French word to Turkish, turquoise can be found in many parts of the world. Ancient and indigenous cultures have long considered these stones to be very powerful and highly prized. Turquoise can be found in abundance in areas of the American Southwest, the Middle East, Australia and areas of South America.

Birthstone Information

This stone has long been recognized as the birthstone of the month of December and has been associated with the astrological birth sign of Taurus.

New Age Beliefs and Powers Through The Ages

For centuries, turquoise has been an important part of mythology and metaphysical belief systems the world over. Ancient and modern cultures have held this stone in high regard as a symbol of power and spirituality. From Native American cultures to the Persians and indigenous people of South America, these stones have represented both good and bad fortune. For example, in certain Middle Eastern cultures changes in the stones color, which is often brought on by the transfer of body heat or skin oils to the stone have been thought to be an omen or precursor of sudden death. Most cultures have ascribed good fortune and healing properties to turquoise. In Native American cultures the stone are thought to represent a strong connection between earth and the heavens.

Likewise in the New Age Community, the stone is thought to have the ability to cleanse and purify the mind, body and the spirit, while others follow more closely the belief that the stone can be a predictor of bad luck and infidelity.

Artificial Forms of Enhancement

This is a wide variety of methods that are used to enhance the appearance and durability of this stone. Oiling is a very common practice and helps to deepen the color. Similar changes in color are achieve through the application of wax or plastic compounds that also help to fill in surface imperfections and make the stone a bit stronger.

Color

The color of these stones is derived from copper mineral content and varies in shades of green, light blue or pale green. The color of some stones resembles the blue of robin eggs, and is probably the most desirable. Stones containing higher amounts of iron may have a greener contrast. The base color is sometimes highlighted by the presence of crystal streaking.

General Scientific Information

The chemical name CuAl6(PO4)4(OH)8*5(H2O) known as hydrated copper aluminum phosphate

Hardness measures between 5.5 and 6.0 on the Mohs scale - the Mohs scale measures the hardness of metals, minerals, gemstones and crystals on a scale of 1 to 10. For example the hardness properties of most quartz crystals fall around 7 on the scale, as does steel and titanium. Diamond is the hardest known substance on the Mohs scale coming in at a hard 10. To most consumers hardness generally reflects the stones able to resist scratches and cracks.

The cleavage of turquoise is perfect.
The index of refraction ranges between 1.59 and 1.65 and generally indicates the purity of the stone.
The specific gravity measures between 2.40 and 2.90.
The crystalline system is Triclinic.
About the Author
Mitch Endick is a short article writer for the popular jewelry site: JewelrySalesandService.com. Provides information on jewelry, rings, earrings, bracelets, necklaces and watches. His website, www.JewelrySalesandService.com also has information on diamonds, birthstones, gemstones, pearls, gold, sterling silver, and platinum.
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