Turquoise is a semi-precious ornamental stone, the origin of the name of which has long been debated. For a long time it was believed that the name of this stone comes from the French word turquoise - "Turkish" (pierre turquoise - Turkish stone). But, since there has never been a deposit of turquoise in Turkey, the version of the origin of the name of the stone from the Persian "firuza" (piryzen) - "stone of happiness" or "pyruz" - "winner" looks more plausible.
Since ancient times, turquoise has been surrounded by many myths and legends. For example, the Persians believed that the bones of the dead from love turned into this stone, and the Navaja Indians argued that turquoise appeared at the very beginning of the creation of the world, along with the first woman, a white shell and a yuka. The Aztecs believed that turquoise ("calchikhuitl") was the petrified tears of the Goddess of Heaven. They have this stone (like the people of Persia, Asia, the Caucasus, etc.) symbolized health, prosperity, love and purity. Many legends have been created about the effect of a gem on a person.
According to the inhabitants of medieval Europe and Asia, turquoise protects its owner from poisons and poisoning, is able to protect the rider from fatal falls, the arrow helps to hit the target. She accompanies success in financial affairs and love adventures, helping to attract a desired partner (for this, a piece of turquoise needs to be sewn under the lining of his clothes). Turquoise preserves peace in the family (this stone always adorned the bride's dress; in Germany and Russia, wedding rings were made of turquoise, and the American Indians made "wedding belts" decorated with this stone).
At the same time, the warriors decorated the handles of knives and swords with turquoise, as it was believed that this stone gives the fighter strength and fearlessness. The Indians of Mexico considered turquoise a "stone of war".
What is it really, a mysterious and attractive turquoise, surrounded by a veil of secrets and superstitions? We will try to answer this question, along the way debunking some myths about turquoise.
Real turquoise is blue and opaque. This is not so - depending on the chemical composition, the shade of this stone may change. Turquoise is white, as well as whitish blue, apple-green, greenish-brown, blue, with black, white or yellowish-brown veins, both completely opaque and almost translucent. In jewelry, it is blue turquoise that is most often used (in the most expensive - rarely found transparent blue or light blue) - after all, it is this color that is most harmoniously combined with a gold frame.
Blue turquoise is "young", yellow or green is "old" and therefore less durable. Indeed, blue stones (from sky-blue to "Prussian blue") are in greater demand than stones with a greenish or yellowish tint. But the features of color have nothing to do with the age of the stone. The fact is that the chemical composition of turquoise (which is an aqueous phosphate of copper and aluminum) sometimes changes somewhat - aluminum can be partially replaced by oxide iron. It is in this case that the stone acquires a greenish tint (from yellowish green to apple green). It should be borne in mind that it is green turquoise that is more resistant to the effects of bright sunlight and moisture.
Turquoise fades when love dies. Yes, the turquoise color may fade after extended wear. But this process has very little to do with the presence or absence of tender feelings. Since turquoise has a rather porous structure, it is very sensitive to liquids, creams, soaps, lotions, etc. Therefore, you should limit the ingress of the above substances on turquoise jewelry, as this can have an adverse effect on the shade of the stone.
If the owner of turquoise is terminally ill, the stone will change color, and if a healthy person puts on the faded turquoise, the color of the stone will be restored. Turquoise fading can only occur when the owner of the stone is suffering from a debilitating fever or simply excessive sweating. As already mentioned, excess moisture (or dry air), lack of ventilation and too bright sunlight will brighten the turquoise. In addition, the brightness of the stone depends on the lighting - turquoise fades in rainy weather, shines brightly in sunlight and electric light.
Turquoise fades quickly. Yes, but only if a person wearing a turquoise jewelry or using an object inlaid with this stone does not follow certain rules. With proper care, turquoise can retain its shine and brightness for much longer than, for example, pearls.
Turquoise can be restored by wetting it. Indeed, after getting wet, turquoise regains its former brightness for some time, but after drying it fades again. To return to its original color, turquoise was soaked in paraffin or fat, but after a few days the stone dimmed again. A more lasting effect can be obtained by wrapping the turquoise for a short time in a piece of raw meat.
All turquoise is the same. This is not true. Some physical characteristics, such as the density of this porous rock, depend on where it was mined. The density of Persian turquoise is from 2.75 to 2.85, American turquoise is from 2.60 to 2.70.
In addition, precious and semi-precious turquoise is distinguished. Precious - dense, translucent, blue or greenish-blue color, accounting for 5 to 20 percent of the total mass of turquoise. It has a rather high density (2.8 - 2.9) and is used for making expensive jewelry (both large stones and chips or plates).
Semiprecious turquoise is of a slightly lower quality, since it is distinguished by its inconsistent color in blue, green and yellowish-green tones, a lower density (2.65 - 2.8) and a relatively large size of inclusions. It is this type of turquoise that makes up the main reserves in the deposits. Semi-precious turquoise, most often set in silver, is used to make jewelry and carvings.
Turquoise is not easy to scratch. This is not entirely true. It's just that on a relatively opaque stone, small scratches are not very noticeable.
Turquoise nuggets can be very large, and it is easy to make a single, large product from them, for example, a statue. Indeed, some nuggets can weigh several tens of kilograms. However, only some areas of these formations are actually turquoise, the bulk of them is a mineral aggregate, which consists of turquoise and its accompanying and substituting minerals. So to make large souvenirs (and even more so statues!), You will have to resort to refining the stone, i.e. to gluing small particles into a single whole.
Pressed turquoise is inferior to natural stones - fragile, short-lived, etc. Since large pieces of turquoise are almost never found in nature, craftsmen even before our era learned to glue large pieces from small fragments, improving the quality of the stone. Most of the turquoise (about 80%) entering the market is refined stones (pressed from turquoise chips and painted or impregnated with colored wax). However, one should not think that pressed turquoise is worse than whole turquoise. Rather, on the contrary - refined stones are not only cheaper, but also much brighter, stronger, more durable and more resistant to external influences than natural nuggets.
Forging turquoise, like other precious and semi-precious stones, began no more than 200-300 years ago. Completely erroneous opinion. Counterfeit turquoise was made by the ancient Egyptians, who used glass stained with cobalt, as well as sintered calcium carbonate, soda, silica and copper components to make a material similar to turquoise in the 5th millennium BC.
Turquoise has never been a particularly valuable stone. Many peoples in ancient times valued this stone much higher than other gems. For example, the ancient Egyptians called turquoise "maikat" or "mafkat" and was used quite often to make not only simple ornaments, but also symbols of cult and power. And the inhabitants of Tibet deified turquoise, equating it in price with a diamond, and even took a surname (for example, "Turquoise Roof"), expecting that the god of turquoise would grant them good luck and prosperity. This stone was also highly valued in Mexico (being a symbol of the God of Fire, it was used to decorate shields and royal attire).
Stones-doubles, which are trying to replace turquoise, no doubt, in many ways inferior to it. Indeed, there are quite a few stones sold under the guise of turquoise. Most often, inexperienced buyers are offered chalcosiderite, alumochalcosiderite, rashleite, fostite (faustite), wardite, variscite, chrysocolla, dontolite, stellarite, etc. Many of them are indeed inferior to turquoise. For example, colored hovlite (silicoborocalcite) is much brighter, lighter and softer than turquoise. Quartz and dyed chalcedony, often offered by American suppliers, are more transparent and less dense.
But some of the "doubles" have pretty good characteristics. For example, turkvenite is a quite worthy substitute for blue stone (the deposits of which have been greatly depleted as a result of millennial development); in some characteristics it even surpasses refined turquoise. It does not crack from heating, does not change color, is not afraid of water and light. In essence, turkvenite differs from a blue stone only in its porcelain luster (in contrast to the waxy or silky luster typical of natural turquoise).
Deposits of turquoise are depleted rather quickly - you have to look for more and more. New deposits of turquoise are indeed taking place. This stone is quite widespread: in Iran, the USA, Mexico, on the Sinai Peninsula, in China, Afghanistan, Australia, Chile, Peru, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Sudan, Germany, Poland and Great Britain, Mongolia, as well as on the territory of Uzbekistan, South Kazakhstan and Northern Tajikistan. Isolated finds of turquoise are found in Altai and the Urals. However, the deposits found recently are not very rich. And the most ancient mines - the turquoise Nishapur deposits of Iran, the deposits of Mexico and America, the development of which was carried out for 7 or even 10 thousand years, to this day remain the main suppliers of turquoise. The secret is that the development of deposits required a lot of effort, sometimes special training and equipment. Therefore, the mines, at times, remained abandoned for many centuries, after which the production was resumed.
The best turquoise is Turkish, this is evident from the name of the stone. No, turquoise has never been mined in Turkey. This country served only as a "staging post" on the Great Silk Road, along which the blue stone got to the inhabitants of Europe. For many centuries, Iranian turquoise has been considered the best turquoise in the world; stones of the Kuramin type from Central Asia successfully compete with it.
The depth of the turquoise is quite large, therefore, the exploration of new deposits is unprofitable. The depth of development of turquoise mineralization is 30-50 meters (in rare cases - up to 200 m). In addition, in parallel with exploration, the development of the field is underway, therefore the investments pay off very quickly, provided that the field is rich.
Turquoise can be worn by everyone and every day. Astrologers believe that it is best to wear turquoise jewelry on Fridays - a day dedicated to love and Venus. It is on this day that the stone most strongly manifests its best qualities. Wearing turquoise is contraindicated for people born under the sign of Virgo and Leo.