Our Turquoise Gemstone Beads are among the most popular we sell at Happy Mango Beads. Our stock is hand selected allowing our customers to purchase a variety of colors, shapes, sizes, and prices, without sacrificing quality. I feel privileged to be able to touch and work among these Turquoise beauties on a near daily basis, so I wanted to bring the experience to all of you with some fascinating information and folklore about Turquoise.
Turquoise was one of the first gems to be mined and although many ancient sites have been depleted, some are still worked today. Many are small-scale, often seasonal operations and due to the limited scope and remoteness of the deposits, most are worked by hand with little or no mechanization. Deposits are found worldwide. Some of the most notable mines are located in China, Iran (a region formerly known as Persia), Afghanistan, Australia, northern Chile, Cornwall, Saxony, Silesia, Turkestan, China, Mexico, and southwestern United States (Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, and Nevada).
Turquoise is a hydrated copper and aluminum phosphate mineral. It is a cryptocrystalline mineral, meaning the structure is made up of microscopic crystals. Turquoise is opaque and has a waxy luster. It may appear semi-translucent in thin segments. Color is quite variable, ranging from white to a powder blue to a sky blue, and from a blue-green to a yellowish green. The blue is attributed to copper impurities while the green may be the result of either iron impurities or dehydration.
Exposure to heat or sunlight is also detrimental to the color of the turquoise. The stone can be very porous and chalky, therefore it is usually treated prior to use in jewelry. The stones are “stabilized”, meaning they are treated with a resinous substance. Stabilizing the turquoise makes it less susceptible to chipping and keeps the color from changing due to
contact with the oils in your body or moisture. Turquoise usually includes flecks of pyrite or is interspersed with dark, spidery yellowish-brown to black mineral veining known as matrix. Turquoise is rarely found without matrix, although Sleeping Beauty turquoise is often found in the pure form; they are vivid sky blue. The Sleeping Beauty mine is located in Arizona, USA.
The name Turquoise is said to be derived around the 16th century from the French language either from the word for Turkish (Turquois) or dark-blue stone (pierre turquin). It has been used widely for centuries and is one of the gems still used today. Turquoise is reputed to heal all kinds of ailments. New age healers use it for the skeletal, digestive and respiratory systems. It is said to help remove toxins from smoking and other pollutants from the body. It is believed to bring inner awareness, help strengthen friendships, aid those who have trouble speaking in public, and improve empathy and honesty. Turquoise is also thought to enhance creativity.
Turquoise is a very soft stone with a hardness of never more than 6 (depending on the form) on the Moh’s scale. It is the modern birthstone for December, as well as the anniversary gemstone for the 5th and 11th wedding anniversaries.
Browse our selection of Turquoise Gemstone Beads here and save 20% through March 6th, 2013.