Facts, Myths, and Legends
Turquoise is a valuable mineral and is possibly the most valuable, non-transparent mineral in the jewelry trade. It has been mined for eons since at least 6000 BC. by early Egyptians. Its history also includes beautiful ornamental creations by Native Americans and Persians. Its popularity is still quite strong today. Although crystals of any size are rare, some small crystals have been found in Virginia and elsewhere. Most specimens are cryptocrystalline, meaning that the crystals could only be seen by a microscope. The finest turquoise comes from Iran but is challenged by some southwestern United States specimens. The name comes from a French word which means stone of Turkey, from where Persian material passed on its way to Europe
In Indian folklore it is said that there was once a chief with turquoise colored skin. One day he was running from his enemies in the hot desert. Whenever he stopped to rest, his perspiration ran onto the ground, collected in rocks and became turquoise.
There are many legends about Turquoise; The Pima consider it to bring good fortune and strength and that it helped overcome illness. The Zuni believe that blue turquoise was male and of the sky and green turquoise was female and of the earth. Pueblo Indians thought that its color was stolen from the sky. In Hopi legend the lizard who travels between the above and the below, excretes turquoise and that the stone can hold back floods. The Apache felt that turquoise on a gun or bow made it shoot straight. The Navajo consider it as good fortune to wear and believe it could appease the Wind Spirit.
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Stablized turquoise has been treated with epoxies or acrylic resins. The chemicals are infused into the turquoise by soaking the material for a long period of time, or by subjecting it to pressure.When stabilized turquoise is cut, there is often a plastic smell.
Enhanced Turquoise (Zachary Process)
Enhanced turquoise has been treated with chemicals, then heated. The heating process eliminates any residual chemicals in the turquoise. Therefore, it is difficult to tell the difference between enhanced turquoise and natural, untreated turquoise. Unlike natural turquoise, enhanced turquoise will not turn green over time.
When discovered in
the Dry Creek Mine north of
The chemical name for turquoise is Aluma Phosphate, which in its pure chemical state is white. Turquoise takes on color via an intrusion of either copper or iron. In the case of Dry Creek ore, the slight coloration, when present, is the result of copper. The more intrusion, the darker the color.
Blue turquoise forms
where there is copper present, which is the case with most
White turquoise forms where there are no heavy metals present, which turn out to be a very rare occurrence. To date, no other vein of gem quality white turquoise has been discovered anywhere else in the world. When this current vein runs dry, that will be the last of it. Because white turquoise is as rare as white buffaloes, the Indians have named it “White Buffalo Turquoise”. The white turquoise is itself considered sacred and powerful. The jewelry making is an honoring or tribute to the “White Buffalo” with this turquoise.
The Shoshone Indians
who help mine the white turquoise are not known for their jewelry work, so
consequently they sell or trade the white turquoise with the Navajo Indians in
There are some who don't believe white turquoise exists because without the copper or iron properties mixed into the chemical equation, it cannot be turquoise? The copper and/or iron is what gives the stone it's color, so obviously in our opinion, if the stone doesn't possess the properties that gives it color, but all the other minerals and properties are present it would be a colorless turquoise, or "White Turquoise" if you may. You be the judge.
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(Howlite and Aluminite are often sold as white buffalo turquoise)
Variscite is a relatively rare phosphate mineral that is sometimes confused with chrysocolla or the greener forms of turquoise. Colors are light bluish green, pale green, medium, and dark greens. It has a waxy luster and takes a fine polish.Variscite is found in the United States (Utah, Nevada), Australia (Queensland), Germany and Brazil. It is also known as Utahlite, Barrandite, Bolivarite and Lucinite. A search on the web shows a wide range in hardness for this stone spanning 3.5 to 5 on the Mohs scale of hardness.
Healing Properties - Helps with remembrance of past lives. Balances central nervous system and eases depression, fear, worry, anxiety and impatience. A good meditation stone. Also helps with virtue, self-reliance, moral courage and success. Works on astral and etheric level for healing via the nervous system (Central Nervous System) and at DNA level. Centers the Solar Plexus and heart Chakras and is slightly helpful for intuition center.
GOLD-PLATED VS. GOLD-FILLED
Gold-plate is created using an electro-chemical process that places a thin molecule of gold on copper, brass, silver, or some other base metal. The gold color will eventually wear off as it comes in contact with the wearer's skin salts or the pollutants in the air.
Gold-filled is created by using heat and
pressure to fuse a layer of real gold to a copper, brass, silver, or some other base
If the jewelry is stamped 1/20 14K GF or 1/20 12K GF. This means that the piece is 1/20th by weight 14 karat gold or 1/20th by weight 12 karat gold.
Gold-filled jewelry lasts for many, many years and is a much more durable product than gold-plate. However, gold-plate is much less expensive.