One of the most popular gemstones to grace the earth has been Turquoise. Since the beginning of civilization, dating back to 6,000 BC, Turquoise was used as a beautiful ornamental stone. Turquoise was original worn and treasured in Ancient Egypt and Ancient Persia and it wasn’t until the crusades that Europeans learned about this great stone. Turquoise is a French word that means Turkish stone.
Turquoise comes in a variety of hues, however it is the sky blue that is most treasured. Other hues consist of bluish green and a greenish grey. However, the more green present, the less valuable the stone. Turquoise also has beautiful blotches and veins called Turquoise Matrix, this can enhance the beauty of the stone and ultimately the price.
Most Turquoise sold today comes in the cryptocrystalline form, meaning it is opaque and grainy in appearance. Almost all Turquoise sold today is covered in either wax or a sealant to protect the stone. Turquoise is softer than most stones and must be protected so that it can be worn on a daily basis. Usually wax nor clear resin will not reduce the value, however if the Turquoise is dipped into a color solution or made from reconstituted Turquoise (Turquoise dust), the value will be reduced greatly.
Turquoise can come in large sizes, while crystals are very rare, opaque forms do come in larger pieces that are usually used to compliment other gemstones or precious metals. For instance, Native American Indians use the combination of Turquoise and silver. It should be noted that Turquoise is usually not set in rings, it is mostly used in either cabochon or bead shapes.