Agate Chrysocolla Hematite Moissanite Pearl Tanzanite Brilliance Fluorescence
Alexandrite Chrysoprase Iolite Moonstone Pyrite Tigerís Eye Carat Hardness Inc
Amber Citrine Ivory Mother Pearl Quartz Topaz Clarity Stability
Amethyst Coral Jade Mystic Topaz Rubies Tourmaline Color Inclusion
Ametrine Diamond Jasper Obsidian Sapphire Turquoise Cut Toughness
Aquamarine Emerald Kunzite Onyx Spinel Yellow Topaz Durability
Blue Topaz Feldspar Malachite Opal Star Sapphire Zircon Facet
Cats Eye Garnet Marcasite Peridot Sugilite  

How and where is Turquoise formed and found?

One of the most timeless gemstones to be worn throughout the ages is Turquoise.  Turquoise is a beautiful sky blue gemstone that is usually opaque in appearance and has wonderful blotches and veins.  It has been a favorite for many people and while extremely popular in the ancient world (especially Ancient Egypt and Persia) continues to be popular for today’s fashion sensibilities as well.

Turquoise is an aluminum phosphate.  It can be both crystal form or cryptocrystalline, however, the vast majority is cryptocrystalline.  Turquoise is found in areas where there is a high concentration of copper.  In fact, the element of copper is what gives Turquoise its beautiful blue hues.  Besides beautiful blues, Turquoise can come in greens as well, such as bluish greens or even greenish – grays.  Iron is what gives Turquoise its green color.  Other minerals that are sometimes associated with Turquoise are limonite, quartz and pyrite.

It should be noted that Turquoise is a softer gemstone and usually only scores a 5 to 6 on the Moh’s hardness scale.  While it is worn frequently for ornamental jewelry purposes, a resin or wax is usually added to protect the stone.  Turquoise generally has a dull luster that with out any sealant is very waxy to the touch.

While Turquoise is found in places with high concentrations of copper, it is mostly mined in Northern Iran, the Southwest of the United States, Pakistan, Mexico, Israel and China.  It should be noted that the highest quality Turquoise, that of sky blue is usually found in Northern Iran and sometimes in the Southwest of America.

The different colors, shapes and sizes that Turquoise comes in


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.

© 2007 Gemstone Education