The unique appeal of turquoise

Turquoise is a type of combination of phosphates of copper and aluminum in hydrous structure, and the entire chemical or rather, mineral formula is quite long and complex with CuAl6(PO4)4(OH)8·4H2O as the scientifically given formula. At a glance, this means turquoise isn’t very hard on the Mohs scale, because long complex combinations of hydrates denote a certain fragility. Thus, turquoise has only a hardness of 5-6 on the Mohs scale, with the varying hardness dependent on the density of minute crystalline structures within it.

Turquoise forms from the weathering and oxidation processes of other minerals, so you can regard it as a secondary byproduct of other minerals. Turquoise comes about from acidic aqueous solutions, which after evaporating, left behind a percolation of turquoise on the existing mineral bedrock. This continual percolation results in turquoise deposits of varying quantity. Turquoise is a cryptocrystalline mineral, and it almost always occurs in massive form, although (very rare) small prismatic crystals are said to have been found in Virginia, USA.

turquoise.jpgThe color of turquoise ranges from white to sky blue, and incorporates various shades of green. The most sought after color is the unique slight greenish hued sky blue color, although white colored turquoise is also quite popular for carving purposes.

Historically, turquoise has been much prized throughout the ages for its unique combination of green and blue. In fact, the unique color of turquoise was so prized by ancient peoples that the rich decorated their walls and floors with turquoise, while their rulers adorned themselves with turquoise, and bazaars traded freely in turquoise. The word turquoise probably came from the word “Turkish,” because of the high regard and usage of turquoise among the ancient Turkish people.

turquoise bead necklace

Turquoise was highly valued by almost all the ancient people of the Near East (regions surrounding the Middle East), the ancient Aztecs and other native Americans, and the ancient Chinese and Tibetans. In the Bible, turquoise is mentioned freely numerous times (the book of Revelations mentions turquoise), and it features in other ancient texts and scriptures. The high regard of turquoise among the ancient civilizations is likely due to the fact that turquoise was one of the first minerals to be used as a gemstone.

Turquoise deposits are typically found in arid regions of the world, like Australia, Iran, Egypt, and Nevada as well as Arizona, USA. Turquoise deposits are also found in China, Tibet, Chile, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan. In some cases, turquoise is recovered as a byproduct of mining operations of other minerals, which is then sold to middlemen.

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Categories: Turquoise.