Turquoise is such a striking gemstone that has wowed for centuries. It’s mesmerising colour has demanded attention time and time again with jewellers, historians and geologists digging deeper to find out as much as possible from all over the globe. It’s so highly sought after that unfortunately mines are closing due to running out of the sky blue gem. Therefore, it’s becoming a rare beauty that fascinates the world.
Let’s find out a little more about our favourite stone.
How is Turquoise Made?
Turquoise is formed when mineral-rich water (usually aluminium or copper) leaks into rocks veins. Over time the water becomes solid turning into the much-loved gemstone. These cracks are typically formed by tiny faults or from movement. This mineral-rich water usually seeps from rocks close by after rainfall. It’s really is quite something how a beautiful gem is produced by nature for us all to enjoy.
Colour and Matrix
Named after it’s distinctive colour, the beautiful gemstone is adored for it’s sky blue shade. However, there are many variations of the blue hue including more of a green colour with many stones featuring a matrix from the host rock. Typically, the pure blue shade is the most highly sought after in the industry yet is increasingly hard to find.
A lot of pieces feature brown or tan markings or blotches reminiscent of the the surrounding rock, which adds a unique touch to each piece. The beauty of Turquoise is that no two pieces are the same. Each is a one of a kind.
Where is Turquoise Found?
Turquoise is usually sourced from mines in Iran, Mexico, United States, Afghanistan, China and Irasel. The captivating gem is becoming rarer as mines are becoming depleted and are forced to close. Therefore, as time goes by Turquoise is becoming more difficult to source for many. Luckily, we get our beautiful gems from the Kingman mine in North Western Arizona. It is recognised as one of the oldest and largest Turquoise mines in America.
Spot the Fakes
With the popularity of Turquoise, there are many lookalikes around trying to pass for the real deal. Howlite is definitely one to look out for as the most common copycat. Others include magnesite, plastic, epoxy, glass and resin, which can be easily mistaken for Turquoise to the untrained eye.
Another thing to look out for is reconstituted Turquoise. This is where a jeweller will mix grounded Turquoise with another stone to bring a a copycat piece that could confuse the buyer. It’s hard for those not working in the industry to distinguish between the two. Therefore, asking a professional (like us) is a good idea if you’re ever unsure.