Turquoise is one of the best-known gemstones. It is timeless because of its distinctive bluish colour, which can range from the azure blue of a summer sky to the deep green of an ocean or wild forest. It has been used by Man for thousands of years and has fascinated many civilizations.
Turquoise, a stone with a special hue
Turquoise is one of the oldest gemstones. Thanks to its fascinating colour, it was already revered as a good luck charm or a sacred stone in ancient times. The ancient Egyptians, Aztecs and Persians used it to make royal jewellery, ceremonial ornaments, healing stones and amulets. You can learn more about the composition of turquoise stone at Minerals Kingdom. Going back in time, people attributed magical powers and mystical significance to it. For a long time, the trade route for turquoise stone was through Turkey, but in fact it came from Iran. Turquoise was brought to the West by the Crusaders. The name of the gem is therefore based on a misunderstanding. An old name for turquoise, which is now obsolete, was kallait, from the ancient Greek kalláϊnos (“shimmering blue and green”).
Purity of turquoise
Turquoise stone has brown, grey or black veins of other minerals or adjacent rocks (turquoise matrix) running through it. Although this mottling gives each turquoise its own characteristics, stones with few or no veins are particularly expensive and rare. Turquoise is classified as a gemstone. The purity and intensity of its blue colour vary according to the nature of the soil in which it was formed. Chemically, turquoise is a hydrated phosphate of copper and aluminium with iron components.
26 shades of blue
Turquoise varies in colours from the azure blue of the sky to the blue green of the ocean. The copper ions in turquoise stone make it more or less blue or green. The most sought after colour for a turquoise stone is an azure blue. The value increases with its size. This is measured in terms of carat weight (ct). A one-carat gemstone weighs about 0.2 g, but other factors such as colour, clarity and cut also play an important role. Turquoise gemstones are usually made into beads or cabochons. However, there are also carved turquoise gems.