Ten facts about this truly extraordinary gemstone!
1. The vibrant appearance of pure Turquoise is so pleasing on the eye that it has been ordained an official colour in itself - a privilege that no other gemstone in the world has had to this day.
2. Turquoise is one of the world’s oldest gemstones and has been used in jewellery for thousands of years.
3. Many people think that turquoise was named after its colour when in fact, this isn’t the case. The name turquoise comes from the French word for Turkey since the early belief was that the mineral originated in that country.
4. The most valuable turquoise gemstones can be found in Northeast Iran. Other notable deposits can be found in Afghanistan, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, Israel, Mexico, Tanzania, and the United States.
5. Turquoise is formed when water enters an iron-rich limonite or sandstone that contains copper, aluminium and other minerals. It takes millions of years and the right conditions for turquoise to be formed. The gemstone’s blue colour can be attributed to the presence of copper while the presence of aluminium adds a greenish hue to the gem.
6. Turquoise usually forms in the crevices of other rocks. These darker rocks can create a matrix effect that looks like veining or marbling throughout the stone.
7. Most turquoise on the market is partially to fully opaque. Transparent turquoise gemstones are uncommon.
8. Because turquoise is porous it should be cleaned using a gentle method and never submerge the gemstone in liquids as over time it will absorb moisture or liquid which can alter the colour.
9. Turquoise is not usually faceted like other gemstones. It is shaped into cabochons, beads, or is carved into fancy shapes like flowers.
10. In European tradition, the gift of a turquoise ring means “forget me not.” Turquoise is considered a national treasure in Tibet, where it is believed to grant health, good fortune and protection from evil. December's birthstone also imparts peace to those who wear it.