If you are planning on buying jewelry featuring turquoise
, it would be useful to learn more about how this blue-green mineral is formed. Turquoise has been used in jewelry for thousands of years. It is an aluminum copper phosphate with a hardness rating of 6 on the Mohs scale. This means it is a lot softer than quartz and other gemstones. Due to its composition, it is typically found in regions where there are high levels of copper and aluminum in the soil.
Turquoise has been prized by different cultures since time immemorial. Today it is mined across a number of countries. There are three regions that produce the greatest quantities, these are the southwestern US, Iran, and Tibet. The turquoise yielded from these sources varies considerably in color and quality. For example, the stones mined in Tibet have a greener hue than the deposits in Iran which are typically a light blue color. US turquoise is different from that found in Tibet and Iran. U. S. Turquoise is said to be of an intense deep blue.
Deposits form when water percolates through rock strata that contains copper and aluminum as well as other minerals. Chemical reactions take place which result in the creation of this attractive mineral. Though the process may sound simple, it occurs over a period of millions of years, and only produces extractable deposits when the conditions are just right.
The blue color present in the deposits is enhanced when copper levels are high. If the turquoise has more aluminum the shade will be green. There are a few locations, such as in Nevada, where yellow-green turquoise is found, this is as a result of there also being zinc present in soil.
The matrix that is typically seen in the stones varies depending on the rock in which the deposits were formed. A black matrix can be an indication of iron pyrite, yellow may be rhyolite, whereas brown is most likely to be iron oxide. An intricate matrix web can add to the desirability of the stone.
If you are going to invest in wholesale jewelry that features turquoise, it is important to know that what you are getting is the genuine article. Be wary of unscrupulous dealers who sell plastic imitations. Also, there are some retailers who sell stones referred to as powder, these have been bonded out of turquoise dust and have a low price tag.
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