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Turquoise - The Preferred Stone For Handmade Native

by:ZH Gems     2020-04-14
Turquoise is as popular today as it was when it was first discovered. It is probably the most valuable non transparent mineral used for making jewelry. Found in different countries around the world it has been mined since the time of the early Egyptians. The finest turquoise has been found in Iran and mines in the southwestern United States. When Native Americans discovered it in the United States, they considered it to be the highest and most valued thing in the world. Some Native Americans believed turquoise had healing and protective powers. There are many different types of turquoise and the most valuable has special characteristics. When the stone is mined it is naturally hard, colorful and usually brightly colored blue or green. It is easy to cut and polish, a lot like marble and stone, without any treatment. Bright blue is probably the most desired color and has the highest value but it is the quality of color that determines the value regardless of the actual color. One small nugget of turquoise often has a range of hues from blue to green. The other minerals that are found around and within the turquoise are what give the natural stone its variety of color and texture. Turquoise is easily destroyed by heat, by fracture, and frequently by discoloration due to varied causes, from oils to bleaching chemicals or even to exposure, when mined, to the air and sun. Turquoise is used mostly in jewelry, and jewels come and go with styles in dress and fashion. Among more primitive groups that use the same ornaments over long periods of time for traditional jewelry and clothes turquoise is still the preferred gem. The gems and materials used for their jewelry and clothing are also easy to find locally. Treated or stabilized turquoise is used almost totally for beads today. The cost of shaping, grinding and polishing natural beads from virgin and superior grade turquoise is quite expensive. Native Americans of the Southwest United States consider coral to be the perfect complement to turquoise. They also consider coral to have the same healing and protective powers as turquoise. There are some Native American tribes that prefer the red-orange colors of coral. For women of the Navajo culture, strands of coral beads symbolize success and social standing. By her thirteenth birthday a navajo woman will have at least ten strands of beads and the most prized necklace would be one of coral and turquoise. These necklaces are symbols of the many dances she has attended and show her popularity and status among the other women. Turquoise spent years in the shadow of other gems like jade but has once again become very popular. The Southwest Native Americans never lost interest in turquoise, but the larger national jewelry market neglected it for a long time.
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