– semiprecious ornamental stone, the origin of the name of which has long been disputed. For a long time it was believed that the name of this stone comes from the French word turquoise – “Turkish” (pierre turquoise – Turkish stone). But, since there has never been a turquoise deposit in Turkey, the version of origin of the name of the stone from the Persian “Firuz” (piryzen) – “the stone of happiness” or “piruz” – “the winner” looks more plausible.


Since ancient times turquoise is surrounded by many myths and legends. For example, the Persians believed that the bones of the deceased are transformed from love into this stone, and the Navahas Indians asserted that turquoise appeared at the very beginning of the creation of the world, along with the first woman, the white shell and the yuka. The Aztecs believed that turquoise (“calchyuyutl”) – the petrified tears of the Goddess of Heaven. This stone they (like the inhabitants of Persia, Asia, the Caucasus, etc.) symbolized health, prosperity, love and purity. Many legends have been created about the effect of the gem on man.

According to the inhabitants of medieval Europe and Asia, turquoise protects its owner from poison and poisoning, it can protect the rider from fatal falls, the arrow helps to hit the target. She accompanies success in financial affairs and love adventures, helping to attract the desired partner (for this, under the lining of his clothes you only need to sew a piece of turquoise). Turquoise preserves peace in the family (this stone was always decorated with the bride’s dress, in Germany and Russia, the wedding rings were made of turquoise, and the American Indians made “wedding belts” adorned with this stone).

At the same time, warriors decorated with turquoise knives of knives and swords, as it was believed that this stone gives the fighting strength and fearlessness. Indians of Mexico considered turquoise as a “stone of war”.

What is it really, the mysterious and attractive turquoise, surrounded by a veil of secrets and superstitions? We will try to answer this question, incidentally debunking some myths about turquoise.

This turquoise is blue and opaque.

This is not the case – depending on the chemical composition, the shade of this stone can vary. Turquoise is white, as well as whitish blue, apple-green, greenish-brown, blue, with black, white or yellowish-brown veins, both completely opaque and almost translucent. In jewelry, blue turquoise is most often used (in the most expensive – rarely seen transparent blue or blue) – after all, this color is most harmoniously combined with the gold frame.

Blue turquoise – “young”, yellow or green – “old”, therefore, less durable.

Indeed, the stones of blue color (from sky-blue to “Berlin blue”) are in great demand than stones with a greenish or yellowish tinge. But the color features to the age of the stone have nothing to do with. The fact is that the chemical composition of turquoise (which is an aqueous phosphate of copper and aluminum) sometimes changes somewhat – aluminum can be partially replaced by an oxide iron. It is in this case that the stone acquires a greenish shade (from yellowish-green to apple-green). It should be noted that it is green turquoise that is more resistant to the effects of bright sunlight and moisture.

The color of turquoise fades when “love dies”.

Yes, after long wearing, the color of turquoise may fade. But to the presence or absence of tender feelings this process has very little relationship. Because turquoise has a fairly porous structure, it is very sensitive to the effects of liquids, creams, soaps, lotions, etc. Therefore, you should limit the ingress of the above substances to the decorations of turquoise, since this can have an adverse effect on the shade of the stone.

If the owner of turquoise is deadly sick – the stone will change color, and if the faded turquoise is dressed by a healthy person – the color of the stone will be restored.

Fading of turquoise can occur only when the owner of the stone suffers from debilitating fever or simply excessive sweating. As already mentioned, excess moisture (or air dryness), lack of ventilation and too bright sunlight, leading to turquoise lightening. In addition, the brightness of the stone depends on the lighting – turquoise fades in rainy weather, brightly shines under sunlight and electric light.

Turquoise fades quickly.

Yes, but only if a person wearing a turquoise ornament or using a piece encrusted with this stone does not follow certain rules. With proper care, turquoise can keep shine and brightness for much longer than, for example, pearls.

The color of the turquoise can be returned if it is wetted.

Indeed, after getting wet turquoise acquires for a while the former brightness, but after drying again fades. To return the original color, turquoise was soaked in paraffin or fat, but after a few days the stone faded again. A more sustainable effect can be obtained by wrapping turquoise for a short time in a piece of raw meat.

All turquoise is the same.

This is not true. Some physical characteristics, for example, the density of this porous stone, depend on the place of extraction. The density of Persian turquoise – from 2.75 to 2.85, American – from 2.60 to 2.70.
In addition, precious and semi-precious turquoise is different. Precious – dense, translucent, blue or greenish-blue color, representing 5 to 20 percent of the total mass of turquoise. It is distinguished by a rather high density (2.8 – 2.9), it is used for making expensive jewelry (like large stones, crumbs or plates).
Semi-precious turquoise is of somewhat lower quality, as it differs in color variation in blue, green and yellowish-green tones, lower density (2.65 – 2.8), and relatively large size of inclusions. It is this type of turquoise that makes up the main reserves in the fields. Semi-precious turquoise, usually set in silver, is used for making jewelry and carvings.

Turquoise is not easy to scratch.

This is not quite true. Just on a relatively opaque stone, small scratches are not very noticeable.

Nuggets of turquoise are very large, from them it is easy to produce a solid, large product, for example, a statue.

Indeed, some nuggets can weigh several tens of kilograms. However, only some parts of these formations are actually turquoise, their main mass is a mineral aggregate, which consists of turquoise and its accompanying and replacing minerals. So, for making large souvenirs (and even more so a statue!) It will be necessary to resort to the refinement of the stone, i.e. to gluing small particles into a single whole.

Pressed turquoise yields to natural stones – fragile, short-lived, etc.

This is not true. Since large pieces of turquoise are almost never found in nature, masters even before our time learned to glue large pieces of small fragments, improving the quality of the stone. The most part of turquoise (about 80%) entering the market is the ennobled stones (pressed from turquoise crumbs and colored or impregnated with colored wax). However, one should not think that pressed turquoise is worse than the whole. Rather, on the contrary – the ennobled stones are not only cheaper, but also much brighter, stronger, durable and resistant to external influences than natural nuggets.

Forging turquoise, like other precious and semiprecious stones, began no more than 200-300 years ago.

Absolutely mistaken opinion. The manufacture of counterfeit turquoise was also performed by ancient Egyptians who used glass colored with cobalt, as well as speck of calcium carbonate, soda, silica and copper components to make turquoise-like material in the 5th millennium BC.

Turquoise has never been a particularly valuable stone.

This is not true.Many people in ancient times valued this stone much higher than other gems. For example, the ancient Egyptians called turquoise “Maykat” or “mafkat” and used quite often to make not only simple jewelry, but also symbols of worship and power. And the inhabitants of Tibet deified turquoise, equating it at a price to a diamond, and even took a surname (for example, “Turquoise Roof”), expecting that the god of turquoise bestows on them luck and prosperity. This stone was highly prized in Mexico (being a symbol of the God of Fire, it was used to decorate shields and royal dresses).

Stumbling stones, which try to replace turquoise, no doubt, in many respects are inferior to it.

Indeed, there are many stones sold under the guise of turquoise. Most often inexperienced buyers are offered chalcociderite, alumochalocerite, rashleyite, fostite (faustite), vardite, variscite, chrysocolla, dontolite, stellarite, etc. Many of them are really inferior to turquoise. For example, colored hovlit (silicoborocalcite) is much brighter, lighter and softer than turquoise. Often offered by American suppliers quartz and colored chalcedony are more transparent and have a lower density.
But some of the “doubles” have pretty good characteristics. For example, turquenite is a worthy substitute for the blue stone (whose deposits, as a result of millennial development, are severely depleted), by some characteristics, surpasses even the ennobled turquoise. It does not crack from heating, does not change color, is not afraid of water and light. In fact, from the blue stone turquenite differs only in porcelain luster (unlike waxy or silky shine peculiar to natural turquoise).

Deposits of turquoise are depleted fairly quickly – we have to look for more and more new ones.

This is not quite true. New deposits of turquoise, indeed, take place. This stone is widely distributed: in Iran, the USA, Mexico, the Sinai Peninsula, China, Afghanistan, Australia, Chile, Peru, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Sudan, Germany, Poland and Great Britain, Mongolia, as well as in Uzbekistan, South Kazakhstan and Northern Tajikistan. Single finds of turquoise take place in the Altai and the Urals. However, the deposits found recently are not very rich. And the most ancient mines – turquoise Nishapur fields of Iran, deposits of Mexico and America, the development of which was conducted for 7 or even 10 thousand years, still remain the main suppliers of turquoise. The secret is that the development of deposits required great effort, sometimes special training and equipment. Therefore, the mines, at times, remained abandoned for many centuries, after which the production was resumed.

The best turquoise is Turkish, this is evident from the name of the stone.

No, in Turkey, turquoise has never been mined. This country served only as a “transit point” on the Great Silk Road, according to which the blue stone came to the inhabitants of Europe. The best in the world of turquoise for many centuries is considered Iranian, successfully compete with her stones of the Kurama type from Central Asia.

The depth of occurrence of turquoise is quite high, because the exploration of new deposits is a loss-making business.

This is not true. The depth of development of turquoise mineralization is 30-50 meters (in rare cases – up to 200 m). In addition, in parallel with the exploration is developing the deposit, because the investment very quickly pays off, provided that the deposit is rich.

Turquoise can be worn by everyone on a daily basis.

Astrologers believe that it’s best to wear jewelry from turquoise on Fridays – a day dedicated to love and Venus. It is on this day that the stone shows its best qualities. Contraindicated wearing turquoise people born under the sign of the Virgin and the Lion.

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