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Turquoise

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The name is derived from the French "turques" or "turquois" meaning "Turkish" – referring to the way Persian turquoise traveled to Europe via Turkey. The name was known at least as early as the 17th century.  In the Navajo language turquoise is Dootl’izhii.  The mineral was known in Egypt since 4000BC and is found among the world’s oldest jewelry.

ï  Mineral: turquoise

ï  Chemistry: Cu(Al,Fe3+)6(PO4)4(OH)8.4H20

ï  Class: phosphate

ï  Crystal system: Triclinic – crystals rare

ï  Color: bright blue, sky blue, pale green, blue-green, turquoise blue, apple green, green-gray

Ferric ion substitution may cause the color of green

ï  Refractive index:  1.61 – 1.65

ï  Luster: Sub-vitreous, resinous, waxy, dull, earthy

ï  Specific gravity: 2.6-2.8

ï  Mohs Hardness: 5-6

ï  Cleavage: perfect on (001), good on (010)

ï  Fracture: Irregular/uneven, sub-conchoidal


Turquoise is a secondary mineral occurring in the potassic alteration zone of hydrothermal porphyry copper deposits. It can also form by the action of meteoric waters, usually in arid regions, on aluminous igneous or sedimentary rocks (as vein filling in volcanic rocks and phosphatic sediments).

It is estimated that between 75-90% of the commercially available turquoise on the market today has been treated or stabilized in some fashion.  Most commonly, epoxy/resin is injected into less competent material (still technically turquoise) to strengthen and increase its integrity.  In a 1998 study, it was noted that most of the gem material labeled "turquoise"  was inhomogeneous and that planerite (the aluminum phosphate equivalent of turquoise without copper) was the most common constituent in commercial "turquoise".


The primary use of turquoise is as a semi-precious gemstone.  Turquoise is the birthstone for the month of December and the gemstone of the 11th Anniversary.


Some of the mineral locales from which specimens of Turquoise are available at Taos Rockers are:

Western states of Arizona

Colorado

Nevada

New Mexico

Baja California

Sonora & Chihuahua,  Mexico

China


Melody, in her book Love Is In The Earth, calls Turquoise a “healer of the spirit…It strengthens and aligns all chakras, meridians, and subtle bodies...It is excellent for spiritual attunement…and for providing protection…Turquoise acts to induce wisdom and understanding, and to enhance trust, kindness and the recognition of beauty.   It is said to promote spontaneity in issues of romance and to stimulate the initiation of romantic love” 

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