I’m sure you are already familiar with the popularity, wearability, and beauty of Turquoise. Otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this! But you might not know that it’s one of the OLDEST stones in human existence, making its history vast and unique! I’m about to go all teacher-y on you for a minute. Read on for a crash course on everything you didn’t know you wanted to know about Turquoise.
How Turquoise is Formed
Turquoise is a result of weathering and oxidation in rocks (remember the good ol’ rock cycle you learned about in middle school?). As water moves through a rock, minerals like iron, copper, and aluminum are dissolved. Over time (think years and YEARS, like millions) these minerals build up in cracks and pores in the rock to form bright blue-green bands or clumps.
Color depends on the amount of certain minerals present. More coppers equals more blue tones, for example. Rock hounds then go collect those rocks, break them open, polish them, and voila...Turquoise!
Where Turquoise Comes From
Turquoise can be found all over the world, like China, Egypt, Tibet, Australia, but most of the highly collectable Turquoise comes from the Southwestern United States. Most of the famous US mines have been closed for years, which makes Turquoise from those mines that much more collectable and valuable. (If you can get your hands on some Bisbee or Lander Blue, you’re one lucky duck!) Most of the turquoise available now is either from old stock or smaller mines. US turquoise is named after the mine it comes from, like Sleeping Beauty, Royston, or #8 to name a few.