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Turquoise: Beauty Through the Ages

Posted by pixe1 on December 2, 2008

Sleeping Beauty Turquoise and Copper NecklaceTurquoise:  Beauty Through the Ages

Turquoise is a stunning semiprecious gemstones with a history as old as civilization itself.   Archeological evidence finds turquoise was first used around 5500 BC to 3000 BC.  The Persians used it to decorate tiles and buildings.  The Egyptians used it  in jewelry, and was found adorning artifacts in King Tut’s tomb.  Native Americans find spiritual and asthetic value in Turquoise.  Turquoise has stood the test of time;  spanning many cultures and many millenia.  Today, Turquoise is still sought after for jewelry.  It is the birthstone for December.

American Turquoise is the most desireable.  It ranges in color from Robin’s Egg Blue  to greenish, with and without the characteristic veining.  
Turquoise is also mined in China.

There are different types of Turquoise on the market today.  A reputable seller should be upfront and honest to what they are selling.

Natural Turquoise:  Is untreated turquoise. 

Treated Turquoise:  Most turquoise on the market is treated because it is a soft,  porous stone.  Treatments help stabilize the stone to keep it looking great for years to come.  Treatments can consist of waxing:  stone is impregnated with wax to give it a good shine, this is not used often anymore.  Stabilization:  the stone is impregnated with epoxy under pressure.  This is the most common treatment I have found.  Dyeing is used to enchance the color of the stone.  The Zachary process is a proprietary process that has been in use for the last 10 years, and seems to be used for the more high grade stones, such as Sleeping Beauty.

Chalk Turquoise:  Chalk turquoise is stone mined deeper in the turquoise mine, it is softer and chalky.  It is usually dyed and stabilized.

Reconstituted Turquoise:  Is small, unusable pieces of turquoise pulverized to a powder,  dyed, and reassembled.

Metaphysically, turquoise is considered to be a powerful stone.  It has been worn to ward off evil sprits. Turquoise is thought to  promote a sense of unity of the self,  and oneness with all that surrounds us.

Turquoise is a fragile stone, special care should be taken with your precious turquoise pieces.  Clean turquoise gently with a soft cloth, chemicals should never be used, they can alter the finish of the stone or change the color.   For the same reason, perfumes, cosmetics, sunscreens, etc should be applied before putting on your turquoise jewelry.  Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight may also discolor your turquoise jewelry.  Use a soft polishing cloth on the sterling silver your turquoise is set in.  Following these suggestions should keep your turquoise jewelry looking beautiful for years to  come.  I have some pieces that were given to me many years ago, and they still look great!!

In celebration of turquoise,  and the month of December, all turquoise jewelry at Pixe’s Treasure Chest will be on sale through the month of December, 2008!!   This is a great opportunity to treat yourself to a fabulous and unique piece of turquoise jewelry!!!!

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