Turquoise

OUR PRODUCT

Our Turquoise are sourced from a family mine in Persia.

The quality and clarity is outstanding and the cut is carried out by mater craftsman.

 

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HISTORY

Turquoise is an opaque, blue-to-green mineral that is a hydrated phosphate of copper and aluminium, with the chemical formula CuAl6(PO4)4(OH)8·4H2O.

It is rare and valuable in finer grades and has been prized as a gem and ornamental stone for thousands of years owing to its unique hue.

The substance has been known by many names, but the word turquoise dates to the 17th century and is derived from the French turques for "Turks" because the mineral was first brought to Europe from Turkey, from mines in the historical Khorasan Province of Persia.  Pliny the Elder referred to the mineral as callais and the Aztecs knew it as chalchihuitl.[4]

 

LOCATION

Turquoise was among the first gems to be mined, and many historic sites have been depleted, though some are still worked to this day. These are all small-scale operations, often seasonal owing to the limited scope and remoteness of the deposits. Most are worked by hand with little or no mechanization.

Iran (previously known in the West as Persia) has remained an important source of turquoise for at least 2,000 years. It was initially named by Iranians "pirouzeh" meaning "victory", and later the Arabs called it "firouzeh".  In Iranian architecture, the blue turquoise was used to cover the domes of palaces because its intense blue colour was also a symbol of heaven on earth.

Persian turquoise from Iran

This deposit is blue naturally and turns green when heated due to dehydration. It is restricted to a mine-riddled region in Nishapur, the 2,012-metre (6,601 ft) mountain peak of Ali-mersai which is tens of kilometers from Mashhad, the capital of Khorasan Province, Iran. A weathered and broken trachyte is host to the turquoise, which is found both in situ between layers of limonite and sandstone and amongst the scree at the mountain's base. These workings are the oldest known, together with those of the Sinai Peninsula.[5] Iran also has turquoise mines in Semnan and Kerman province.

 

VALUE

Hardness and richness of colour are two of the major factors in determining the value of turquoise; while colour is a matter of individual taste, generally speaking, the most desirable is a strong sky to robin egg blue (in reference to the eggs of the American robin).[7]Whatever the colour, turquoise should not be excessively soft or chalky; even if treated, such lesser material (to which most turquoise belongs) is liable to fade or discolour over time and will not hold up to normal use in jewellery.

The mother rock or matrix in which turquoise is found can often be seen as splotches or a network of brown or black veins running through the stone in a netted pattern; this veining may add value to the stone if the result is complementary, but such a result is uncommon. Such material is sometimes described as "spiderweb matrix"; it is most valued in the Southwest United States and Far East, but is not highly appreciated in the Near East where unblemished and vein-free material is ideal (regardless of how complementary the veining may be). Uniformity of colour is desired, and in finished pieces the quality of workmanship is also a factor; this includes the quality of the polish and the symmetry of the stone. Calibrated stones—that is, stones adhering to standard jewellery setting measurements—may also be more sought after. Like coral and other opaque gems, turquoise is commonly sold at a price according to its physical size in millimetres rather than weight.

Turquoise is treated in many different ways, some more permanent and radical than others. Controversy exists as to whether some of these treatments should be acceptable, but one can be more or less forgiven universally: This is the light waxing or oiling applied to most gem turquoise to improve its colour and lustre; if the material is of high quality to begin with, very little of the wax or oil is absorbed and the turquoise therefore does not "rely" on this impermanent treatment for its beauty. All other factors being equal, untreated turquoise will always command a higher price. Bonded and "reconstituted" material is worth considerably less.

Being a phosphate mineral, turquoise is inherently fragile and sensitive to solvents; perfume and other cosmetics will attack the finish and may alter the colour of turquoise gems, as will skin oils, as will most commercial jewellery cleaning fluids. Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight may also discolour or dehydrate turquoise. Care should therefore be taken when wearing such jewels: cosmetics, including sunscreen and hair spray, should be applied before putting on turquoise jewellery, and they should not be worn to a beach or other sun-bathed environment. After use, turquoise should be gently cleaned with a soft cloth to avoid a buildup of residue, and should be stored in its own container to avoid scratching by harder gems. Turquoise can also be adversely affected if stored in an airtight container.