Turquoise is probably of French origin meaning "Turk's Stone", this is because most of the turquoise in early Europe came through Turkey. Turquoise owes its beautiful colors to its copper content and most turquoise today is primarily a byproduct of copper mining. It has a long history as a sacred stone and has always been much sought after for ornamentation.
               Modern turquoise endures many treatments that may surprise people. The most common of which is called stabilization. This is where they take inferior grades of turquoise, sometimes even chalk turquoise, and impregnate it with polymers that may contain dye to enhance the color. Stabilized stones are even employed in most of the Native American jewelry on the market today. Reconstitution is another sinister process by which they powder chalk turquoise and mix it with adhesive, gluing the bits together, recently it has been found that cabochons of this type usually have very little if any true turquoise in them. The only process that is usally permitted on gem quality turquoise is polishing with paraffin wax, this is usally done to high quality or "agate hard" turquoise. It has been argued that the some of the following folklore only concerns true turquoise or stones that have not undergone any processing other than cutting and polishing with paraffin.
                Turquoise has been called the "Travelers Stone" and is as highly prized by those who travel by land, as the aquamarine is by those who travel by sea. This may originate from its employment as a horseman's talisman. It was said that if one were to wear a bit of turquoise, or attach it to the bridle of the animal, then the horse and rider would be protected form a great many causalities and misfortunes such as snakebite, lameness, or the sickness caused from the horse drinking cold water when over heated. It is also said that a rider wearing the turquoise would not be harmed if thrown from a horse, but that the turquoise would absorb all of the impact and break instead of his body. Later this protection from falls was extended to cover all manner of falls.
               Turquoise is the stone of the sky and represents all attributes normally associated with the heavens, no doubt permanently cementing its sacredness in folklore. Turquoise was thought of as a stone for marksmen and archers, and people would attach the turquoise to their bow or gun to ensure that their aim was true.
               The turquoise is thought to house a beneficial spirit in many cultures. This spirit is said to try to assist the wearer whenever possible, be it shattering in his protection, or lending its strength when the wearer is ill. It was believed that the turquoise would actually grow pale when the wearer was sick or of poor character, and loose all color if the wearer died. Its color was thought to be restored over time when worn by one in good health and disposition. The turquoise was also said to fade when the wearer was in danger and to return to its original luster once the peril had passed. To gain the full benefit of the spirit of the turquoise it was thought one had to have received the turquoise as a gift, and be of good nature. To those that met both qualities it was said to be a most lucky stone indeed.

Colors:
Any color except red                     
Locations:
Australia, Brazil, Burma, China, Egypt, Norway, Pakistan, and the USA
Composition:
CuAl6(PO4)4(OH)84(H2O)
Hardness:
6 - 6.5


All content Copyright © 2005 - 2016 House of Dubhrós. All rights reserved worldwide.