Turquoise the gem of the Gods
by Sunaina Joseph
As all gems, turquoise too, is known for it’s metaphysical properties that have been known and valued by many generations. The blue of the turquoise is said to be have powerful metaphysical properties. As some cultures believe, it awakens feelings of romantic love. Others say that it develops characteristics such as trust and kindness and brings about fair quantities of the much needed wisdom and understanding.
TURQUOISE....THE GEM OF THE GODS
This is the gemstone that is so vivid and distinct, that it has been the
source of the name of the color. The gemstone was so revered in ancient Mexico
that mere mortals were not permitted to wear it. Turquoise was reserved for the
Gods. It has been appreciated in every continent for thousands and thousands of
years. Many of these vibrant stones have been found in the ancient Egyptian
Tombs. Through research and sources such as these, It has been derived that
turquoise has been in use for rituals and adornment since 5500BC. It is also
the national gem of Tibet and is used there for making beads, cabochons,
carvings and inlays.
Turquoise Jewelry Facts
The color of this gem varies from lime green to sky blue. The intense polished
blue stone is considered to be of more value than the stones leaning more
towards green. For the technical part, Turquoise is a secondary mineral which
occurs due to circulating waters. The presence of copper gives it the blue that
makes it a celebrated gem. The industrial name for it is hydrated copper
aluminum phosphate. It's hardness on the MH scale is between 5 and 6 The gem
should cost you approximately $2 per carat. SOURCES There are not many
turquoise mines and this lends to its value. The highest quality of turquoise
comes from the 'Sleeping Beauty Mines' of Globe, in Arizona. There is another
rare lime-green variety that is available in limited quantity from the mines of
China. Turquoise is also mined in regions of Iran, southwestern United States,
Africa, Australia, Tibet, China, Siberia and Europe.
In the older days, turquoise was a much prized possession. It took a ride
downhill from there. In the 1960's, the hippies used it as it was inexpensive
and it complemented their style. Turquoise was then considered cheap jewelry
and was not favored by the fashion -conscious. Then it was uphill for the gem
again, as designers such as Kim Hulbert (1990) of Timeless Gem Designs
celebrated it as a fashion statement. The revival of the gem was well accepted
in the world of fashion and magazines such as Vogue and Cosmopolitan patronized
it. Turquoise now has a permanent place in the world of jewelry, whether it be
worn like costume jewelry or delicately set with diamonds.
THE MYTHS AND THE METAPHYSICS....
As all gems, turquoise too, is known for it's metaphysical properties that have
been known and valued by many generations. The blue of the turquoise is said to
be have powerful metaphysical properties. As some cultures believe, it awakens
feelings of romantic love. Others say that it develops characteristics such as
trust and kindness and brings about fair quantities of the much needed wisdom
and understanding. The gem is also said to have some amount of power for
physical healing. It can be a great aid in tissue regeneration, body alignment
and for strengthening oneself. It is said to draw healing spirits, and bring
good fortune. In different cultures there are different myths related to this
therapeutic gem, and different uses and beliefs. Some cultures state that this
is a gem connected to wealth. Some say that it can change color to expose a
woman's infidelity. In India, Afghanistan, Arabia and Persia, it was believed
that the subtle variations in the color of the stone could be read as
indications of the health of the person wearing it. But the most widely shared
belief that is common to every ancient and present culture, is that the sky
blue stone, naturally formed by the earth, is most special for reminding us of
our connection with the earth and the sky.
TREATMENTS AND PROCESSES
The hardness of the gem varies, but on an average it remains between 5 and 6 on
the Mohs hardness scale. It is also quite porous and this can cause it to
discolor over time, unless it has been treated. Common treatments include the
use of wax, paraffin and resin. This enhances the color, and reduces the
porosity of the gem. These processes are easily identified by any gemologist.
In 1990 a new and improved unidentifiable process known as the Zachary
Treatment, was discovered. This treatment is said to significantly decrease
porosity of the stone, hence reducing the chances of the gem getting discolored
by agents such as skin oils. It also improves the stone's capacity to accept
treatment such as polishing. The Zachary Treatment does not modify the
composition of the stone in any way.
THE MANY FORMS AND FACES OF TURQUOISE...
Most people, when they think turquoise, they think big, chunky and loud. But
there are a number of elegant designs as well for more conservative buyers,
such as simplistic designs of turquoise in combination with high-carat gold and
diamonds. For buyers who want opulence for as little money as possible, look
out for the bracelet, necklace and ring designs released by many experimental
apparel designers. Turquoise is a gem which agrees with many styles, according
to how its worn. It's a great accessory for the peasant blouses and
bell-bottoms of the hippie-look. It can be a great add on for denim and suede
styles as well. Turquoise was the favorite gem of the artist Frida Kahlo, and
Salma Hayek (who plays Frida) was ornamented with big turquoise jewelry
throughout the movie. This had a considerable effect in the boost in the sales
of turquoise in the late 1990's. All in all, turquoise can be a great accessory
for the prairie style, the organic look, or even simple beige and white. Most
of the turquoise jewelry is fashioned in a free-form style, so the choices are
vast and varied. If you want to make a statement that's really a statement, add
some lively blue pendants or those brilliant turquoise earrings to give your
wardrobe the 'OOMPH' it needs.