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 and Figures
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.