Turquoise Stone: Benefits, Meanings, Properties & Uses

Turquoise gemstone informationWhen it comes to the breathtaking beauty of the sea and the sky, turquoise stones are your best friend! Turquoise is a copper and aluminum-rich phosphate mineral beloved for its versatile properties and uses. Whether you’re seeking healing, protection, or beauty, turquoise can do it all!

In this holistic guide, we’ll delve into turquoise’s diverse specifications, meanings, healing properties, and so much more. Let’s get started!

About Turquoise 

Turquoise stones are blue and green phosphate minerals celebrated for their soothing energy and oceanic beauty. People have coveted turquoise jewelry for thousands of years. Whether you’re a fan of rings, pendants, beads, or necklaces, turquoise is sure to be a stunning pick!

If you or a loved one has a birthday in December, you can happily claim turquoise as your birthstone! Turquoise’s cool blue tones are a fantastic match for any winter babies out there.

Likewise, if your zodiac sign is Sagittarius or Capricorn, turquoise is the perfect stone for you. For the ambitious and enthusiastic Sagittarius, turquoise can help you achieve prosperity. For the strong yet often stubborn Capricorn, turquoise can help you foster more open communication.

Let’s get scientific for a hot second! Turquoise is a hydrated phosphate full of copper and aluminum. That means that if you dunk turquoise in water, it’ll absorb the liquid.

As a porous mineral, turquoise teeters between 5-6 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness just below quartz. As a comparison to everyday objects, turquoise is softer than a steel nail!

Let’s dive into more about turquoise gemstone composition.

turquoise gemstone

Turquoise Specifications and Characteristics

  • Color: Turquoise, pale to dark blue, blue-green, yellow

  • Crystal structure: Triclinic

  • Luster: Vitreous (crystals), waxy or dull (massive)

  • Transparency: Transparent to translucent (rare), opaque

  • Refractive index: 1.590-1.650

  • Specific gravity: 2.40-2.90

  • Cleavage: None (massive)

Now that we’ve touched base on its chemical properties, what does turquoise stone symbolize?

turquoise gemstone cabochons unique shape

Turquoise Stone Meaning

The name turquoise stems from the 17th century through the French word turquois, or “Turkish.” After all, Turkish travelers first introduced medieval Europe to turquoise stones from Persian mines.

Is turquoise a lucky stone? You bet! As a popular symbol of good luck, turquoise can bring you success and fortune. The next time you’re pursuing that promotion at work, carry some turquoise for an extra shot of luck.

Along with good luck, turquoise represents hope and serenity as well. Try decorating your home or office with this sky-blue stone to reap some well-deserved peace and happiness. You can even meditate with your turquoise stone, whether by itself or in a crystal grid.

Finally, turquoise symbolism offers protection against danger, particularly your personal health. According to popular beliefs, if your turquoise stone breaks, consider this a warning of danger! If your gem pales in color, you may fall ill soon. Meanwhile, a total loss of color can indicate the owner’s death — but of course, this is part of the stone’s lore and legend.

Speaking of your health, what is the healing power of turquoise?

turquoise gemstone pendant healing stones

Turquoise Healing Properties

Like most gems, turquoise can double as a powerful healing stone. So, what are the benefits of turquoise stones?

Turquoise Physical Healing

  • Strengthens immune system

  • Absorbs nutrients

  • Regenerates damaged tissue

  • Heals eyes and sore throats

  • Alleviates body pain

Turquoise Emotional Healing

  • Combats depression and fatigue

  • Prevents panic attacks

  • Promotes inner harmony

Turquoise Spiritual Healing

  • Improves self-realization 

  • Activates the heart, throat, and third-eye chakras

  • Stabilizes the lower chakras

What are the chakras, anyway? Chakras are sacred energy centers that flow from the crown of your head to the base of your spine. 

The heart chakra is the center of your love, compassion, and empathy. The throat chakra controls your ability to communicate and express yourself. Finally, the third-eye chakra unlocks your intuition and foresight.

When your chakras are blocked, you can suffer physical and spiritual pain. Fortunately, turquoise stones can open these chakras and heal you inside and out.

How else have people revered turquoise’s unique properties throughout history?

traditional nepalese turquoise gemstone necklace with coral

Turquoise History

Societies from all over the world have cherished turquoise stones for many millennia. Starting from circa 3000 BCE, Ancient Egyptians began mining turquoise for jewelry and ceremonial use. Ancient Chinese and American civilizations would later do the same.

Remember how turquoise can bring good luck? Well, this belief spans back several centuries across different cultures.

For example, the Aztecs revered turquoise the way other societies revered gold and emerald. The Aztecs used turquoise as sacrificial offerings to their deities. According to Aztec mythology, the god Quetzalcoatl passed down the art of cutting and polishing turquoise.

Because of turquoise’s special status, Aztecan rulers wore turquoise beaded bracelets as protective amulets. After they died, esteemed chiefs were buried with turquoise fragments inserted in their mouths. 

Up in North America, the Apache tribes believed that turquoise stones possessed many mystical powers. As such, the Apache decorated themselves with protective turquoise amulets, beads, and pendants. Apache shamans were considered illegitimate if they didn’t own any turquoise. 

As we mentioned earlier, ancient Persia (present-day Iran) introduced turquoise to medieval Europe through Turkish travelers. Turquoise experienced a surge in popularity during the Victorian era. Jewelers liked to set the stone in gold, a practice that modern-day jewelers tend to follow as well.

Turquoise rough slab

Turquoise Stone Origins

Most turquoise is found in nodule deposits and host rocks, either as veins or shallow crusts. When you look at a turquoise stone, you’ll find colorful, vein-like strands running across its surface. 

Known as “matrixes,” these veins or patches are remnants of the host rock that turquoise is formed within. Some common host rocks include chalcedony, opal, and white kaolinite. Matrixes can influence a stone’s color and durability.

Turquoise is a secondary mineral. Unlike primary minerals, which form during crystallization, secondary minerals result during later weathering processes. 

Other minerals that often grow together with turquoise are malachite and chrysocolla. Like turquoise, both of these gemstones carry shades of bluish-green and plenty of copper.

Where can we find turquoise around the world? 

Turquoise Sources

The U.S. and China are the top global suppliers of turquoise. In China, turquoise mines exist in the Hubei and Shaanxi provinces. Chinese turquoise gemstones come in pale blue to light green colors and are usually softer than their American counterparts.

Over in the U.S., Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, and New Mexico produce quality turquoise. Nevada mines more turquoise gemstones than all the other states combined!

The most notable U.S. turquoise deposit, however, dwells in Lynch Station, Virginia. Here, you’ll find the world’s only source of transparent and translucent turquoise crystals. If you’re able to secure turquoise from this location, you’ve got an incredibly rare and valuable jewel in your hands!

Across the world, Iranian mines historically supplied a highly prized variety of turquoise called “Persian grade.” Persian-grade turquoise stones are celestial blue with no visible matrixes. 

Some Iranian mines still produce Persian-grade gems today. The Sleeping Beauty Mine in Arizona delivers similar kinds of stones as well.

Other turquoise mines around the globe include:

  • Australia

  • Chile

  • Brazil

  • India

  • Mexico

Once raw turquoise gems become market-ready, it’s time to go jewelry shopping!

Turquoise gemstone necklace

Turquoise Gemstone Properties

When you shop for quality turquoise jewelry, you’ll want to assess these gemstone properties:

  • Color. Turquoise colors range from turquoise to blue to even sometimes yellow. Turquoise receives its blue shades from copper, green from chromium and vanadium and yellow from iron. If you’re a fan of matrix patterns, consider getting a spiderweb turquoise stone with a lace-patterned black matrix!

  • Carat Weight. Turquoise gemstones are often sold commercially at around 4-8 carats. Larger jewels work great as ornamental pieces.

  • Clarity. Most turquoise stones are opaque — they’re matte with colorful spider web-like inclusions called matrixes. Turquoise matrix patterns are breathtakingly beautiful and range from black to gold.

  • Cut. Gem-quality turquoise gems are typically carved into cabochons, inlay, and carvings. Lower-grade stones are fashioned into beads, whether they’re polished or “nugget-style.” 

Finally, you may want to think about turquoise gems that are synthetic or have received treatment.

mojave turquoise gemstone cabochon

Treatment and Synthetics

Most turquoise gems undergo some form of treatment before hitting the market. Gemstone treatments are entirely safe and standard procedures that enhance a jewel’s color and clarity. For some turquoise gemstones, that means deepening their pale colors to a dark and rich tone.

Synthetic turquoise does exist, both with or without matrix patterns. Popular synthetic options include glass, plastic, and ceramic. Some natural gemstones, like variscite, often resemble turquoise and can serve as alternatives.

The Pierre Gilson Company created the most well-known synthetic turquoise in 1972. Unlike many other synthetics, these artificial turquoise gems are nearly indistinguishable from their natural counterparts. However, if you compare the two varieties under a microscope, you’ll discover that natural turquoise has a smooth surface while Pierre Gilson turquoise carries an oatmeal-like texture.

As you shop around, keep in mind that many turquoise gemstones might not be turquoise at all! Instead, they may be other minerals or objects that are simply turquoise-colored. 

For example, howlite and magnesite are often dyed blue to mimic turquoise — be sure to keep an eye out for these! Always double-check with the seller and read product descriptions carefully.

Speaking of careful, let’s explore how we can best take care of our turquoise jewelry.

turquoise gemstone wire-wrapped pendant

Turquoise Care and Maintenance

As a fairly delicate stone, you’ll need to lavish extra love and care onto your turquoise stones! 

With that said, be sure to save your turquoise jewelry for occasional use. If you’re thinking of buying a turquoise ring, don’t forget to include protective settings to preserve your jewels. Store your turquoise in a fabric-lined container away from other gemstones to prevent scratches.

Another vital fact to consider is that turquoise absorbs liquids and gases very quickly. That’s why you should keep your jewelry away from any heat and chemicals. You’ll want to avoid any irreversible damage!

When it comes to cleaning turquoise stones, steer clear of soaps, detergents, and mechanical cleaners. Again, turquoise is highly porous and will soak in these harmful chemicals.

Instead, wipe down your gems with a damp cloth and carefully wipe them dry. You’ll want to do this each time you wear your jewelry to keep it fresh and clean.

We’ve now covered what kind of turquoise jewelry to shop for and how to care for it. But just how much does turquoise cost anyway?

turquoise gemstone pendant with cubic zirconia

Turquoise Prices and Value

As a popular and prized gemstone, it’s no surprise that turquoise can be very expensive. Premium jewels can cost up to $500 per carat!

However, turquoise stone prices offer a lot of variety and flexibility — a win for anyone with a budget! In fact, turquoise jewelry can cost as little as five cents per carat. If you’re looking for a more mid-range price, you can expect to find quality turquoise at $30-40 per carat.

What accounts for this diverse price range? Color evenness and saturation play a significant role in turquoise valuation. 

In general, darker-colored stones are more valuable. Turquoise gems that are green or greenish-blue are seen as less desirable and therefore less expensive. (Of course, if green is your favorite color, then feel free to rock it!)

What is the most valuable turquoise? Many consider the infamous Persian-grade turquoise that we mentioned earlier to be the most valuable variety of turquoise. With its deep, rich color and lack of inclusions, Persian-grade turquoise is definitely a rare catch!

Ultimately, no matter your style or budget, you’ll easily find turquoise jewelry that suits you. That’s just how versatile turquoise is!

turquoise gemstone cabochons tear drop shape

Treasure Turquoise Today!

We’ve shared everything there is to know about turquoise stones — From the ancient Egyptians to the Aztecs to modern-day society, history has shown how powerful and enchanting turquoise is. Are you ready to buy turquoise online?

Within this serene blue stone lies an entire world of magnetic properties and uses. Whether you need a protective amulet, healing crystal, beautiful birthstone, or gorgeous jewelry, turquoise is the stone for you. All it takes is a bit of turquoise to brighten your days!

In the market to buy turquoise? Shop for turquoise stones from Gem Rock Auctions today!

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