Probably one of the most recognized blue semi precious stones in existence, Turquoise has been popular for jewelry cabochons since prehistoric times. It is believed to be one of the first gemstones ever mined.
Turquoise is a hydrated aluminum copper phosphate that often contains iron. Turquoise occurs naturally in shades ranging from sky blue to grey-green, usually in locations where copper is hidden in the soil in high concentrations. The blue color is caused by copper, while the green color is caused by iron or chromium.
The name comes from the French word pierre turquois, which means Turkish stone, because the trade route that brought it to Europe used to come via Turkey. A pure blue gemstone cabochon is very rare, most Turquoise has inclusions of its host or matrix rock. Though Turquoise comes from Persia, Persian Turquoise is often used to refer to solid blue turquoise, not necessarily form Persia.
Turquoise has been mined from what is now known as Iran since 5000 B.C. In fact it is the national gemstone of Iran. In 1990 the tomb of Queen Zar was opened and a turquoise cabochon bracelet was found on the mummies' wrist. Turquoise cabochons are a staple in Native American jewelry and many Native American cultures believe it wards off demons and brings good fortune and happiness.
Metaphysical Properties of Turquoise: Turquoise is said to be beneficial to overall well-being and soundness of one's moods and emotions. Wearing Turquoise cabochons can lift your sagging spirits!
Turquoise is one of the birthstones for the month of December and the semi precious stone for both the 5th and 11th wedding anniversary.
Like most Turquoise on the market these cabochons are stabilized or treated (which means impregnated with a resin) for easy cutting. It is considerably softer than quartz and thus is usually treated in some way for stability.