February 22, 2012

Why to LOVE Turquoise

What is Turquoise?

The stone has become famous for being paired with denim jackets and silver chunky rings a style we most associate with the South West mainly the states of Arizona and Nevada. But its origins date much farther than we expect. Beside the obvious there are some fun facts to learn about the evolution of one of our most treasured stones.


Since at least the First Dynasty (3000 BCE), and possibly before then, turquoise was used by the Egyptians and was mined by them in the Sinai Peninsula called "Country of Turquoise" by the native Monitu.

The stone has been known by many names, but the word turquoise, which dates to the 16th century, is derived from an Old French word for "Turkish", because the mineral was first brought to Europe from Turkey, from the mines in historical Khorasan Province of Persia.

The Southwest United States is a significant source of turquoise. The deposits of California and New Mexico were mined by pre-Columbian Native Americans using stone tools, some local and some from as far away as central Mexico. Cerrillos, New Mexico is thought to be the location of the oldest mines.

Arizona is currently the most important producer of turquoise by value.


Color is as variable as the mineral's other properties, ranging from white to a powder blue to a sky blue, and from a blue-green to a yellowish green. The blue is attributed to idiochromatic copper while the green may be the result of either iron impurities (replacing aluminium) or dehydration.

Turquoise has an officially recognized chemical composition that mineralogists use in identifying what any stone is. That composition includes aluminum and copper. It is copper that gives the varying shades of blue and greens.

It is rare and valuable in finer grades and has been prized as a gem and ornamental stone for thousands of years owing to its unique hue.

In Iranian architecture, the blue turquoise was used to cover the domes of the Iranian palaces because its intense blue color was also a symbol of heaven on earth.

We hope you LOVE turquoise as much as we do!

For any inquiries please email retail@wendyminkjewelry.com or call the boutique at 212-260-5298

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