All About Turquoise Blog!
When I first started this endeavor of a business, I had no idea that there were different types of turquoise, which mine was most valuable, nor what turquoise is even composed of. I think that this information is interesting, so I wanted to share it with you!
An interesting fact is that turquoise is water from hundreds of years ago. Turquoise is formed by a chemical reaction that occurs when the water containing specific minerals leaks through a rock. Over hundreds of years, it hardens and turns into the clumps it is found in. When the turquoise is mined, it is still the vein it formed in, so at times, it can be hard to extract without busting it into a million pieces.
Turquoise is composed of aluminum, copper, phosphorus, water, and other minerals depending on where they are at. Turquoise comes in a variety of colors, ranging from yellow to brown all the way to bright blue and green. Copper is what gives the mineral the blue coloring – the more copper, the bluer it is! If Turquoise has any iron in it, it will have more of a green color. And lastly, if the stone is more yellow, that means that there is zinc present in that stone.
Have you ever looked at turquoise jewelry that maybe your Grandma had? Or something that is pretty old? You will notice that the turquoise is dark. There are a couple of reasons why this happens. Turquoise is porous, meaning it has microscopic spaces or holes where liquid or air can get into the turquoise itself. Jewelry worn throughout the years gathers skin oil and moisture that seeps into those pours, which makes the turquoise become darker, and sometimes greener. Another reason it will change color is because the metal minerals inside turquoise such as the aluminum, iron or copper, can rust overtime due to water and oil, which will cause oxidization. As a result, the metals are rusting, which changes the color of the stone. The good news is that if this happens over the years, you know you have a real, valuable piece of turquoise!
Turquoise is found in the Western Part of the U.S., such as California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, and even some in Colorado. However, even though there are 100’s of mines here in the States, there are even more mines all over the world! I have this picture on my wall in my studio! In this picture, this does NOT even cover half of the mines in the U.S. These are just the larger and more well-known mines.
Sadly, there are many mines in the U.S. who are not mining turquoise anymore. One of those mines is the Sleeping Beauty mine (one of my favorites!). The mining stopped in 2012 because the owners decided to mine the copper instead, as copper can bring in more money. Now, Sleeping Beauty is more valuable because it is becoming harder and harder to find. The Sleeping Beauty mine is not the only one that has ceased production.
Some of the more common mines include Kingman, Royston, Morenci – and so many more! The most valuable turquoise mined is Lander Blue Turquoise, Lone Mountain Turquoise, Bisbee turquoise, and #8 Turquoise. My favorite mines are the Royston, Sleeping Beauty, Kingman, Carico Lake and Morenci Turquoise. I love these as I love the bright blue and the green colors that is produced there! However, each and every mine is just as beautiful in its own way.
I hope that you have learned some fun facts from this blog! I think that turquoise will always be one of my favorite stones, and who knows, maybe one day they will be worth a lot 😊