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Color: sky-blue, blue-green, apple-green
Moh's hardness: 6
The name turquoise means "Turkish stone" and was given to this gem because the trade route that brought the stone to Europe used to come via Turkey. In many cultures, the turquoise has been appreciated for thousands of years as a holy stone, good luck charm and talisman. Throughout history turquoise has been worn as protection to ward off the influence of dark and evil powers.
In the contemporary teachings of the healing power of stones, wearing turquoise is a recommended remedy for depression. The bright and happy color is supposed to increase self-confidence. The stone is also very popular as a token of friendship.
Turquoise occurs naturally in shades ranging from sky-blue to grey-green. The blue color is caused by copper while the green color is caused by iron or chromium. The best turquoise quality shows a clear and light sky-blue, with or without the fine spider web lines that appear in many stones. The quality decreases with the increase of green color, and spots and irregularities in the spider web.
The highest quality, light-blue turquoises are found in northern Iran. Deposits are also found in the USA, Mexico, Israel, Iran, Afghanistan, Australia, Brazil, Tanzania and China.
Turquoises are relatively soft gemstones whose color may fade in the course of wearing. Due to their sensitivity, even in top qualities, turquoises receive a waxing and subsequent hardening treatment in order to preserve their beauty. This procedure makes this delicate gemstone sturdier, but it is still recommended to protect turquoise jewelry from cosmetics, heat and bright sunlight.