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Ten Random Facts about Turquoise

turquoise December birthstone strand of rough turquoise beads

1. Turquoise is the birthstone for December.

2. Most turquoise deposits are in arid to semi-arid regions and found in igneous rock formations that contain high copper concentrations.

3. In the simplest terms, turquoise forms when water percolates through rocks that contain copper, aluminum and other minerals. A chemical reaction takes place that results in deposits of what we know as turquoise. Keep in mind that this process takes millions of years and only happens when a complex set of conditions come together!

4. Turquoise ranges in color. The well-known blue color occurs when copper is present. If it looks green then there’s aluminum present. A yellow-green color means zinc is present.

5. Turquoise used for jewelry making is a 5-6 on the Mohs Scale.

6. Turquoise is found all across North America, Iran, Russia, Australia, China, Turkey and many other places!

7. It’s a mineral that is a hydrated phosphate of copper and aluminum.

8. Ancient Egyptians called turquoise “mefkat,” which also means “joy” and “delight.”

9. Howlite, a borate mineral, is often dyed and passed off as turquoise. Fortunately, it’s easy to test the stone to determine if it’s authentic turquoise!

10. Heat, prolonged sunlight and contact with chemicals in cosmetics can, over time, change the color of turquoise. In ancient times, people believed that turquoise changing color was a signal of impending danger to the wearer.


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