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There is no agreement amongst scholars as to when and where Turquoise was actually first discovered. However, we do know that the history of Turquoise dates back well over 6000 years ago having been found in jewelry worn by Queens, interred in the ancient tombs of Egypt. Considered the "Stone of Life and Protection" this would follow the traditions of burying royalty with items that would keep the soul alive and protected, after they left the physical body. Over 1000 years ago, the Native American Indians began to use Turquoise as a powerful healer and protector. The stone was so amazing in its appearance and beautiful in color, that it was often used in art and jewelry or for trade and barter.
Locations and Processes
Turquoise is mined world wide in locations such as Persia, home of the worlds finest Turquoise, and in Egypt where the earliest documentation of Turquoise is recorded. A green hued Turquoise is harvested in Tibet and Mongolia. Iran and Turkey also have Turquoise mines. In the United States, the most well known locations include Nevada and New Mexico. Perhaps the most well known location in the US is the Sleeping Beauty Mountain in Globe, Arizona which is proudly the largest producer of natural Turquoise.
China has recently added Turquoise to their growing list of crystals, minerals and stones that they offer. Since Turquoise is a relatively soft mineral (5.5 on the Moh's Hardness Scale) there are several techniques and processes that are used in the stabilization of Chinese Turquoise. Many times, a waxing process is used that acts as a coating which deepens the color and protects the Turquoise. Often times, the Turquoise will undergo a stabilization process which is basically filling the stones cracks and dings with a resinous substance, making it easier to polish and cut for items such as jewelry, figurines, etc. Another process used frequently in China is reconstitution, which is basically using dust, chips and "left overs" which are all ground together. This powder is then added to an epoxy resin with dye added to maintain color. These are then either poured into stone "forms" or made into blocks which are easily sliced to produce material for jewelry items and other crafted designs.
How Turquoise is Mined
Turquoise is most often found as veins in igneous or sedimentary rock formations. Bulldozers move the top layers away to expose the Turquoise veins. Because these veins are often small, thin and/or narrow, the Turquoise must be extracted by hand using smaller tools like hammers, hand picks and shovels.
Turquoise is normally a greenish blue to beautiful sky blue in color. It is an opaque stone, meaning that light cannot be viewed as it passes through the stone. Turquoise is made up of a combination of minerals including Oxygen, Aluminum, Phosphorus, Copper, and Hydrogen.
Turquoise was approved by the American National Association of Jewelers in 1912 as one of the official birthstones for December.
Turquoise is considered to be a bridge between Heaven/Sky and Earth, grounding us while still remaining open to Spirit. Many Native American cultures believe Turquoise helps to connect the mind to the infinite possibilities of the Universe, and Turquoise is considered sacred in many Chinese cultures as well. Turquoise is a wonderful companion to use when removing and releasing old behaviours such as self sabotage and self martyrdom that no longer serves in growth.
Turquoise is great for working with the Throat Chakra, to foster honest and clear communication from the heart, and with Water and Air Elements. Enhancing intuition, Turquoise also enhances communication between the physical and spiritual realms. Use Turquoise to release old vows, express freely, and ease nerves when speaking in public. Turquoise is a protective stone, often being used for amulets. Turquoise is also a healing stone, providing strength and purification.
Primary Chakra: Throat, Thymus, Third Eye
Astrological sign(s): Scorpio, Sagittarius, Pisces
Vibration: Number 1
Use Turquoise to create or include in a crystal grid or lay on the body during a healing session. Turquoise is very popular in jewelry with many amazing, one of a kind pieces being crafted from this material. Add a piece of Turquoise to your crystal pouch or medicine bag.
Remember, Turquoise does contain Copper, which can be toxic, so it is not recommended to immerse in liquid for elixirs or charging water. However, it is perfectly safe to place outside of and around the actual container.
I highly recommend that you purchase at least one piece of Turquoise to add to your crystal collection. Its energy is smooth, gentle and powerful. Click here to see the wonderful selection of Turquoise we currently carry.
by: Mira Bai
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