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>> Group(s) : phosphates
See the pictures :

This is simply the "Turkish stone" because when this gem came to Europe, it had passed through that country, but it came from Persia. The Greeks called it "callaite".
It was a sacred stone for the Egyptians, Persians, Tibetans, Indians, Mayans, Aztecs and Incas.
Color sky blue, green, apple green when it is altered, the nuance " turquoise blue " is proving rare. When the stone is cut by veinlets or brown clouds, or gray or black, it is called "matrix".
Heated to 250 ° C, the blue sky color turns green. It may also change color under the influence of light, perspiration, oils, cosmetics, greasy products ... by loosing its natural water content: it is said that she dies: it fades or turns green.
Its hardness depends on its origin: it starts at 4 (those of America), 5 (those of Sinai) or 6 (those of Persia). The turquoise of Iran are the most popular.
The Eilat stone is a mixture of malachite, chrysocolla, azurite and turquoise.

Exploited sites

It occurs as veinlets of 20 to 25 mm only, in a compact mass filling cracks. The region of Nishapur (Iran) provides the most beautiful stones, but they are also found in Afghanistan, Argentina, Tibet, United States (New Mexico, Arizona: Sleeping Beauty Mine), Russia, Chile, Australia, Brazil, Indochina, in South West Africa, China, Mexico, Tanzania, Israel (in the Sinai were the site was operated in 4000 BC) and was even noted in France, at Montebras (Creuse) although it is likely that it was only variscite.

See pictures of the mines / other pictures

Use in jewelry

The finest come from Iran and Egypt (Sinai), they are the most polished and have the most beautiful color and the highest hardness. Cut in cabochon for rings, pendants, necklaces and small objects for windows, in square for mosaics (Central America), to adorn weapons, clothing, vases (in Iran, a cup is decorated with 25 rows of turquoise), or even make coffee services or hookahs.
Turquoise is the anniversary stone for the 11th year of marriage.

Daily care and precautions

Very fragile, sensitive to household products, greases, detergents, cosmetics, heat, dehydration. The porous turquoises, of low hardness, are the most fragile ... it's also one of the reasons why the Iranian turquoise are the most popular. The gemologist must refrain from wanting to measure the refractive index due to optical liquid.

Looking alike stones

chalcedony , chrysocolla , hemimorphite , howlite , serpentine , variscite

Historical healing properties

Since prehistoric times, it was supposed to protect warriors and hunters by making them invincible being the emblem of courage, hope, self confidence, elevating the spirit to heaven and governing body fluids. Its quiet and intense color, which combines the blue sky and green earth, would relate our inspiration and our ideals to the primordial force of the planet, offering wisdom.
It would help us express our ideas and strengthen the scope of our words. It would improve stuttering. In Persia, it was wore to protect themselves from poverty and obtain the friendship of others.
It would have a regenerative action for the whole body, it departs the nightmares, preserve poisoners and murderers, sailors from shipwrecks. It is said that it "wastes away" along with the wearer, changing color, it is tarnishing and breaks at the time of death.
It will permeate our lives, would be the image of it.. it behaves like a sponge, a kind of absorbing shield.

Imitations and treatments

The porous stones are plastic impregnated to consolidate and strengthen their color. The Egyptians already imitated the stone with the earthenware covered with a porcelain enamel. We can enhance its color with oil or paraffin, Prussian blue, blue of aniline ...
The most common imitations are magnesite, howlite, chalcedony and powders of limestone, turquoise, various phosphates, colored. Glassware, porcelain ... can imitate it.
It was synthesized in a very untrustful way in the 1970s.
The Neolite (trade name) is sold for a synthetic turquoise matrix.

Chemical characteristics
CuAl6[PO4]4(OH)8 - 4H2O

hydrated aluminum and copper phosphate

Physical characteristics

Main color : blue

Other colors : green

light blue sometimes with small brown or black veins

Color of streak : white

Luster : dull, waxy

Hardness : 4.0 to 6.0

Density : 2.30 to 2.85

Cleavage : none

Fracture : conchoidal, uneven

Optical properties

Transparency : opaque

Refractive Index : 1.610 - 1.650

Double refraction : 0.040

Strong biaxial (+)

visible double refraction : no

Dispersion : +

Pleochroism : absent

Number of colors : 1

Practically impossible to see

Absorption spectrum : 432

turquoise spectrum system

turquoise spectrum system

Fluorescence : weak

Greenish or bluish

Inclusions : limonite, quartz, pyrite veins of matrix


Rare, rather found in reniform aggregates or hummocky.

Crystal system : triclinic

Other informations

Astrological sign : Taurus, Gemini, Virgo, Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces

Month : december

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  • Taurus Taurus
  • Gemini Gemini
  • Virgo Virgo
  • Capricorn Capricorn
  • Aquarius Aquarius
  • Pisces Pisces

helps friendship and sweetness