Soar to higher spiritual planes and return with wisdom.
Protect yourself during physical and energetic journeys.
Become more peaceful, trusting, and compassionate.
Enhance your natural gifts and share them with others.
Let Turquoise purify your spirit so you can fly free!
Mineralogy of Turquoise
Mineral Family: Phosphates
Chemical Composition: CuAl6(PO4)4(OH)8 4H2
Color: Blue, green
Crystal System: Triclinic
Luminescence: Blueish-white (long wave)
Luster: Waxy to dull
Streak: White to green
Location: The most desirable “sky-blue” Turquoise comes from Iran. Other important deposits are located in Afghanistan, Australia, Belgium, China, Chili, Egypt, England, Ethiopia, France, India, Mexico, Poland, Russia, Turkmenistan and the United States (Southwest).
Mineral Family: Turquoise is a phosphate mineral. These minerals all contain Phosphorus and Oxygen in a 1:4 ratio (written as PO4), which are then combined with various other elements to create unique minerals. Other famous phosphate minerals include Apatite, Lazulite, and Variscite.
Formation: Turquoise forms in arid desert regions, during the weathering and oxidation process of pre-existing minerals. Turquoise requires a combination of Copper-sulfide materials (which typically come from: Azurite, Chalcopyrite, or Malachite), Aluminum (typically from Feldspar), and Phosphorus (typically from Apatite). Turquoise usually fills or encrusts cavities and veins in igneous rocks. Generally, Turquoise appears at a relatively shallow depth of less than 20 meters (66 feet). Turquoise is sometimes inter-grown with secondary Copper minerals such as Chrysocolla.
Mining: Turquoise is a rare and highly desirable gemstone. Most mining operations are small scale, worked by hand with little to no mechanization. Turquoise may also be mined as a byproduct of large-scale Copper mines in the United States and elsewhere.
Enhancements: There is a great deal of fake, cheap Turquoise on the market. Most of it is dyed Magnesite, plastic, or glass. The most convincing form is the the dyed Magnesite, with its dark veins. Turquoise can also be dyed, stabilized, or even reconstituted to bring out a more uniform color. Natural Turquoise is rarely uniform and is expensive. Virtually all natural Turquoise is lightly waxed/oiled to bring out the color and luster of the stone.
History of Turquoise
Turquoise has been beloved for thousands of years in multiple locations around the world. As a result, it has some of the very oldest traditions of any healing stone. The name Turquoise comes from the French phrase, pierre turquoise, or “Turkish Stone”. During the Medieval period, the Turks were responsible for introducing Persian Turquoise and Central Asian Turquoise into Europe, via Venetian merchants.
The earliest known Turquoise jewelry dates back to the very dawn of civilization. Four Gold and Turquoise bracelets were found on the arms of the mummy of the Egyptian Queen Zer (5500 BCE). The Turquoise most likely came from the Sinai Peninsula. The Sinai Turquoise mine was one of the most extensively documented and organized mining operations of the ancient world. It produced a more greenish-colored Turquoise, rather than the sky-blue Turquoise found in central Asian mines. Egyptian records dating as far back as the reign of Pharaoh Semerkhet (c.2961 BCE), describe the Sinai Turquoise mine as requiring thousands of laborers. The Turquoise extracted was used to make jewelry and ornaments ranging from weapon hilts to amulets, and was sometimes even used to decorate royal thrones. According to Egyptian papyri records, Turquoise was connected to numerous deities, including Amun and Isis, and was a particularly valuable amulet for protecting and healing the eyes.
While the Sinai mines have long since played out, similar mines in Iran and Afghanistan still actively produce beautiful stones. Persian and Afghani Turquoise was widely traded throughout the Eurasian continent, as far west as Europe and east into India and Nepal. Today, Turquoise is the national gemstone of Iran. Turquoise from this region has a very even sky-blue color, and is slightly harder than North American Turquoise, which ranges from sky-blue to green. Modern gem lore in Iran states that Turquoise brings good luck, and if the color changes it is a warning of either danger or infidelity. Turquoise can, in fact, change color because it is a porous mineral. When worn regularly it can absorb oils from the body which, over time, can change the color of the stone.
Arab, Persian, and Turkish writers have often included passages about Turquoise in medical treatises. It was believed to offer general protection and healing, particular for the eyes, as well as staving off everything from sunstroke to epilepsy, and from scorpion stings to the ‘evil eye’. Small Turquoise beads have been used on bridles and have been woven into horse and camel manes since time untold, to protect them from the harsh desert sun and to give them vigor and energy for long journeys. This belief that Turquoise protects horses and riders was transported to Europe around the 17th century and continues to be believed by many equestrians worldwide. Turquoise is particularly thought to protect both rider and horse from injuries caused by a fall.
In Nepal, Turquoise is widely used for jewelry and decorations, along with Red Coral. Turquoise is believed to hold both spiritual and protective qualities and was used in a variety of ceremonies. For example, in traditional Tibetan marriage ceremonies, Turquoise is affixed to an arrow and carried on the back of the bride, to protect her and ensure that she is guided forward in a manner that will best serve her and her family.
Mesoamerican Turquoise was mined as early as 200 CE and used by the Mayans and the Aztecs for decorative and spiritual purposes. In particular, highly-polished Turquoise chips were used to create marvelous mosaics. The Aztec mosaics are particularly impressive and consist of many thousands of stones. These mosaics encrusted shields, helmets, jewelry, cult statues, and elaborate masks. Turquoise was valued so highly that the most important Aztec deity, the solar god, Xiuhlecuhtli, name translates to “Lord of Turquoise”. The Aztec buried their dead with a small bead of Turquoise in their mouth, so that they would have a gift for the gods when the deceased arrived in the afterlife.
Archaeological evidence shows that Native American tribes have been mining Turquoise in the American Southwest for at least a millennium, if not far longer. As in other cultures, the Turquoise was used for decorations and shamanic purposes, as well as being a valuable trade good. Southwestern tribes, particularly the Navajo, Zuni, Apache, Hopi, and Pueblo peoples consider Turquoise to be a protective stone and one that bestows ‘goodness’ on its owner. Bright Blue Turquoise is believed to be ‘male’ and is associated with Father Sky, while Green Turquoise is ‘female’ and represents Mother Earth. Historically, Blue Turquoise was given to boys and used to decorate their cradle boards to help them grow into strong warriors. Turquoise of both colors were considered essential components to the Medicine Bag of any great healer or shaman.
Navajo shamans famously used Turquoise in rain making ceremonies, by throwing the stone into a swift-moving river, or else holding it under running water. Turquoise is also tied to prayer sticks and is said to give shamans the ability to control and command the winds. Today, many Southwestern tribes use Turquoise for cloud-bursting and as decorations on rainmaking sticks. According to Apache lore, the most powerful Turquoise can be found at the end of a rainbow, where the ground is still moist from rain. Such stones should be affixed to rifles or arrows, and will increase accuracy in hunting and warfare. After his first successful hunt, a native boy is often given beads of Turquoise in celebration of his prowess.
To many Southwestern tribes, Turquoise is the most valuable gemstone of all and hardly any ceremony can be performed without it. Small fetishes are carved out of, or decorated with, Turquoise and added to medicine bag bundles. The bundles should not be touched by anyone other than the owner, and are carried for protection and good luck. Turquoise can also be used in love spells, to attract both men and women and make them faithful to their lover.
Healing Properties of Blue Turquoise
Spiritual: Turquoise is a stone of great wisdom. It enhances communication between this world and the spiritual worlds. It has a purifying essence and protects us from negative outside influences. Turquoise sends a cool refreshing energy into us when we feel spiritually tired and need to be nourished and restored to our selves. It balances and aligns the chakras and meridians, as well as our male and female energies. Turquoise helps us to express our Truth clearly and confidently, while also being open to new ideas. Turquoise invites us to continually learn and grow, becoming steadily more masterful over the course of our lives. It encourages compassion, generosity, and kindness towards all beings. Blue Turquoise is thought to have ‘male’ energy and evoke the expansive sky. Blue Turquoise is attuned to the Throat Chakra and linked to the astrological signs of Scorpio, Sagittarius, and Pisces. It is connected to the Element of Storm, and vibrates to the number 1.
Emotional: Turquoise is an exquisite balancing stone for the emotions, helping us to feel peaceful and at ease. It reduces stress and gives us fresh energy to tackle any challenges we may be facing. Turquoise gently dissolves any impulses for self-sabotage and martyrdom, instead inviting us to seek out elegant solutions to any problems we might have and to act in accordance with our Highest Good. Turquoise encourages self-forgiveness, acceptance, and love. It helps us to let go of regret and to be open to receiving love from others. Turquoise also helps us to forgive others for their transgressions, and be more understanding of the bigger picture. Blue Turquoise is particularly good for being able to communicate openly and honestly about difficult emotional topics.
Mental: Turquoise reveals how our own actions have influenced events in our lives, showing us that in many ways we are ‘masters of our own fate’. Turquoise encourages both intuition and logic, helping us to have clearer foresight about future events so we can adjust our present course accordingly. It inspires creativity and enables us to work for long periods of time peacefully. Turquoise encourages us to take care of ourselves, physically and emotionally, so that we don’t work ourselves into an exhaustion and so we can continue to work and give of ourselves in a way that is healthy and satisfying. Blue Turquoise, in particular, encourages the mind to stay focused on a single important task and do it well.
Physical: Turquoise is believed to be a particularly strong physical healing stone and is used to treat a wide-variety of illnesses. It is most often used by metaphysical healers to treat the immune system and the body’s ability to assimilate nutrients. It is believed to neutralize over-acidity in the body and to help with detoxes. It is said to be useful for treating rheumatism, cramps, gout, and eye problems.
Always use wisdom when considering crystal therapies for healing.
Ethically Sourced Turquoise
The Miners sell to a rough Gem Dealer/Exporter.
The Exporter sells to a Lapidary.
The Lapidary sells directly to Moonrise Crystals.
Moonrise Crystals sells directly to you.
The Supply Chain
The Supply Chain is relatively short but likely clean.
The Mine and the Lapidary are located in different countries, with one middleman involved.
This Turquoise is from a small mine in Sonora, Mexico.
The exact deposit is unknown, and most likely had safe conditions for workers,
and caused only minor environmental damage.
Learn More: Ethical Mining
This Turquoise was polished in Cape Town, South Africa.
The Lapidary is a family-owned business, founded by father and passed on to his sons.
Factory workers have safe conditions and are paid fairly.
The Lapidary is also the direct-importer & sells primarily at large gem shows.
Learn More: Ethical Lapidary
I have been doing business with this source since the earliest days in my business. They are a major tumbling company and have more varieties, in more sizes, than any other known source. The owners visit many small and industrial-size mines personally. For artisanal-mined deposits in sub-Sahara Africa, the owners work with Gem Dealers who deal directly with the part-time miners. The majority of these Gem Dealers are women.
Some, but not all, of their stones are labeled with country-of-origin. For those that aren’t, I have to ask the owners personally. They tend to get impatient with questions. As I’ve learned more about mining practices in individual countries, I have become increasingly selective about what I will purchase from them. However, they remain my preferred source for most of sub-Sahara Africa.
Turquoise Tumbled Stone
Color: Bright Blue. This is a 100% natural stone, so minor variations are part of their unique beauty.
Size: 1 inch, or a little bit bigger
Weight: 1 oz
Shipping: Next business day – Domestic First Class averages 3-7 days. International First Class averages 2-3 weeks.
Safe Handling of Turquoise
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