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Hardness -5-6
Colour -Blue
Origin - U.S.A
Transparency -Opaque

Turquoise is an opaque, blue-to-green mineral that is copper and aluminum. It is rare and valuable in finer grades and has been prized as a gem and ornamental stone for thousands of years owing to its unique hue. The substance has been known by many names, but the word turquoise was derived around 16th century from the French language either from the word for Turkish (Turquois).


Even the finest of turquoise is fracturable. The luster of turquoise is typically waxy to sub vitreous. Color is as variable as the mineral's other properties, ranging from white to a powder blue to a sky blue. The blue is attributed to copper. Despite its low hardness relative to other gems, turquoise takes a good polish.


Massive turquoise in matrix with quartz from Mineral Park, Arizona.

Turquoise was among the first gems to be mined, and while many historic sites have been depleted, some are still worked to this day. These are all small-scale, often seasonal operations, owing to the limited scope and remoteness of the deposits. Most are worked by hand with little or no mechanization. However, turquoise is often recovered as a byproduct of large-scale copper mining operations.

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