Turquoise

Turquoise ranges from different shades of blue to shades of green. Some have matrix or movement, others don’t. Even that matrix can differ greatly in color and pattern. Turquoise gets its color from the heavy metals in the ground where it forms. Blue turquoise forms when there is copper present, which is the case with most Arizona turquoise. Green turquoise forms where iron is present, the case with most Nevada turquoise.  Natural turquoise, is unaltered by any chemical processes and  is not dyed. Stabilized turquoise is turquoise that has been treated in a way that increases its durability and protects its color.  To help you identify them better, let’s go over a few different types of turquoise that are fairly well known and that I love to use in my pieces.

When you’re choosing turquoise jewelry, what matters most is whether or not the stone appeals to you. Do you like the coloring?  Is the matrix attractive? At Red Mare Studio, you know you’re getting natural turquoise, straight from the earth and containing all the power, strength, and beauty found therein.

 

Carico Lake

Carico Lake turquoise is named after the location of its historic mine on a dried up lake bed in a high, cool area of Lander County, Nevada. Its clear, iridescent, spring green color is due to its zinc content and is highly unique and collectable.  The turquoise ranges from beautiful shades of blue to lime green. . Although blue turquoise is the majority produced, in recent years lime green has been most valued for its rarity and unique color. The mine is primarily a gold producing mine. The very limited amount of this turquoise and the limited time allowed to mine it makes this glorious turquoise a wonderful addition to your jewelry collection.

 

Damele

A small mine producing a uniquely colored stone with a dark brown to black webbed matrix, the Damele mine is located in Nevada, neighboring the Carico Lake Mine and the Godber-Burnham mine. Much of what is found today from the claim is Variscite, the turquoise often coming from older rough.The rare color of the Damele stone, ranging from yellow and green to soft grey, the hardness of the stone, and the limited quantities, make Damele a coveted collector’s stone.

 

White Buffalo

White Buffalo Turquoise was named by the Native Americans in the area of its discovery because they saw the beauty and purity of this stone and believed it to be as rare as a white buffalo. This stone has only been discovered in one mine worldwide.  With only the single deposit known in existence, and a very limited quantity remaining to be mined, this stone is quite rare and valuable.

 

Mohave

Mojave Turquoise is crafted using only natural turquoise nuggets mined and processed at the Kingman Turquoise mine in Kingman Arizona. In the process chunks of natural turquoise are combined together (some with a copper or pyrite matrix) and stabilized to harden the stone (note – almost all turquoise on the market today is stabilized).  This is true Arizona turquoise and, in the case of blue variety shows only the natural color.

The GIA (Gemological Institute of America) did a detailed exam of this turquoise in 2010  and it was found to be genuine turquoise.   Because small pieces of genuine turquoise are bonded into a larger piece, the end product is considered to be genuine turquoise. Although it’s an assembled gemstone, it is made of all natural turquoise. This is an affordable way to wear turquoise.

 

Campitos

Mined in Mexico from the Pino Chueco and Cananea mines in Sonora, Campitos Turquoise was mined extensively in ancient times. Campitos is unique in several ways. Most turquoise is sourced from rock veins, where it is found deeply embedded in the mother stone, typical of many North American turquoises. Campitos turquoise, however, is found within deposits of clay, where it develops into free-form, uniquely shaped nuggets. Its color is said to most closely resemble Sleeping Beauty Turquoise, and ranges from a light to medium blue, occasionally with pyrite inclusions, giving it a bit of sparkle. A lovely, hard stone with beautiful color, Campitos is a favorite for jewelry artisans. The mine as we know it today has been producing since the 1980’s. Campito in Spanish is a derivative of the word “campo”, meaning “field” or “countryside”


How to Care for Turquoise

Since turquoise is a phosphate mineral, it is fragile. Therefore, gemstone owners should use caution when wearing perfume on their neck and wrists while adorning themselves with a turquoise bracelet or necklace. Chemicals will damage the stone’s finish and may change its color. Skin oils may also negatively affect turquoise. Avoid cleaning the gem with commercial jewelry cleaning products and prevent the stone from entering direct sunlight because it can cause turquoise to discolor. Before putting on a jewelry item featuring turquoise, apply makeup and sunscreen in addition to hairspray. After wearing turquoise, gently wipe the stone with a soft, clean towel, which will prevent residue from developing. It is safe to wash the gem with warm water. However, be sure to dry it thoroughly before placing it inside a storage container. Store turquoise in a separate compartment away from other jewelry pieces or gems as turquoise may become scratched. Also, do not store the gemstone in an airtight container since this can also cause damage to the stone.