Posted by Rachel on May 07, 2014
The word Turquoise dates back to the 16th century, from an old French word for Turkish, because it was thought to have been brought to Europe through Turkey. Turquoise in its natural form is a very porous stone, which means it will fracture quite easily. Therefore, most of the turquoise used in jewelry is stabilized with a clear epoxy coating. This aids in strengthening the stone, as well as preventing the color from fading over time. (Color usually will fade when the oils from one's skin come into contact with the natural stone).
The majority of turquoise on the U.S. market today comes from China. Unfortunately, China has lowered the value of turquoise to a point that many American turquoise mines can no longer afford to be in operation. However, there are still a few mines in operation in the American southwest. Chinese turquoise ranges in color, covering just about the full spectrum of greens and blues, depending on where it was mined.
Even though much of the turquoise used in jewelry and carvings comes from China, the jewelry itself is made right here in America, often in the Southwest. Chinese turquoise is so beautiful that many consumers prefer the look of it to the turquoise that comes from local mines. In our experience, many of our customers love and wear turquoise in many different shades.