Turquoise is found in only a few places on earth: dry and barren regions where acidic, copper-rich groundwater seeps downward and reacts with minerals that contain phosphorus and aluminium. The result of this sedimentary process is a porous, semi-translucent to opaque compound of hydrated copper and aluminium phosphate.
Birthstones & AnniversariesTurquoise is the traditional birthstone for the month of December and the gem of the 11th anniversary.
Turquoise buried in Ancient Egyptian tombs is among the world’s oldest jewellery.
Ancient Egyptians called turquoise “mefkat,” which also means “joy” and “delight.”
Montezuma, thinking Cortes was Quetzalcoatl, gave him the god’s favourite gem: turquoise.
Where It's Found
There are a number of processes used to alter the colour or apparent clarity, or to improve the durability of gems.Learn More
Some gemstones have synthetic counterparts that have essentially the same chemical, physical and optical properties, but are grown by man in a laboratory.Learn More
Any gem can be imitated – sometimes by man-made materials or by natural materials chosen by man to impersonate a particular gem.Learn More
Why We Love This Gemstone
The spiderweb of veins that appear in turquoise are matrix: evidence of the surrounding rock.
A legacy of turquoise appreciation spans the globe, from ancient Egypt to Mesoamerica to China.
Turquoise is coloured by copper, which creates some of the most vivid blues and greens in gems.
Turquoise is judged on its colour, texture, and the absence of matrix.
The even blue colour of this cabochon would be called Persian blue in the trade.
These free-form turquoise cabochons show a typical matrix pattern.
Although turquoise is usually cut into beads and cabochons, it can also be carved.
Cutters work around large areas of matrix to yield pieces of evenly coloured turquoise.
Turquoise Quality Factors: The Comprehensive Guide
Explore sources, gemmological research and the role of gems in history.
A Survey of the Gemstone Resources of ChinaPeter C. Keller and Wang Fuquan , Mar 1, 1986 Read more in English