Turquoise – the Lovely Gemstone Used in Silver Jewelry
Turquoise is an attractive gem that looks so good in silver turquoise
jewelry. Chemically it's a mixture of phosphates and aluminum with some
traces of copper oxide, from which arises its blue color, and iron,
calcium, zinc and manganese oxide. The green color of the gems arises
from the iron or aluminum and yellow from zinc. Green is the most
common color for turquoise stones, and as a matter of fact blue
gemstones frequently transform into green after exposure to sunlight
for any length of time. Various blends of these elements give the
gemstone its variety of colors, with the most highly valued being those
with an intense blue color and yellow gems having the lowest value. The
finest quality stones, Persian turquoise for instance, usually don't
change color and keep their lovely blue color indefinitely. Turquoise is used for December birthstone jewelry.
Some gemstones have a major color with the surface marked by a
spider web pattern of lines of different colors. This is caused by
irregular dispersal of the different elements that are present in the
precious stone and the lines might be black, yellow or brown in lots of
patterns. However pure colored gemstones are more valued than gems with
a spider web matrix while turquoise precious stones of intense blue
color, even with spider web matrix, are more sought after than yellow
or green unmarked gemstones. Natural gemstones of a pure color, i.e.
without a spider web matrix, are rare and are extremely highly prized.
About 10% of the turquoise used in jewelry is the naturally occurring, finest quality stone. Above 80% is processed from rough, soft turquoise so that it hardens enough to be used in jewelry. The treatment also increases durability and boosts the color of the gemstones. Turquoise mined in a few countries, i.e. China, is too soft and must be treated. However the procedure produces good-looking gemstones, which, though less highly prized than unprocessed gems, nevertheless make fantastic jewelry. The process enhances the gemstones color and also makes them harder which makes them last longer. A treatment method used to improve the color involves injecting an epoxy resin containing a dye into the gem. The color is durable and will not fade. The soft Chinese turquoise is toughened by injecting liquid plastic into the stone. An additional technique is to use epoxy resin without a dye to stabilise the gem but won't change the color.
Imitation turquoise is also made from liquid plastic blended with powdered turquoise. This sort of turquoise is obviously very low-priced. These fake gems may well be sold as high quality natural turquoise turquoise and may be waxed or plastic coated.
Care of Turquoise Gemstones
Turquoise is both porous and soft so must be carefully looked after. It must never be worn for gardening or other work where it can be scratched and ought to be protected from impact always. Never wear turquoise jewelry when cleaning or digging the garden! Store turquoise jewelry in a box lined with soft material such as velvet and don't store with other, harder gems which could damage the stones. Turquoise stones can soak up liquids so keep them away from oils, chemicals or hot water and even perfumes and cosmetics. These can be absorbed by the gemstone which may become dull and may change color. Turquoise can be cleaned with very mild soapy water and then drying carefully with a soft cloth. Make certain it is completely dry before putting it away and never use ultrasonic jewelry cleaners as they can result in cracking of the gem.
Instant color: rows of vivid turquoise with thick, glossy bars of twisted sterling silver.
Turquoise is a beautiful, eye-catching precious stone which is rare and highly prized. Though it does have a few disadvantages in that it must be carefully looked after and a number of the blue stones can fade to green over time, it makes magnificent silver turquoise jewelry or birthstone jewelry as the attractive blue color looks perfect with the silver.
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