Well Hello There Gorgeous!!

I’m going to be completely honest and upfront about this; due to the extremely high cost of genuine, natural Turquoise, most people in my line of business (semi-precious jewelry makers), use dyed Howlite as a replacement. 

It’s simply a way to keep our products affordable. (But we’ll talk about that in a bit.) Phew! I feel better now that I’ve got that off my chest.

Turquoise is such a recognizable semi-precious gemstone…they even named a colour after it! 

This wonderous stone has been prized by cultures around the world for thousands of years. Its vibrant colour and unique physical properties have made it a very popular choice for jewelry and decorative objects, and it has also been revered for its spiritual and healing properties.

Today, you’ll learn some interesting things about Turquoise; from its rich history, physical properties, meaning and healing properties, its uses and most importantly…why we substitute it with dyed Howlite.

FUN FACT: Turquoise is the official semi-precious birthstone of December and is most beneficial to those born under the Sagittarius Star Sign (Nov 23 – Dec 21). But it is also relevant to the Scorpio, Pisces and Aquarius Star Signs.

Turquoise is the traditional gemstone gift given to someone who is celebrating their 11th wedding anniversary.

The History of Turquoise

The history of Turquoise dates back to ancient times when it was first discovered by civilizations in Persia and Egypt. 

The Egyptians believed that Turquoise had powerful protective properties, and it was often used in amulets and other jewelry. 

This vibrant blue-green gemstone has even been famously featured on King Tutankhamun’s famous gold mask.

Additionally, the ancient Persians believed that Turquoise represented the sky and was a symbol of prosperity. They used Turquoise to adorn their daggers.

The Aztecs famously used Turquoise for sacred objects like ceremonial shields, earrings, bracelets, necklaces, armbands, plates, diadems and the handles of sacrificial knives. 

Turquoise was also highly valued by Native American cultures, who believed that it had the power to protect against negative energy and promote well-being. 

The Apache used it in their bows to ensure their aim always remained true. 

Many tribes used Turquoise to create beautiful jewelry and other decorative objects, and it remains an important part of Native American culture to this day.

The Physical Properties of Turquoise

Turquoise is a beautiful blue-green mineral that has been highly prized for centuries because of its unique colour and natural beauty. 

This mineral has a hardness ranking of 5 to 6 on the Mohs scale which makes it relatively soft compared to other gemstones. 

It has a waxy to dull luster and is typically opaque, although some high-quality specimens may be translucent. 

Turquoise’s chemical formula is CuAl6(PO4)4(OH)8·4H2O. (Just in case you were wondering or wanted to have it engraved on a bracelet)

The mineral is often found in massive form and can be easily shaped and polished into a variety of decorative objects. 

The Meaning & Healing Properties of Turquoise

Turquoise has significant spiritual and healing properties. It is known as a truth stone, which many believe has a positive effect on the Throat Chakra…ultimately, this means it helps to promote clear self-expression. 

Turquoise is thought to have a calming effect on the mind, body and spirit and promotes mental clarity and emotional balance. Turquoise intensifies your spiritual connections and inspires self-forgiveness.

Turquoise is known to enhance your communication skills in both personal and career situations, as it inspires trust and kindness.

How Turquoise is Used

In terms of its uses, Turquoise is most commonly used in jewelry and decorative objects. 

It’s vibrant colour and unique physical properties make it a popular choice for everything from rings, earrings, bracelets and necklaces to sculptures and pottery. 

Additionally, Turquoise has been used in a variety of industrial applications, including the production of electronic components and as a polishing agent.

Despite its popularity, authentic Turquoise is really expensive, which has led to the use of dyed Howlite as a substitute. 

Howlite is a white mineral that is often dyed to resemble Turquoise, and it is significantly less expensive than the genuine gemstone. 

While dyed Howlite can be a suitable substitute for Turquoise in some applications, it is important to note that it does not possess the same physical or spiritual properties as genuine Turquoise.

Today, as I’m writing this (Feb 8, 2024) I was trying to do some research to show you the price difference between real, authentic Turquoise and dyed Howlite. I couldn’t even find real, authentic 8mm Turquoise beads to buy. I went through 8 different online beads stores from all over the world. They ALL tried to pass off imitation (Dyed Howlite) Turquoise as the real thing. They still claimed it was real. I did find some genuine Turquoise 6mm beads and they started at CAD$97 for a string that was 15 inches long. When I checked online @ Pandahall.com for the price of the dyed Howlite, the average price for the same sized bead & length was…CAD$1.08.

So you can see why I’d say 99.5% of all semi-precious gemstone bracelets you can find on Etsy, ebay, Amazon, Farmers Markets and Craft Fairs use imitation Turquoise.

Some of Turquoise’s Health Benefits Include

(FYI, this is in no way intended to replace medication &/or the care of a licensed healthcare professional)

  • Helps in the absorption of nutrients
  • Anti-inflammatory agents
  • Helps fight viral infections
  • Helps heal the eyes

5 Interesting Facts about Turquoise…

  1. Turquoise is the only gemstone to have a colour named after it.
  2. The Tibetan and Nepalese people call it the ‘Sky Stone’ and it is very important to their culture.
  3. Turquoise is a soft stone, so you need to treat it accordingly.
  4. The markings or veining through authentic Turquoise is actually referred to as matrix.
  5. Turquoise is classified as one of the world’s oldest gemstones.

Where to Buy Turquoise Jewelry

If you are looking to purchase authentic Turquoise jewelry, it is important to do your research and buy from a reputable source. 

One option is to visit a Native American reservation or pueblo where artisans create and sell handmade jewelry. 

Another option is to look for jewelry stores that specialize in Native American or Southwest styles, as they are likely to sell authentic pieces. 

Additionally, you can purchase from online retailers that specialize in authentic Native American jewelry but make sure you read reviews and do your due diligence to ensure the authenticity of the pieces. 

By taking these steps, you can ensure that you are purchasing genuine Turquoise jewelry.

If you would like to buy Turquoise (but NOT authentic) jewelry, it is widely available at jewelry stores and online retailers. It can come in a variety of styles and price points, from simple stud earrings to elaborate necklaces and bracelets.

Here’s a quick link to the One Zero Eight Shop for these Imitation Turquoise pieces…Simple EarringsDeluxe EarringsImitation Turquoise Bracelet

You can also buy Turquoise jewelry from local artisans at craft fairs, farmer’s markets and such.

How to Identify Imitation Turquoise

Once you know what imitation Turquoise looks like, you won’t be as easily tricked. 

There are a lot of imitation Turquoise products on the market that can be difficult to distinguish from the real thing. 

One of the main differences between real and imitation Turquoise is their composition. Naturally occurring Turquoise is a mineral that is formed from a combination of copper, aluminum, and phosphate. 

In contrast, imitation Turquoise is often made from materials like plastic, glass, resin or even other semi-precious gemstones that are dyed to look like the real thing. 

Additionally, real Turquoise may have natural variations in colour and texture, while imitation Turquoise tends to look more uniform. 

If you’re unsure whether a piece of turquoise jewelry or decor is real or fake, it’s always best to consult with an expert or do your research before making a purchase.

How to Care for Turquoise Jewelry

Turquoise is a relatively soft stone, so it is important to handle it with care. Avoid exposing it to heat, chemicals, and direct sunlight. To clean it, simply use a soft cloth.

For a deeper look into making your gemstone feel loved, read The 5 Best Ways to Take Care of Your Gemstone Bracelets & The Essential Guide to Cleansing Your Gemstone Bracelets.

Frequently Asked Questions About Turquoise

Q: What is Turquoise?

A: Turquoise is a blue-green mineral that has been used for centuries in jewelry and art. It is often found in arid regions and has been a valuable commodity for many cultures throughout history.

Q: Where does Turquoise come from?

A: Turquoise can be found in various regions of the world, including the United States, Mexico, China, Iran, and Egypt. The quality and colour of the stone depends on the location and the conditions in which it was formed.

Q: What are the uses of Turquoise?

Turquoise is most commonly used in jewelry, but it has also been used in art and architecture. It is believed to have healing properties and historically, has been used in traditional medicine to treat various ailments. Additionally, it has been used in religious ceremonies and as a symbol of protection and good fortune.

Turquoise emerges as not just a gemstone but a storied treasure with a rich history and unparalleled versatility. This gorgeous gem can be found in many diverse cultures across millennia.

The physical, spiritual, and healing properties embedded within Turquoise elevate it to a status of enduring reverence worldwide. Its appeal is not merely confined to its visual allure; it encompasses a profound connection to spirituality and holistic well-being. From ancient civilisations to contemporary enthusiasts, Turquoise has etched its mark as a gemstone revered for more than just its external beauty.

It’s crucial to discern the authenticity of Turquoise. While dyed Howlite may offer a more budget-friendly alternative, it lacks the inherent properties that define genuine Turquoise. The unique combination of minerals within authentic Turquoise contributes to its distinct colouration and properties, making it an incomparable gem in aesthetic and metaphysical aspects.

With its powerful grounding and protective properties, Turquoise transcends the boundaries of mere ornamentation. Worn as a talisman, it is a steadfast guardian, shielding against negative energies and fostering an environment of serenity and balance. The significance of Turquoise in your gemstone collection extends beyond its visual appeal; it becomes a potent force, an essential gem that encapsulates the essence of protection and grounding.

Considered a cornerstone among gemstones, Turquoise undoubtedly deserves a coveted spot in your “Top 5” collection. Its timeless allure, coupled with its profound properties, makes it not just a gemstone but a timeless companion on your journey towards balance, protection, and spiritual connection. As you incorporate Turquoise into your collection, you invite a gemstone that transcends time, symbolising strength, protection, and enduring beauty.

To find your own (or other) birth month semi-precious gemstone introduction blog, click below.

SeptemberLapis Lazuli
OctoberPink Tourmaline
Click on a birthstone to get instantly teleported over to that specific blog.

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