What is Turquoise
Turquoise is a kind of Phosphate minerals which has a Mohs hardness of 5 to 6. Normally, the color of Turquoise is sky blue, but some of them are light- blue, blue- green, yellow- green or other colors. If Turquoise contains limonite veining, they appear on the surface as black lines, the more lines a Turquoise has, the more fragile it is. The main origins of Turquoise are United States, Russia, Iran, and China, it can also be found in Egypt, Argentina, and France.
History and Legend of Turquoise
People from various countries have been fond of Turquoise since time immemorial, therefore, lots of histories and legend has related to Turquoise.
- Turquoise is also called the stone of Turkey in Chinese, but in fact Turkey does not produce Turquoise. When Persia, which is known as Iran now, produced Turquoise in the early years, they went through Turkey to import Turquoise to Europe, and since people misunderstood that these beautiful stones were from Turkey, they decided to name the stone after Turkey.
- Egyptians view Turquoise as a symbol of honor and authority. A mummy of queen in ancient Egypt which was found by archaeologists has bangles with Turquoise on them. Tutankhamun's mask is also decorated with lots of Turquoise.
- In Chinese history, Yangshou culture and Hongshan culture are regarded as the first record of using Turquoise in China.
- Native Americans think Turquoise is sacred. They believe they are under the God's protection when they wear Turquoise. If warriors receive Turquoise as a gift before they head to a war, they believe Turquoise brings them luck and they will win the war.
- Turquoise also plays an important role in Tibet culture. We can see Turquoise on the crown for the first king of Tibet as well as Buddha images. Tibetan people wear Turquoise that represents soul on their neck; Turquoise is a kind of spiritual belief to them. In Southern Tibet, married women tie a piece of Turquoise to show loyalty to their husband.
- In China, Turquoise is one of the four famous jades. In Chinese legend, one of the five mystic stones that Nu Wa used to fill the sky was alleged to be Turquoise, moreover, the famous He Shi Bi was said to be made by Turquoise.