Turquoise - The Holy Stone of Native Americans
Turquoise is an opaque mineral that occurs in beautiful shades of blue, bluish green, green, and yellowish green. The use of turquoise dates back to 3000 B.C.- 4000 B.C. In the thirteenth century, turquoise was named in the mistaken belief that it came from Turkey. Another belief was that turquoise had the power to protect the wearer from injury from falling, especially falling from horse-back, and that it made the horse more sure footed. It was the holy stone for Native Americans. Untreated turquoise is a rare commodity. Stabilized Turquoise is the name used for turquoise that has been impregnated with a polymer or other binding material to make it durable enough for cutting and use in jewelry. Straight from the mine this turquoise is too soft, too porous, too fractured or too fragile for manufacturing. Stabilized turquoise can be cut into beautiful beads and cabochons. It is the most common type of turquoise in today's gem and jewelry market. It is widely accepted. Imitation turquoise is made from ground powder is heated and placed under pressure to recrystallize and harden to produce a fine-grained solid ceramic that looks like turquoise. It's also imitated by other stones like dyed howlite or magnesite which has similar looking lines of rock matrix.
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