Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Turquoise (Yu in Tibetan) is one of the most stunning of all natural minerals and is probably the most valuable 'non-transparent' stone seen in the marketplace. It has been mined since at least 6000 BCE by the early Egyptians and continues to be highly sought after. It is highly prized by Tibetans and almost all Tibetan women will wear a necklace of turquoise, mixed with coral, carnelian and dZi. Turquoise is believed to absorb toxins from the body, and is an important ingredient in many medicines. Turquoise that has turned deep green will often be exchanged for newer and much bluer pieces. This is because the darker green pieces are said to be full of the owners negativity. Some Tibetans hold the belief that if the stone turns dark green very quickly, it is a sure sign of infidelity.
Turquoise is often imitated by fake specimens. Sometimes the mineral chrysocolla or howlite is used. Some poor quality turquoise specimens are often dyed or color stabilized with coatings of various resins. The name comes from a french word which means stone of Turkey, from where Persian material passed on its way to Europe.

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