Price is per 16 1/2-inch strand of these beautiful unusual beads - each measures 20mm square x 5mm thick, about 21 to the strand. Drilled side-to-side as in picture. Reconstuted turquoise, but colour fixed.
What is turquoise?
Turquoise is a soft, opaque gemstone, formed by volcanic rock reacting to copper deposits brought by water. Color ranges from blue-green, to yellow-green with grey, black or brown veining. Most non-green turquoise these days is dyed. As genuine turquoise is expensive, reconstituted turquoise is common - crafted from real turquoise chips fused with other stones to cut cost. Turquoise is the birthstone for December.
Turquoise has been found in 5,000-year-old Egyptian tombs and the Tibetans used it as currency centuries ago. North Africa and the Middle East hold large deposits, but most turquoise today originates from Burma and is carved in China. Turquoise didní»t reach Europe until the crusades when the name originated, meaning Turkish stone.
Ancient doctors thought turquoise prevented injury and ground it into a powder to cure stomach disorders, internal bleeding, and insect bites. Turquoise has always been used to protect the wearer from danger, attract wealth, and warn as a talisman or good luck charm. Some believe it will fade when danger or illness is near, or a lover is unfaithful. Its also said to protect against pollution and strengthen the body.
Turquoise is porous, so contact with liquids, oils or even perspiration should be avoided. This is why its often impregnated with plastic, colorless oil or wax to improve color and durability. Jewelry should be removed before washing.
Untreated turquoise will eventually turn green.