Ralph Mueller & Associates is Celebrating 40 Years in Business!

Guide to Turquoise Jewelry

Guide to Turquoise Jewelry

  1. Ralph Mueller & Associates
  2. Blog
  3. Guide to Turquoise Jewelry

Guide to Turquoise Jewelry All Entries

Guide to Turquoise Jewelry

Turquoise is one of those stones that seem to be everywhere and everyone is wearing them. But do you know how this type of Arizona Jewelry is actually made? Or where the history behind it comes from?

Primary Deposits Around The World

While a lot of people in Arizona do wear turquoise that was mined in Arizona, this type of stone is found in many other places including; Egypt, Mexico, China and Iran. The whole purpose of these mining deposits was to sell the jewelry, use it for art or for trading purposes. The oldest mining deposit known to man is one in the Sinai Peninsula - in Egypt! These mines were primarily used to create Turquoise jewelry for Pharaohs. While these mines in Egypt were once defunct, they were found again, all of the Turquoise was mined from them until they were depleted and abandoned once more.

Turquoise Stones and How They Are Formed

They were first formed over 30 million years ago and created by water that drips through the stone. This leaves deposits of aluminum, copper and zinc. The pretty blues and greens that turquoise creates are made from the metals inside the ground. The color is ultimately dependent on what materials are more prevalent in the ground. For example, if there is a lot of blue in the stone, that means that a lot of copper was present. On the other hand if the stone is more green, that means that more iron was present.

Generally speaking when it comes to popular Arizona jewelry, the ones that sell the most are the ones that are greener rather than bluer in color because these are more rare and considered valuable.  But that doesn’t mean the blue stones aren’t popular. Blue Turquoise stones are sought after because of the beauty of the stone itself.

Arizona Jewelry in North America

In Arizona the two most popular turquoise mines are the Kingman Turquoise Mine and the Morenci Turquoise Mines. These mines are still in use today and make up for a lot of production when it comes to Arizona jewelry. In fact the Kingman mine was not even created or built as a turquoise mine – it's actually a copper mine! But because of how the process works, they continually find turquoise stones inside the mine.

The pieces used today consist  not only of turquoise beads but also other stone, silver, and clay. Even today, many of the Indian tribes still create beaded Turquoise jewelry. Navajo artists also include silver and Turquoise colors, as well as stones into their silver Arizona jewelry designs, these pieces are often more commonly known as Indian Jewelry of the Southwest.

Different Kinds Of Arizona Jewelry

As an outsider,  you probably look at turquoise jewelry and don’t realize there are different types. For example, Sleeping Beauty is a type of turquoise stone that is mined at the Globe Miami district. It has an almost robin's egg blue color to it.  In conjunction with silver it is one of the most popular types of Arizona jewelry.

As you can see from this little history lesson, turquoise is  an old stone with an interesting past and future.  Because of the production of this stone and how easy it is to purposefully or accidentally create, this is a type of jewelry won’t be going away any time soon. If you want to learn more about the different stones available or you are interested in selling gems like diamonds or rubies, consider contacting Diamond Buyers Of AZ by clicking the link!