February: Types of Turquoise
This month has started off with some excitement! A blizzard dropped at least two feet of snow, here in central Jersey and other parts of the tri-state area. The first day it was nice watching the snow from my studio, being grateful that I did not have to be out in it. It brought back memories of when I was younger, how I wished for a snow day, which meant no school. Sledding, building snowmen, having snowball fights with my friends, and making snow angels was so much fun. What has not been fun is taking two days to dig my car out. But it is winter, and highly unlikely that there won’t be a few more snowstorms before it’s all over.
As we move through February, let’s celebrate African American History Month. African Americans have made so many contributions in all areas of life that have helped shape our world. I pay homage and honor to the legendary star and activist-Cicely Tyson. A woman of style and grace, she was such an inspiration and will be missed.
Valentine’s day is coming up, and after the year we had in 2020, we all could use some love. Be creative in how you show your appreciation for those people you love. Chocolate makes everything nice!
As promised in a previous blog, I wanted to share and educate on the terminology used when describing Turquoise. It is hard enough to be considered a gemstone, but only about 25% of Turquoise can be used with no treatment.
Turquoise that has not been altered or chemically treated is deemed natural and identified by its place of origin. Kingman, Morenci, Sleeping Beauty, Carico Lake, and Nacozari are Turquoise mines in America. I love working with Sleeping Beauty and Morenci stones, ranging from Robin egg blue to sky blue. There is something magical about them that gets my creative juices flowing. Most of the Turquoise that comes from China is from the Hubei province. Persian Turquoise, which is highly prized for its rich blue color with little matrix(lines) and rivals the Sleeping Beauty Turquoise, is mined in the Iranian province of Khorasan.
If the Turquoise has poor color, some companies will use materials to change the coloration and hardness, and it is considered treated or enhanced.
Because a high percentage of Turquoise is pale blue chalk, useable stones are processed with resins to harden the stone and darken its color. Low-end costume jewelry will have stabilized or reconstituted stones with excessive wear that end up cracking or chipping.
Lastly, there is imitation Turquoise, which is any material such as magnesite or jasper dyed
and treated to resemble Turquoise in appearance.
Be sure to check out Nizhoni Designs for new pieces. (Earrings shown here are available on the site.)
Until we meet again,