Turquoise Engagement Rings
Turquoise stones are highly regarded for their bright blue color and unique texture. The term turquoise is derived from the French word, “turques,” meaning “Turks,” as the stone was first brought to France from Turkey. In addition to being found in Turkey, turquoise stones are commonly mined in Iran, China, Chile, Afghanistan, Turkey, Sinai, and the United States, particularly in the western states.
Turquoise has a Mohs Hardness of 5.0 to 6.0. Unlike many gemstones, turquoise does not possess a crystal structure, but is instead a hydrated phosphate. During its formation, turquoise fills or encrusts cavities in rocks, typically volcanic rocks. The more bluish tones are due to the presence of copper during the stone’s formation; the more greenish tones are due to the presence of copper and iron during the stone’s formation. Different civilizations have prized contrasting hues.
Historically, turquoise bracelets have been found in the tombs of pharaohs, particularly Tutankhamun, which is evidence that the gem was prized highly as a piece of jewelry and as an ornament. Future Egyptian dynasties used turquoise stones as a symbol of good fortune and wealth. Traded along the silk route, turquoises found their way to the Asian civilizations, who used them as a form of currency and protection until the 1800s. Along this route in Persia, turquoise was used to decorate turbans, bridles, mosques, and other important buildings. Persians also engraved these stones with Arabic religious terms and fashioned them into jewelry.
Regardless of time period or location, many groups of people believed turquoise embodied elements of the sky and sea and protected the wearer’s health.
Using Turquoise in an Engagement Ring
Turquoise can be fashioned into any desired shape, which is ideal for the wearer who prefers a one-of-a-kind gem with a unique design. Turquoise can also have spots or veins that run through it of differently-colored minerals, which lend to its unique appearance. Typically, turquoise is thought of as the gemstone for December; however, it is also commonly used in 11th anniversary gifts.
Unfortunately, due to the large number of treatments available and increasing popularity of imitation stones, authentic turquoise stones are less and less common. Plastic impregnation treatments are used to darken the stone and increase its durability. Wax impregnation is used to make the stone have a more even appearance. Dyeing treatments are used to deepen the color or create the illusion of multicolored veins throughout the stone. The pores of turquoise stones can be filled in with a polymer to create a more even surface. Finally, a lacquer or polymer can be applied to the surface of the gem to deepen the color and protect the outside. Many companies are using these techniques and others to fashion synthetic turquoise stones, which are a viable option for buyers with restricted budgets.
As with many gemstones, there are several factors to consider when purchasing a turquoise stone; the two most important factors are the hardness of the stone and the richness of its color. The more unusual the appearance of the stone and the more consistent the color and hardness, the more valuable the stone.
Overall, turquoise is ideal for the wearer who prefers a low-maintenance routine and uncommon jewelry. Romantic symbols or unusual designs can be carved into the stone, creating a completely unique piece of jewelry.
Turquoise jewelry can be engraved or carved into almost any shape desirable, which makes it an ideal gemstone choice for those who prefer unique jewelry pieces. However, turquoise’s porousness and softness makes it more difficult to clean. These stones should not be cleaned in ultrasonic cleaners or via steam cleaners as this could exacerbate any fissures or openings in the stone. To be safe, turquoise should only be cleaned with a soft, dampened cloth.
If you are shopping for a turquoise engagement ring we hope you found this page helpful. You may be interested learning more on the engagement ring settings, the chooing the right metal, or the engagement ring band styles pages.
If you have any questions about designing unique turquoise engagement rings or wedding bands please do not hesitate to contact us, at 412.621.0345. Caesar is a certified gemologist and has over 25 years of experience designing one of a kind engagement rings.