Here at J.Forks Designs, turquoise is one of our most used, and loved, semi-precious gemstones. There is a LOT that we can discuss about turquoise, but today we are going to talk about color. Why? Because turquoise can come in so many different shades.
How Turquoise Got Its Name (Both the Stone and the Color)
The name dates back to around the 17th century when the stone made its way into Europe. The word “turquoise” is from the French word, “turquois” which means “Turkish”. The stone itself was mined in what is modern day Iran (Persia) and made its way into French via a Turkish trade route.
Persian turquoise is famous for this piercing robin egg blue color. So when the stone became popular in Europe, the association with the stone and the robin egg blue became synonymous! Today, many people are surprised to learn that turquoise (the stone) does not actually have to be “turquoise” in color.
The Makeup of Turquoise (The Stone)
The chemical makeup of Turquoise is hydrated copper and aluminum phosphate -- CuAl6(PO4)4(OH)8·4H2O. Now, the variation in color will depend on the amount of iron or copper present in the mine.
When the ratio of iron to copper is higher, the stone will be more green (sometimes even more yellow). Whereas, when there is more copper than iron, the stone will appear more blue.
The fun thing is, this allows people to collect multiple shades to go with different outfits OR stick to their favorite. It is completely up to you!
So now that you know a bit of why turquoise can come in various shades and colors… Do you have a preference?