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- Tiger & Cat's Eye
51 Large Blue Mosaic Turquoise Rondelle Beads
Price is per 16-inch string of these unusual beads. Each measures 12mm x 8mm - about 51 to the strand. Dyed, but colour fixed.
What is turquoise?
Turquoise is a soft, opaque gemstone, formed by volcanic rock reacting to copper deposits brought by water. Colour 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 didn'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, colourless oil or wax to improve colour and durability. Jewellery should be removed before washing.
Untreated turquoise will eventually turn green.