Sonoran Blue Turquoise
Sonoran Blue Turquoise is a gemstone known for its beautiful and distinctive blue color with green undertones. Turquoise has been used and treasured for thousands of years and has an incredibly rich history, especially in Mexican culture where treasures were made out of this stunning gemstone.
Also known as Mexican Turquoise – Sonoran Blue Turquoise has been prized gem in Mexico for thousands of years, dating back to the Toltec civilization and the Aztecs. The Toltec civilization died out in the 8th century and was replaced by the Aztecs – it was during the transition that turquoise gained even greater prominence in Mexico.
One of the most magnificent pieces found made out of turquoise is Montezuma's famed treasure which is a carved serpent decorated with turquoise tiles made in the 8th century– this master piece can be found in the British Museum.
Today, most of the turquoise produced in Mexico is from the state of Sonora which contains several mines including: Caridad Mine, La Caridad, Mun. de Nacozari de Carcia, Sonora. Barranca Mine, Santa Maria, Mun. de Onavas, Sonora Mun. de Baviacora, Sonora.
Mexican turquoise is high quality, and comes in shades of blue and green. Sonoran Blue Turquoise often contains embedded shiny Pyrite flakes, or black oxide veins running through it.
- Turquoise was one of the first gemstones ever mined, dating back to 6000 BC in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula.
- Turquoise has been used for thousands of years as jewelry by the ancient Egyptians, who buried fine pieces with mummies. When the tomb of Queen Zer was unearthed in 1900, a turquoise and gold bracelet was found on her wrist, making this one of the oldest pieces of jewelry on earth.
- In Mexico, the Aztecs began mining Turquoise between 900–1000 AD, often fashioning it into elaborate masks.
- The Anasazi people of America mined Turquoise in what are now Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado. The city of Chaco Canyon became very wealthy based on the turquoise trade, which was often exchanged for the feathers of tropical birds. Turquoise from this area found its way around the trade routes of the American continent and has been unearthed as far away as the great Mayan city of Chichén Itzá in the Yucatán. By the 16th century, the cultures of the American southwest were using turquoise as currency.
- In North America, the Zuni people of New Mexico have created striking Turquoise jewelry set in silver, once believing these protected them from demons. The Navajo believed that turquoise had fallen from the sky and thus also protected them from demons, while Apache warriors believed that wearing turquoise improved their hunting prowess. Apache legend has it that if turquoise was affixed to a bow, the arrows shot from it would always hit their mark. All these tribes believed that turquoise brought good fortune and happiness.
LOCATION: Sonora, Mexico
Sonoran Blue Turquoise comes from the mines in Sonora, Mexico – the bordering state of Arizona, USA.
- Sonoran Blue Turquoise has a hardness of 5.0 and 6.0 on the Mohs scale.
- In Europe, Turquoise rings are given as forget-me-not gifts, while in the United States, the stone is given as traditional 5th and 11th wedding anniversary gifts.
- Turquoise is a December birthstone.
- When wearing Turquoise over the years, the stone will absorb oil from a person's skin, causing a slight change to the color of Turquoise.
- Turquoise is stabilized to enhance its durability.