Blog categories


The Turquoise

The stone of the pharaohs

Image module

Turquoise is a phosphate of hydrated copper and aluminum.
Its color can vary from sky blue to green. The most popular turquoises are those of azure blue color, with the least possible black veins (due to copper).
Turquoises can deteriorate with time and oxidation, they change color and become darker and greener. They are then called dead or extinct turquoises.

Bvlgari Neckless, Turquoises, Amethyst

Boucheron Ring, Circa 1980


The turquoise is known since ancient times.
Among the Egyptians, it adorned, with lapis lazuli and carnelian, the crowns and pectorals of the Pharaohs. In Persia it served as a bargaining chip and for the Aztecs it represented a piece of heaven fallen on the Earth.
Turquoise was imported in France with the Crusades.

Etymology :

The name turquoise is the result of an error that remains us today. Indeed, the term turquoise comes from Turkey which was at the time, the transit country (and wrongly thought to be the producer country) for the trade of turquoise between Europe and Persia (real producer country). The term turquoise entered the French (and English) language and became by extension the name designating the color of this gem.

18th century Brooch, Turquoises, diamonds, pearls

Cartier Ring, turquoises, diamonds, yellow gold, circa 1960

Cartier Brooch, Turquoises, lapis lazuli, diamonds


The Turquoises mines have been exploited for nearly 3000 years. The oldest mines are those of Iran near the city of Nishapur and Egypt in the Sinai region.
Today Iran remains the main producing country, nevertheless new mines have emerged. In Mexico and the western United States (Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, California …).
Turquoise is found in arid areas, near copper mines.

Parue and Brooch, signed Sterlé


Turquoise is very popular, it is found on many jewels, often in silver and cheap, these stones having little value. On the other hand, very beautiful stones are also used for beautiful pieces made by the great jewelers.


Brooch (turquoises, lapis lazuli, diamonds), Earings (turquoises, diamonds), Ring (tourmaline, sapphires, turquoises, diamonds) Signed Van Cleef And Arpels


Caution: We often hear about dead turquoise when it is green (even apple green). Turquoise is a mineral, therefore it cannot “die”. Turquoise is, let’s remember, a hydrated phosphate of copper and aluminum, so it is just dehydrated.