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Turquoise French Hook Earrings

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In the American Southwest, the people who have inhabited the area for centuries refer to the Turquoise gemstone as the 'sky-stone' because they believe that the blue rock they discovered on earth had fallen from the heavens of the gods above. The mineral Turquoise is the official gemstone for both Arizona and New Mexico. Mineralogists have determined that the blue and green turquoise colors are determined by how much copper and iron content are within the turquoise formation. More copper turns the Turquoise to blue and more iron makes the Turquoise gemstone green. It is also the birthstone of those individuals born in December; therefore, a nice pair of Turquoise French Hook Earrings in either Sterling Silver or Gold might be the perfect gift for that special someone in your life.

When shopping for Turquoise, there are a few things to take into consideration, which include color or combination of colors and the type of matrix or lack of matrix. The spiderlike matrix and deepest colors of Turquoise are rare and hard to find.

Most collectors of Turquoise jewelry, such as the Turquoise French Hook Earrings, purchase only Turquoise that is mined from a particular area. Bisbee turquoise comes from a mine in Arizona, while Number Eight is from a mine in Nevada, and Tyrone Turquoise and the highly sought after Cerillos Turquoise are from New Mexico. At last count, there were over 100 named Turquoise mines around the world. Most of these mines are named after a the neighboring towns, such as Kingman Turquoise is named after Kingman, Arizona and the Cerillos Turquoise from Cerillos, New Mexico. Various other mines are named after the miners who extracted the mineral, for example, the McGinnis or Godber Mines.

To date, there are five different types of Turquoise, and all Turquoise from around the world falls into one of the following categories.

Natural Turquoise: This Turquoise is extremely hard to mine; however, it is beautiful. It can be mined, cut, polished and set into a piece of jewelry, such as Sterling Silver or Gold Turquoise French hook Earrings, without being treated. A little less than 3% of all Turquoise found worldwide could be considered "natural."

Stabilized Turquoise: This particular type of Turquoise is soft and chalky. It's injected with a clear epoxy resin, and when pressure is applied, the rock absorbs the resin, which permanently hardens it and deepens the color. The colors of stabilized turquoise are permanent, and unlike Natural Turquoise, they will not change or deepen over time. Most Turquoise on the market today is the stabilized; however, it is still beautiful and is more affordable.

Treated Turquoise: This type of turquoise is also soft and has been stabilized. Unlike the clear epoxy resin injected into stabilized turquoise, an epoxy resin that has been dyed is used. Sometimes the colors used in treated turquoise can look artificial. Jewelry, such as inlaid Silver or Gold Turquoise French Hook Earrings, created with this type of turquoise is much less than the natural or stabilized varieties or turquoise gemstone.

Reconstituted Turquoise: This type of turquoise is a lower grade. The mineral is ground into a powder, saturated with epoxy resin, dyed, and compressed into blocks, or cakes. Many designers prefer to use this type of turquoise because it can be easily be cut into shapes for inlaid jewelry making. It is also the least expensive type of turquoise.

Imitation Turquoise: This is not turquoise, but rather, plastic or resign. Sometimes it's hard to distinguish it from other types of treated turquoise; therefore, it's best to ask someone who is knowledgeable of turquoise before purchasing it.