And so it began, I gave into my love for turquoise - I fought it for as long as I could. I absolutely love designing with the different types of turquoise, and all the variations in color and matrix. Turquoise is typically found in or near copper deposits and the different colors of turquoise are usually specific to the mine where the turquoise was obtained (No. 8, Royston, Bisbee, Lander, etc ). Heck there is even turquoise from Australia. There is a long list of turquoise mines but you get the idea.
As with many gemstones and especially turquoise, sometimes natural surface pits and/or surface fractures are apparent, which adds unique character to the gemstone. Natural, untreated turquoise is more sought after as there has been no stabilizing material added to the turquoise, although the stabilizing material does increase durability of the cabochon. If a turquoise cabochon has been stabilized, you won't see many, if any, natural surface occurrences.
When designing gemstone cabochons, an experienced lapidary artist will know if a natural surface fracture is superficial (only at the surface) or if the fracture exists all the way through the cab, rendering the cab unstable. I won't design with cabochons that I know are unstable.
Turquoise's hardness ranges from 5 - 7, depending on the type of turquoise. Since finer turquoise is often found as thin seams within the host rock, it may be backed with a material to increase its stability. Most turquoise that I purchase for my jewelry designs is backed. Backing does not diminish the value of high quality turquoise - the backing of turquoise is almost always expected.
Caring for turquoise jewelry, it is not recommended that turquoise be submerged into water. Wipe the stone with a soft cloth or q-tip moistened with warm water. You can also use a soft toothbrush. Allow the turquoise to air dry completely. Finally, you can apply a coat of Renaissance Wax for protection and added shine to the surface of the stone. Once the wax is dry, buff the surface lightly.
I never really knew what #turquoiseoverdiamonds was until I started posting turquoise jewelry designs on my Instagram account (instagram/daniellehrossjewelry) Of course I have always had an affinity for turquoise and other semiprecious gemstones over diamonds, but who knew there was an actual search term for this.