Monday, November 4, 2013

Rock Trivia: Turquoise

The two oldest known turquoise mining areas are in Persia and in Egypt, but the name turquoise probably came from the fact that it was brought to Europe by traders known as Turks. Turquoise has been valued since the time of the Pharoh's and... the Aztecs. Turquoise has been used by both Native Americans and by Indian tribes in Mexico. Central and South America. Prehistoric mining tools have been found in some of the old digs of the turquoise mines in California.
The U.S. is the world's largest producer of turquoise and some of the output from various mines in Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada is the finest in the world- rivaling that of the renowned Persian.
Turquoise is only found near deposits of copper. Unlike other minerals or rocks, turquoise is created by weathering and chemical reaction between copper, aluminum, phosphorus, and water. This usually happens in arid, or semiarid environments. Nevada comes in with the largest number of mines in the U.S.- perhaps nearing as many as 100 different ones producing as much as $50 Million dollars of rough material!
Pictured is Aztec inlay on wood.

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