ROCK TRIVIA: TURQUOISE, co-stone of December
Turquoise is found in only a few places on earth: arid, or semiarid regions. Water containing copper percolates downward and reacts with rocks or minerals that contain phosphorus and aluminum.
The two oldest known turquoise mining areas are in Persia and in Egypt. Turquoise buried in Egyptian tombs around 4,000 BC.is among the world’s oldest jewelry. In ancient Egypt, it was called “mefkat,” which meant “joy” and “delight.”. The modern name Turquoise probably came from the fact that it was brought to Europe by traders known as Turks.
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.
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!
Courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution, a picture of a Diadem which was a gift from Napoleon to his second wife, Empress Marie-Louise. It was originally set with Emeralds!