Turquoise beads have been used in jewelry making for a long time, and continue to be ever popular in the modern world today. Their abundance makes them not too expensive to purchase as far as gemstones go, and their great beauty makes them highly enticing for jewelers to use.
They look particularly effective when coupled with metal. Gold sets their color off the best, but silver also can create an interesting and highly beautiful effect when combined with turquoise beads.
Turquoise beads are strung into necklaces, or arranged into beautiful pendant arrangements. Many exotic cultures have put their own stamp on turquoise beads, with Egyptian, Persian and Native American among the most exceptional.
Color of turquoise beads
The origin of turquoise beads affects the color that the gemstone will appear. The best turquoise beads are of Perisan origin, and are a highly prized "robin's egg blue", with no hints of green.
Turquoise beads from America and Mexico tend to have a strong green influence to them. This green is thought to indicate the presence of copper within the stone.
The more blue the turquoise bead, the more valuable the gemstone.
Caring for turquoise beads
Turquoise beads are relatively soft, and should be cared for carefully to ensure that they are not damaged. They readily absorb the oils from human skin on contact, and this can discolor them over time. Damage to turquoise beads cannot be reversed, so take care of them in your jewelry.
Stripping type cleaners should be avoided, and colored jewelry cleaner will be absorbed by the porous turquoise beads and should hence be avoided.
History of turquoise beads
The cultural and monetary value given to turquoise as a gemstone across history has meant that the production of turquoise beads for jewelry was never too far behind. The beauty of this opaque, blue based stoned has lasted throughout time in all cultures who could mine it.
The turquoise beads of a bracelet found on the wrist of Egyptian Queen Zer within her tomb in the early 20th century were dated back to 5500 BC. Turquoise beads were hugely popular in Egyptian jewelry making to the extent that they invented methods of producing glass beads that would look like the gemstone.
When turquoise beads themselves were unable to be used by Egyptian craftsmen, beads that had the appearance of this precious stone were used instead.
Turquoise was mined in the Middle Eastern region throughout this ancient time, and used in amulets, jewelry decoration and religious practices.
Turquoise beaded pieces carved with Islamic and Persian proverbs have been discovered. The turquoise stone itself was sacred and revered, and is still the national gemstone of Iran today.
As trading throughout the world was made possible by travel, turquoise mines began to surface in parts of Mexico before 1000 AD. The Aztec people were fond of turquoise, and used it in their rituals and ceremonies.
Native American cultures were quick to adopt turquoise beads among their practices when the precious stone became available through trade. Turquoise mines were established through much of the South West region of what is now America. They stamped designs upon them, strung turquoise beads into intricate necklaces, and hung them above their homes.
Turquoise beads were fashionable in Europe around the Middle Ages. As trade increased with the Middle and Far Eastern cultures, the use of turquoise beads in their jewelry increased as well.
Between all these cultures around the world, turquoise beads in jewelry have been admired greatly for millennia.
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