A to Z 2022, Blog

T is for Turquoise – #atozchallenge

T is for Turquoise

My apology to anyone who received my premature ‘draft’ of this post yesterday. I lost all of the post I was writing, so I’m starting fresh.

I have always loved turquoise. My step-sister sold turquoise jewelry back in the 70’s. It always had a great energy to me. When my husband and I traveled to Santa Fe, I went to a few antiquity markets hoping to buy an authentic antique Native American turquoise ring. I found a plethora of them, but purchasing one was not meant to be. Not because I couldn’t afford it, but because none of them would fit. Our hands and fingers are much larger now or else the people who wore these ring were much smaller in stature. One of the shopkeepers suggested I check out one of the authentic Native American shops.

Sterling silver with 15 turquoise beads

We went into a Zuni shop and it was a sight to behold. The craftmanship was amazing and the fair trade policies and authenticity were appealing to me. I found a beautiful ring set with fifteen tiny turquoise stones. I fell in love with it. One day I noticed I lost one of the stones. I was heartbroken until I found that tiny little turquoise at the bottom of my purse. I have since repaired it, but rarely wear it for fear the stone may come loose again. I did not want to glue it in place.

Turquoise is a hydrated phosphate of copper and aluminum and ranges in color from blue to green. It was one of the oldest gemstones known to have been mined for adornments. The Aztecs and Incas favored the colors as did the Native Americans. The copper impurities turn the stone blue and the iron impurities turn the stone green. Archaeological digs have dated turquoise adornments back to the time of Aztec kings and Egyptian pharaohs. Even Tutankhamon’s burial face mask includes turquoise along with other gemstones.

Sadly, American turquoise is fast becoming a depleted mineral. Many of the turquoise mines in the U.S. have shutdown resulting in gem quality turquoise becoming a more rare gemstone. Turquoise fakes, liked dyed howlite, are often sold as turquoise – there is no honor among thieves. Another case of buyer beware. There is an abundance of turquoise mined in China, however much of it has been filled with epoxy to stabilize it, or it has been enhanced to deepen the color. There is also an abundance of compressed or composite turquoise on the market, made up of smaller pieces joined together to create a larger stone.

Turquoise cabochons in matrix – gift from a friend

The more pure the color in turquoise, the more valuable. Much of the available turquoise on the market is “in matrix” meaning there are dark web-like veins of the host mineral running through the stone. I prefer turquoise in matrix myself. Turquoise is somewhat soft, a 5-6 on the Mohs scale. It is also a porous material which makes it vulnerable to chemicals, perfumes, oils from the skin, and extreme sunlight. There is no industrial use for turquoise.

The most recognizable Native American jewelry piece must be the squash blossom necklace. The ornate design and use of silver (often from melted down silver dollars or pesos) and turquoise were worn to show wealth and position. The necklace has three parts, the beads, the ‘blossoms’ and the upside down crescent shape called a naja. This diné (Navajo) piece is in the collection of the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.

Blog, SoCS

SoCS – A Messenger

Linda has again thrown down the gauntlet asking us to tax our brains and write stream of consciousness. Curious what it is all about – then check out Linda’s post for all the details. Why not jump on the bandwagon?

Today’s prompt is as follows:

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “too/to/two.” Use one, use ’em all, bonus points if you use all three. Extra bonus points if you start your post with one. Enjoy!


Hubby was up before me this morning. When he heard me get up, he said “Come down here quick – and hurry!” My knees don’t do anything quick in the morning but I came down the stairs as quick as I could to see him standing at the back windows with his camera focused on something. As I approached I saw an Indigo Bunting pecking around on the ground.

The first time I saw an Indigo Bunting here was shortly after my sister passed away. I have not seen one since, but now this sighting makes two times this bird has come to visit.

My sister lived deeper in the country than I do. She always had Indigo Buntings come to visit her. she fed the birds faithfully, too.

When the bird appeared after her death, it brought me great comfort, as if she was telling me she was okay. The strange thing is, my husband and I were just talking a few days ago, remarking about how we had not seen an Indigo Bunting since that first time, and voilà. It was a moment, over in a flash.

I see you, Sis. I see you.