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turquoise

turquoise, hydrous phosphate of aluminum and copper, Al2(OH)3PO4·H2O+Cu, used as a gem. It occurs rarely in crystal form, but is usually cryptocrystalline. Turquoise is opaque and has a waxy luster; the color varies from greenish gray to sky-blue. The sky-blue varieties are the most valued as gems, but because of their porosity they easily absorb dirt and grease and change in color to an unattractive green. Exposure to heat or sunlight is also injurious to the color of the turquoise. The finest specimens come from Iran; other sources are the Sinai peninsula and the SW United States, especially New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, and Colorado. Turquoise matrix is a rock including fragments of turquoise, cut as a gem stone. Variscite, the hydrated phosphate of aluminum, is sometimes used as a substitute for turquoise. It occurs in crystals of the orthorhombic system and in massive form; minable deposits are found in Utah.

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Turquoise

Turquoise

A number of ancient beliefs surround this stone. J. B. Van Helmont stated: "Whoever wears a Turquoise, so that it, or its gold-setting touches the skin, may fall from any height; and the stone attracts to itself the whole force of the blow, so that it cracks, and the person is safe."

Medieval writers stated that turquoise became paler if its owner was ill, lost color entirely at his or her death, but recovered color when placed upon the finger of a new and healthy owner. It was believed to be a good amulet for preventing accidents to horsemen or becoming tired. Another belief was that turquoise moved itself when any danger threatened its possessor. Turquoise originally came from Persia, where it would sometimes be engraved with a motto or a verse from the Koran. The stone was also prized by Native American healers.

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turquoise

turquoise (tourquoise) A phosphate CuAl6(PO4)4(OH)84–5H2O; sp. gr. 2.60–2.91; hardness 5.0–6.0; triclinic; sky-blue to blue-green; white or greenish streak; waxy lustre; crystals very rare, normally occurs massive, granular to cryptocrystalline, or as encrusting masses; conchoidal fracture; occurs in veins in association with aluminous, igneous, or sedimentary rocks that have undergone alteration. Finer varieties are used for semi-precious stones.

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turquoise

tur·quoise / ˈtərˌk(w)oiz/ • n. 1. a semiprecious stone, typically opaque and of a greenish-blue or sky-blue color, consisting of a hydrated hydroxyl phosphate of copper and aluminum. 2. a greenish-blue color like that of this stone: [as adj.] the turquoise waters of the bay.

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turquoise

turquoise precious stone, of sky-blue to applegreen colour. XIV. ME. turkeis, later turkes, turques (XV), turkoise, turquoise (XVI) — OF. turqueise, later -oise, for pierre turqueise ‘Turkish stone’; so called from being first known in Turkestan or conveyed through Turkish dominions.

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turquoise

turquoise Blue mineral, hydrated copper aluminium phosphate, found in aluminium-rich rocks in deserts. Its crystal system is triclinic and it occurs as tiny crystals and dense masses. Its colour ranges from sky-blue and blue-green to a greenish grey and it is a popular gemstone. Hardness 6; r.d. 2.7.

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turquoise

turquoiseavoirdupois, noise, poise •Anglepoise • equipoise •counterpoise • turquoise

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