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Nuggets

- Can be knobby, bubbly, pinhead tiny, or

sometimes very large. They are often made of tur-

quoise in the full round, with inclusions of other

minerals, depending on the source. Occasionally

deposits produce very thin plate type nuggets, some-

times referred to as "cornflakes.” Some nuggets are

much more attractive in the rough form than others,

so in effect a nugget with appealing aesthetics may

carry greater value when kept as a nugget rather than

being cut into cabochons.

Surface deposits

- Thin turquoise spread across the

surface of the host rock. Occasionally when it's very

thin, it's referred to as “paint on a rock.” If a surface

deposit is fairly flat and has a decent thickness,

sometimes it can be carefully cut into a cabochon

using the host rock as backing for the finished stone.

IACA Journal

Page 6

The hidden treasures of the 'sky-stone' continue to produce

fresh interest as new generations discover its allure, and

old time fanatics rediscover that sweet feeling of turquoise

fever. Throughout time, and across the globe, cultures

have coveted the magic embodied in the energy and colors

of turquoise and its sister minerals such as Variscite,

Chalcosiderite, and Azurite. Most often it is dug out from

desolate desert hills near rich copper and zinc deposits.

Turquoise can be found in a broad spectrum of different

grades (levels of hardness and quality). For decades, lesser

quality turquoise has been manipulated to make it worth-

while as a viable, workable material. As technologies be-

come more complex and demand for turquoise increases,

we begin to see a wide variety of turquoise related products

emerge into the market. Many different processes are

dreamt up to create substitutions for the real thing. Some-

times it can be very difficult to detect some of the altering

processes, so it is always best to buy from a reputable, hon-

est, and knowledgeable turquoise dealer.

The expanding availability of these manipulated products

has now sparked a growing interest in knowledge about

true natural, hard turquoise from around the world. With

'Turquoise' being the ever expanding and broad subject

that it is, maybe it would be good to use some photos to

explore just a few of the different natural formations in

which it is found. This is in no way all encompassing, but

rather a brief introduction.

T

HE

V

AST AND

E

VER

-E

XPANDING

W

ORLD OF

T

URQUOISE

Stenich Turquoise

Photography by Martin Seidel

2nd in a Series by Martin Seidel, Golden Fleece Jewelry