New Mexico Bucket List – T ~ Blogging Through the Alphabet

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Turquoise.

Something everyone should associate with New Mexico. Especially considering that it is our state stone.

turquoise stone image from DK Smithsonian Nature Guide: Rocks and Minerals, p 154

image from DK Smithsonian Nature Guide: Rocks and Minerals, p 154

Turquoise is the blue-green stone that is used a lot of native jewelry and decorations. It is extremely pretty and has a ton of variation. Turquoise is found mostly in arid environments. The mineral is generally found in veins rather than as crystals, though some crystalline form have been found. The veins run from a sky-blue to green depending on the iron content of the mineral. Some of it will be really blue while another stone will appear quite green and yet another almost white. Color is highly dependent upon the mine the turquoise is taken from.

You can read a lot more technical information on the stone.

Turquoise has been mined for centuries. There have been beads of turquoise found in ancient Mesopotamian cultures dating back to c. 5000BC. Stone carvers favor the mineral also, including some carvings from China that are known. According to this video, some of the oldest mines are actually in Egypt. There is some interesting information in this video and she shows some lovely pieces.

According to the DK Smithsonian Nature Guide Rocks and Minerals, the name turquoise comes from a French word for the country of Turkey, through which the mineral was first transported to Europe.

Turquoise can be used in any number of ways. Decorations such as dreamcatchers often include a piece of turquoise. SpeakingWood, my dad’s woodshop, is known to include turquoise in his woodwork. Many native people use turquoise in their handmade jewelry. These are just a few of the ways turquoise is used.

Speaking Wood hollow form bowls with turquoise inlay

hollow form bowls with turquoise rims inlaid; copyright SpeakingWood; picture from SpeakingWood

Speaking Wood image of turquoise on a bowl

turquoise stones on a bowl; copyright SpeakingWood; picture from SpeakingWood

New Mexico turquoise is so beautiful that it has had to be regulated. If you are purchasing something that is claiming to be turquoise, especially something new, the seller should have information on which mine it is from. I imagine that the older pieces, of which there are many, do not necessarily have that information.

If you really want to learn about turquoise, you must travel the Turquoise Trail. You can do this in a single day, starting from one of the points on the trail or you can take your time and go more slowly, really savoring all the beauty you will see. Another article on the Turquoise Trail is found in New Mexico magazine and is a really interesting read.

This is just a taste of all things NM Turquoise. It is beautiful and to own a piece of this turquoise is to own a piece of history. Whether it is a squash blossom necklace or a small chunk of beautiful colored turquoise, it is all special.

Blessings,
Lori, At Home.

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4 thoughts on “New Mexico Bucket List – T ~ Blogging Through the Alphabet

  1. Annette Vellenga (@athomepets) July 11, 2019 at 12:27 pm Reply

    oh, it’s so nice. I can imagine that something so precious would be regulated. Beautiful bowls too!

    • 3gigglygirlsathome July 11, 2019 at 2:51 pm Reply

      Thanks. I think my dad’s woodwork is beautiful but add some turquoise and it just elevates it.

  2. dawnpeluso July 11, 2019 at 6:48 pm Reply

    That is some beautiful handiwork with the bowls and I think it would be lovely to go to the Turquoise Trail.

    • 3gigglygirlsathome July 11, 2019 at 10:27 pm Reply

      I agree about the bowls and thank you. My parents have done many of the stops on the Turquoise Trail and I think it sounds like a neat trip, also.

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