An unusually large turquoise cabochon highly polished on the surface, lightly polished around the edges and polished for smoothness not lustre on the underside of the stone. The rock from which this cabochon was cut came from Nepal and its colour is best described as a very slightly greener shade of turquoise.
The rich brown coloured markings are remnants of the host rock in which the mineral turquoise originally formed. These spidery veins are correctly known as matrix and in many cases can help with correct identification. Stones void of these distinctive patterns are highly sought after and the Sleeping Beauty mine in Arizona was once the world's largest producer of a sky blue stone with little or no matrix. Mining operations ceased in 2012 and the deposit is now a copper mine.
The mineral turquoise has been mined for thousands of years and is well known around the world. Being graded 5 to 6 on Mohs scale of mineral hardness means that it's quite a soft stone so must be handled with care. The colour of turquoise can vary significantly depending on the region where the stone was mined and it's one of the very few minerals to have given its name to a colour.
Turquoise can fade or change colour completely because of long term exposure to bright sunlight, acidity and moisture from the skin. Coming into contact with other pollutants in the atmosphere such as perfume and vapours from scented candles may also cause irreversible damage. Many people are surprised at just how delicate turquoise is especially considering its popularity and widespread use. Commercial grade material is sometimes impregnated with wax or resin which offers a certain degree of protection.
In some Asian cultures giving turquoise as a gift is believed to bring the recipient good luck and peace.
A beautiful turquoise cabochon in a size that's difficult to find. It could certainly be used to create a unique piece of jewellery or could also be used for its metaphysical properties. Most importantly it must be handled with care to ensure the stone doesn't become damaged.