One of only a few rough turquoise nuggets from Madagascar that we currently have available in our collection of rocks and minerals. The black markings that can be seen in this stone are remnants of the host rock in which the turquoise originally formed and are correctly known as matrix. It can be black or brown and in many cases these distinctive inclusions help to correctly identify the mineral as turquoise. Stones which lack matrix are highly sought after and the Sleeping Beauty mine in Arizona was one of the world's largest producers of a sky blue coloured material with little or no matrix. Mining operations ceased in 2012 and they now concentrate on mining copper.
Turquoise has been mined for thousands of years and it's a mineral that's well known by many different cultures around the world. Being graded 5 to 6 on Mohs scale of mineral hardness means that it's quite soft 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. It can fade or change colour completely because of long term exposure to bright light, acidity and moisture from the skin. Coming into contact with other pollutants in the atmosphere such as perfume and the vapour from scented candles may also cause irreversible damage. Many people are surprised at just how delicate this ancient gemstone is and sadly once damage occurs, it can rarely be reversed. Commercial grade turquoise is sometimes impregnated with wax or resin which offers a certain degree of protection.
In some Asian cultures it is said that giving turquoise as a gift will bring the recipient good luck and peace.
The turquoise nuggets in our collection have been priced according to their weight, this is standard practice with natural minerals.
Weight (grams): 42.4
Size (cms): 4.2 x 3.5 x 3.2