All About Natural Turquoise Beads
Natural turquoise beads can be a fantastic addition to your collection of stones since its properties bring a healing and calming effect. Across the many shades of turquoise, there is a consistent connection to elements such as water and air, which bring pure energy to your life.
Turquoise beads can also protect you from negativity and help the body develop its flow of energy, strengthening your immune system. The peace of this beautiful blue stone can help bring clarity to stressful situations in life, such as financial or relationship issues. The guidance of turquoise can help you live a happier and more fulfilling life, free from the stress and anxiety of living in modern society.
Traditional Uses of Turquoise
Native American tribes quickly picked up the art of turquoise jewelry from Mexican traders and honed their craft. Through this medium, they can communicate aspects of their culture to the rest of the world since their artistry has become so well-known and popular. Especially for the Navajo and Zuni tribes, turquoise jewelry has become an essential part of their culture.
While each tribe has slightly different meanings attached to turquoise, there are some common themes. Many tribes, such as the Apache or the Hopi, use turquoise for physical strength and skill, encouraging success during hunts or other work. The turquoise stone can also be found in the famous dreamcatcher of the Ojibwe, protecting little children from their dark and scary dreams.
Navajo and Zuni Tribes
The Navajo also hold important symbolism for turquoise as it plays a part in their creation story. Their teachings say that the first man and woman used a stone disk decorated with turquoise to create the sun. Like many other cultures, the Navajo attach the meaning of turquoise to water and air and even tell stories of the Turquoise Woman, who symbolizes protection and prosperity.
Also known for their work with turquoise is the Zuni tribe, who attach turquoise to earth rather than water elements, seeing the different colors as representations for women, men, earth and sky.
Despite their slight differences in beliefs, each tribe who makes turquoise jewelry does so with expertise and precision, producing beautiful art. The Navajo are known for their distinct style of necklaces and rings, using little pieces of silver and large turquoise stones for their designs. The Zuni art differs slightly, focusing more on amulets and decorating figures and mosaics with the blue stone.
How to Identify Turquoise
Unfortunately, due to its gorgeous blue hue and healing properties, much of the turquoise on the market is not turquoise at all. Another mineral, called howlite, can be dyed different colors, including the signature blue-green of turquoise, passing itself off as the real stone. However, if you know how to identify legitimate turquoise, you do not have to worry about accidentally getting howlite instead!
One of the strategies to identify real turquoise is the price. If you find a turquoise stone at a severely discounted price or one that is well below other options for purchasing the stone, it is likely a fake.
Since it is possible for a business to sell fake turquoise for the price of genuine turquoise, there are a couple of tricks you can use to test the stone. One of them is to run your fingernail across the stone and if it catches on any parts of the stone, the chances are it’s genuine. If it’s completely smooth, you might have howlite instead. This only works for natural turquoise, as other genuine forms of the stone can be completely smooth as well.
Another property of howlite that can be used to the advantage of turquoise shoppers is its softness. Howlite is much softer than turquoise. If your turquoise stone scratches easily, it is likely howlite.
One of the unique aspects of a turquoise stone is its color, which is not uniform throughout. Since turquoise is made from a combination of different elements, its color varies, even on one single stone. Use this to your advantage, for if you spot a turquoise stone that is only one shade, you might be looking at another fake.
Protecting your turquoise is vital to ensure its longevity, so keep it out of direct sunlight and try to prevent scratches or falls. However, wearing it as jewelry to boost your day, putting some beads on your desk to increase prosperity or placing it throughout the home to maintain a peaceful atmosphere are excellent ways to reap all the rewards that turquoise can offer.