African Turquoise is not turquoise at all.
It is a type of jasper found in Africa and is often dyed to achieve a
turquoise-like color. Enhancing its role as a turquoise substitute is its
matrix, which also resembles turquoise matrix.
African turquoise is beautiful in its own right.
We have sold it ourselves. The problem arises when it is sold as genuine turquoise. Our informal survey suggests that perhaps
one-half of the sites on the Internet selling "African Turquoise" do not
acknowledge that the item is actually a turquoise substitute. We have no
knowing if this is being done out of ignorance or to misrepresent the product.
Turquoise is rare; jasper is abundant. One should expect to pay up
only for the former .
So then, what is jasper? Jasper is a form
of chalcedony. Another form of chalcedony is agate. The differences
between jasper and agate is that jaspers (there are many of them) have less
regular patterns and are more opaque. Jaspers are opaque because they
contain microscopic grains of crystalline quartz, whereas the quarts in agate
are more fiber-like. Jaspers take on varying colors depending on the other
minerals present at the site of formation. One advantage of African jasper
is that it is harder than turquoise.