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Eilat Stone: Turquoise’s Cousin

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From several mines in Israel came a beautiful stone that is similar to turquoise in many ways.  It is called Eilat Stone, named after the locality in which it is found, and is Israel’s national stone.  It comes in shades of green and blue.  The stones are usually cut as cabochons or tumble polished and incorporated in free form style into jewelry.  Freeform shapes are often utilized to create jewelry that is simultaneously elegant and casual.

Eilat stone is chrysocolla that is intermixed with turquoise and a form of malachite.  The mine from which this stone comes has been depleted, forcing the many tourist shops selling Eilat Stone to import it from Africa (Morocco and the Congo) and the United Sates (Arizona).

 

The city of Eilat is Israel’s southernmost city, as is noted on the map below.  The mines from which it came are believed to have been the copper mines of King Salomon.  The stone, in fact, is often referred to as “King Solomon Stone.”

When investigating this stone, several spellings must be tried, as it is also spelled “Eliat,” “Ellat,” and “Elat.”

Eilat stone has been used as a turquoise substitute over the years, and is sometimes referred to as impure turquoise, an description that does not do justice to its beautiful appearance.

Credits

The beautiful Eilat stone brooch is courtesy of Ophir Jewelry.  It is set in 24k gold with fresh water pearls.