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Properties of Turquoise

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Turquoise has the following properties and characteristics:

  • It is a mineral known as hydrated copper aluminium phosphate mineral.

  • Its chemical formula is CuAl6(PO4)4(OH)8·5H2O.

  • It is rarely found in crystal form.  It is classified as a cryptocrystalline mineral.  This means that the crystals that form it are so small that they are difficult to discern without the aid of a microscope.

  • It is a soft mineral, with a hardness score of less than 6.

  • It is highly porous, which is why it is often sealed with wax or epoxy.

  • It is opaque, not transparent, and has a waxy luster. 

  • Its color range includes deep blues, light blues, bluish greens, greenish blues and even yellow green. 

  • Turquoise can be spotted, often with pyrite.

  • Turquoise often has veins that are sometimes referred to as spider webs.  These lines can be light brown to almost pitch black.  Turquoise with these veins are often referred to as “spider web turquoise;” the phrase “turquoise matrix” is also used often.