Home Turquoise Where is turquoise found in the world: A Full Guide

Where is turquoise found in the world: A Full Guide

by Madonna

Turquoise, with its mesmerizing blue and green hues, has captured the hearts of civilizations throughout history. Its availability and distribution across the globe have contributed to its enduring allure. In this comprehensive article, we will embark on a journey to discover the various regions where turquoise is found, exploring the geological conditions, historical significance, and distinctive characteristics of this captivating gemstone.

The Historical Significance of Turquoise

Turquoise has held profound cultural and historical significance for millennia. Let us explore its journey through time and its association with different civilizations and cultures.


Ancient Civilizations

Turquoise has been revered by ancient civilizations such as the Ancient Egyptians, Persians, Native Americans, and Aztecs. Each culture attributed unique meanings and symbolism to turquoise, often considering it a sacred stone associated with protection, spirituality, and good fortune.


Cultural Symbolism

Turquoise carries diverse cultural symbolism. For instance, Native American tribes consider turquoise a stone of healing and harmony, while the Ancient Egyptians associated it with immortality and divine connection. Understanding the cultural symbolism adds depth to the appreciation of turquoise’s global sources.


Global Sources of Turquoise

Turquoise is found in various locations around the world, each with its unique geological conditions and mining history. Let us explore some prominent sources of turquoise and their distinct characteristics.

United States

The Southwestern United States, including states such as Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, and Colorado, is renowned for its turquoise deposits. The region has a rich mining history and is associated with prominent Native American tribes like the Navajo, Zuni, and Pueblo peoples. Notable sources include the Sleeping Beauty mine in Arizona and the Kingman mine in Arizona.


Iran, particularly the region of Nishapur, has been a significant source of turquoise for centuries. Persian turquoise, highly esteemed in the gemstone world, is known for its intense blue color and intricate matrix patterns.


China has a long history of turquoise mining. Regions such as Hubei and Xinjiang are recognized for their turquoise deposits. Chinese turquoise exhibits a diverse color palette, including vibrant blues, greens, and yellowish hues, often with unique matrix patterns.


Mexico has been a notable source of turquoise for centuries. States such as Sonora, Zacatecas, and Baja California have yielded vibrant turquoise varieties. Mexican turquoise displays a range of colors, often with distinctive matrix patterns.


Ancient mines in the Sinai Peninsula were historically significant sources of turquoise in Egypt. Egyptian turquoise is known for its vivid blue color and desirable translucency.


Afghanistan is renowned for its significant turquoise deposits, including the famous mines in the Nishapur region. Afghan turquoise is highly regarded for its vibrant blue color and fine matrix patterns.

Other Global Sources

Turquoise is also found in other parts of the world, adding to its global presence. These include Australia, Tibet, Chile, Israel, and Russia, each contributing unique variations and characteristics to the gemstone.

Geological Factors and Characteristics

Understanding the geological factors and distinctive characteristics of turquoise from different sources enriches our understanding and appreciation of this captivating gemstone.

Geological Formation

Turquoise forms in specific geological environments through the interaction of copper-rich solutions with aluminum phosphates. It typically occurs in areas with mineral-rich host rocks, often associated with copper deposits or volcanic activity.

Color Variations

Turquoise exhibits a wide range of colors, from sky blue to green and shades in between. These variations are influenced by the presence of copper, iron, and other trace elements within the gemstone. The specific combination of minerals in each deposit contributes to the unique color palette observed.

Matrix and Inclusions

Turquoise often showcases fascinating matrix patterns and inclusions, which are veins or markings within the gemstone. These matrix patterns can add character and visual interest, featuring host rock, iron pyrite, or other minerals present during the formation of turquoise.

Stabilization and Treatment

In the gemstone industry, turquoise is sometimes stabilized to enhance its durability and color. Stabilization involves impregnating the gemstone with a clear resin to reinforce its structure and prevent cracking. This treatment is a common practice and helps protect turquoise during cutting and setting processes.

Is Turquoise valuable?

Turquoise is a valuable gemstone that has been cherished for centuries. Several factors contribute to the value of turquoise, including its color, clarity, size, origin, and overall quality. Let’s explore these factors in more detail:


Turquoise with vibrant and intense blue or blue-green hues is highly sought after and typically commands a higher value. The presence of desirable secondary colors, such as green or hints of yellow, can also enhance its value. However, personal preferences and market trends can influence the perceived value of different color variations.


Turquoise is commonly found with varying degrees of matrix patterns, inclusions, and veining. Some collectors and buyers appreciate unique matrix patterns, while others prefer stones with minimal inclusions. Generally, turquoise with a relatively clean and even texture is considered more valuable.


The size of a turquoise gemstone can significantly impact its value. Larger stones are rarer and often more valuable, especially if they exhibit exceptional color and quality. However, it’s important to note that the value per carat may decrease for very large turquoise specimens due to practical considerations in jewelry making.


Turquoise from specific geographic sources may have distinct characteristics that contribute to its value. For example, Persian turquoise from Iran and high-quality turquoise from the Southwestern United States are renowned for their beauty and can command higher prices due to their historical significance and superior color.


The overall quality of turquoise, which includes factors such as color consistency, hardness, durability, and cut, can affect its value. Well-cut and polished turquoise gemstones that exhibit vibrant color, good translucency, and minimal flaws or fractures are generally more valuable.

It’s important to note that the value of turquoise can fluctuate based on market demand, availability, and other factors that influence the gemstone market. Additionally, the reputation of the seller, certification of authenticity, and accompanying documentation can also impact the perceived value of turquoise.

Ultimately, the value of turquoise is subjective and depends on individual preferences, market conditions, and the specific characteristics of the gemstone. If you’re considering purchasing or valuing turquoise, it’s recommended to consult with reputable gemstone experts, jewelers, or appraisers who can provide insights based on current market trends and industry standards.


Turquoise’s allure spans continents and cultures, captivating admirers with its stunning blue and green shades. Exploring the global sources of turquoise and the unique geological conditions of each region allows us to appreciate the diversity and beauty this gemstone offers. From the celebrated Persian turquoise to the vibrant varieties of the American Southwest, each origin brings its distinct charm to the world of turquoise. Whether admired for its historical significance, cultural symbolism, or captivating colors, turquoise remains a gemstone cherished for its global presence and timeless appeal. Embracing the rich tapestry of turquoise’s global sources invites us to celebrate the Earth’s geological wonders and the enduring legacy of this extraordinary gemstone.

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