Turquoise has been found in pre-historic excavations. It was fashioned into primitive jewelry, used in ceremonies, and highly valued as a trade item. In the United States turquoise is primarily mined in Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Nevada.

What color is turquoise supposed to be?

When you think of turquoise, do you see a blue the color of the desert summer sky? Or perhaps a rich deep teal? And is your imaginary turquoise flawlessly free of other minerals or laced with an intriguing pattern of silvery matrix?

No matter--it's all turquoise, and the color, matrix, and treatment are just a matter of preference. Some like their turquoise smoothly inlaid into sterling, and some like the vigorous look of nuggets banded in silver. Contemporary or traditional, shaped, drilled, strung or inlaid, turquoise has a unique look that speaks of the southwest no matter where it's worn.

Where does turquoise come from?

Turquoise is found near copper mining operations, and the blue shades of turquoise generally come from Arizona and New Mexico. The green shades most often are found in Colorado and Nevada. A semi-precious stone, turquoise is somewhat porous. The best stones will take a high polish, but color, matrix pattern (the shape and amount of the non-turquoise minerals in the turquoise nugget),shape and size are purely personal preferences.

The various turquoise mines produce stones with distinct characteristics, and our experts will be happy to identify the stones for you in any of our pieces. Although turquoise is found in other parts of the world, the stones used in the jewelry here at Chief Dodge are domestic.

How should I take care of my turquoise?

To keep your turquoise looking its best, avoid the use of cream or liquid silver polishes and use reasonable care by removing your jewelry before using soap and water or hand creams. Lotions, detergents, even your skin oils will all have an effect on your turquoise stones and over time, the color may shift a bit. Using a polishing cloth on your sterling and turquoise pieces is the best way to clean and polish your jewelry. Store it wrapped in a piece of 100% cotton in a plastic zip lock bag to help keep tarnish at bay. And remember--the wear and soft patina a piece of much loved turquoise acquires through the years is the mark of its hold on your heart.

Does turquoise have any special meaning?

Yes. Since pre-historic times, Native Americans have considered turquoise a stone that provides both spiritual and physical protection.