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The Lovers Stone

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Фото © Форпост Северо-Запад / Горный музей

It has been over eight thousand years since this mineral became the world's most popular semi-precious stone. Although the stone is very short-lived, it is valued a lot more than gold. High-quality samples are very hard to find - 95% of items sold on the market are nothing but nice fakes.

People of the world, throughout history, worshipped turquoise as if it were a divinity. In Tibet, the stone was believed to be a living creature that, in the same way as any other human, could even die. As Eastern legends say, if turquoise is not handled properly, it loses the colour and fades completely.

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Фото © Форпост Северо-Запад / Горный музей

Whether a woman and man loved each other was determined by the mineral's colour. Asian people thought the colour of a turquoise ring gifted to the fiancé by his beloved one was always soft blue on the wedding day. But once love was over, the stone would immediately turn green.

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Фото © Форпост Северо-Запад / Горный музей

In the Middle Ages, ladies used to sew up pieces of the mineral into their dresses, believing they would thus attract handsome gentlemen more easily. Russians and Germans, until the XVIII century, relied on the wedding rings with turquoise to prevent future spouses from arguing. Napoleon Bonaparte himself granted his wife-to-be a tiara with turquoise and diamonds. At the Emperor's request, almost eighty emeralds were removed from the original jewel and replaced with turquoise stones.

тиара
Фото © www.tiara-mania.com

Mongolian lamas trusted turquoise would indicate health issues. If someone was seriously ill, the stone went pale in their hands. On the opposite, if the illness receded, the stone would have its colour back. There is a legend that Ivan the Terrible's death was predicted with turquoise. When the Russian monarch fell ill with severe disease, not a single healer could ease his torment. As the Tsar was facing difficulties with moving on his own, he ordered the courtiers to take him to the treasury room where he kept his minerals collection. The first stone he put in his hand was a turquoise sample. It turned pale, and the Tsar died shortly after.

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Фото © wikimedia.org/Amirreza.tavassoli

The most beautiful turquoise specimens are at least several times more expensive than gold now. The high-quality samples are, however, almost non-existent, while the demand keeps growing. There are numerous deposits of turquoise, but they are doomed to become fully depleted in the nearest future.

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Фото © wikimedia.org/Parent Géry

The particular sample's price depends on the stone's origin. It is essential to know where the specimen was shipped from and where it was mined. The globally recognised master sample is blue-coloured turquoise extracted at the Nishapurskoye deposit. The stones of such quality are mined only manually.