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Turquoise facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Turquoise pebble, made by tumbling the rough rock in a rotating drum with abrasive. The process takes many hours. Picture made without a camera by laying the carving on a flat bed scanner.

Turquoise is an opaque (cannot be seen through), blueish-green mineral. It is not common and can be valuable in finer grades. It has been prized as a gem and ornamental stone for thousands of years because of its interesting coloring.

Like most other opaque gems, turquoise has been devalued by the introduction of treatments, imitations and synthetics into the market. The robin’s egg blue or sky blue color of the Persian turquoise mined near the modern city of Neyshabur in Iran has been used as a guiding reference for evaluating turquoise quality.

The gemstone has been known by many names. Pliny the Elder referred to the mineral as callais (from Ancient Greek κάλαϊς) and the Aztecs knew it as chalchihuitl. The word turquoise dates to the 17th century and is derived from the French turquois meaning "Turkish" because the mineral was first brought to Europe through Turkey. However, according to Etymonline, the word dates to the 14th century with the form turkeis, meaning "Turkish", which was replaced with turqueise from French in the 1560s. According to the same source, the gemstone was first brought to Europe from Turkestan or another Turkish territory.

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Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Turquesa para niños

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Turquoise Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.