Tips for stone care

What is the difference between chrysocolla and turquoise?

Chrysocolla The familiar name to this mineral was given by the ancient Greek philosopher Theophrastus: chrysocolla was used as an additive to gold solder when working with jewelry, which is why it is called that way – from the words chrysos (gold) and wheel (glue). But, of course, she was known before. The ancient Egyptians created a paint based on chrysocolla ground into a fine powder, which was used by artists in paintings and frescoes, as well as for cosmetic purposes – as eye paint. The peoples of South America have long known chrysocolla as an ornamental stone, and combined it with gold in their products (mainly ritual). As a mineral pigment, chrysocolla was used in the icon painting tradition as a blue dye; masters of the Italian Renaissance worked with it. At first glance, chrysocolla may resemble turquoise or malachite, but it is still a completely different stone. It often forms dense kidney-shaped masses, like malachite, but their color is not malachite-green, but greenish-blue. However, sometimes chrysocolla develops on malachite in the form of a thin film or “shirt”. The most valuable chrysocolla is considered to be blue and blue shades with black veins; the more common and widespread is blue-green chrysocolla with black and brown veins. Dirty green and yellow-green chrysocolla is practically not valued. Chrysocolla is a valuable collectible mineral and a good ornamental raw material. Varieties of chrysocolla This mineral has been found in many corners of the globe, so it also has many names. Chrysocolla was called golden glue, copper or mountain green, copper malachite, Duchamp jade (Chinese name), cornuit (on behalf of the American mineralogist F. Cornu). In Chile, chrysocolla is called “lanca”, and ornamental specimens from Mexico and the USA are often found under the trade name “psilomelane”. There are separate names for different types of chrysocolla, but they are more specific to its location: – “Eilat stone” – a mixture of chrysocolla with turquoise and malachite mined in Israel, Eilat deposit. – demidovit – fusion of chrysocolla on malachite in the form of thin bluish-green crusts. This malachite is considered the most expensive and good variety. Found in the Mednorudyanskoye deposit near Nizhny Tagil, Ural. – catangitis – glassy dark green chrysocolla from the Shaba deposit, Katanga province, Congo. – dillenburgite – German chrysocolla, mined in the Slate Mountains near the city of Dillenburg. – Mysoreen – an Indian mixture of chrysocolla with calcite and malachite, found near the city of Mysore. – traversoite – chrysocolla with gibbsite, deposits near the city of Arenas, Sardinia island, Italy. In Australia, the Eliot Stone deposit produces a rock similar to gossamer turquoise – bluish-green with veins of goethite – but it is also nothing more than nodules of chrysocolla, quartz and azurite. Chrysocolla chalcedony and chrysocolla-dyed green Andean opal are found in Peru. Geological certificate Chrysocolla does not form crystals and is most often found as crusts or filling veins. Often it can develop along other minerals (azurite, dioptase, calcite, malachite, etc.), forming pseudomorphs – cuprite or malachite chrysocolla. Being in quartz or chalcedony as an impurity, chrysocolla can form ornamental chrysocolla-quartz (aka quartz chrysocolla) or jewelry azure-chalcedony (aka malachite flint or siliceous malachite). A mixture of chrysocolla and azurite is called copper glaze. The most common colors of chrysocolla are light blue, bluish-green to blue and dark blue, the characteristic color is sea green, manganese impurities give a brown tint and stripes, and aluminum and iron – green to black. The formula for chrysocolla is quite complex – (Cu, Al)2H2Si2O5(OH)4* nH2O, Moreover, its composition is not constant, as is its water content. Hardness on the Mohs scale can range from 2 to 4. Deposits: Russia – Ural (Mednorudyanskoe locality) and Transbaikalia (Udokan locality); Tajikistan (local Chorukh-Dayron); Israel (Eilat); Congo; Australia; Mexico; Chile (Coquimbo province); USA – states of California (Copper World mine), Nevada, Wyoming, Arizona (quartz chrysocolla mining). Medicinal properties Chrysocolla is considered the main women’s stone, helping with many women’s ailments and diseases. It also has a beneficial effect on the body of a pregnant woman or a woman who has recently given birth. Lithotherapists advise wearing chrysocolla for problems with the endocrine (especially the thyroid gland) and respiratory system, and for throat diseases, bronchitis and colds, wearing chrysocolla in the form of beads or a pendant around the neck. For ailments of the gastrointestinal tract, a bracelet or ring can help. Chrysocolla also successfully copes with supporting the body during apathy, stress, nervous overload, and sleep disorders. Magical properties This stone will help you win over those around you, become more sociable and eloquent. A small pebble held in your hand can relieve unnecessary tension and fear. Chrysocolla amulets also serve to protect against fears, eliminate illusions, and as a talisman against bad intentions. Chrysocolla will help a woman develop her personality, reveal to her her feelings, tenderness and compassion, promote manifestations of spiritual kindness, soften her nature at the mental level, and help cope with a difficult character. Chrysocolla is also recommended by practitioners for concentration and meditation. Feng Shui, Vastu Shastra Chrysocolla stone in the system Feng Shui has receptive Yin energy, enhances the influence of the elements of Soil and Water. When arranging a home according to the laws of Feng Shui, it is suitable for placement in the northern (career and path), eastern (family and elders), southeastern (responsible for wealth) zones. IN Vastu Shastra chrysocolla can serve as a replacement for cat’s eye and turquoise for the planet Ketu (direction – South-West). Depending on the shade, it will help open the throat chakra (Vishuddha), third eye chakras (Ajna) or parietal (Sahasrara). For zodiac signs Chrysocolla is most harmonious in collaboration with Sagittarius и Taurus, bringing calm, wisdom and harmony into their lives. It is also well suited for Libra, Leo, Cancer и Aquarius, bestowing them with prosperity and good luck. Amulets and Talismans It is believed that this gem patronizes scientists and researchers, stimulating a craving for new knowledge and deep concentration on the subject being studied. Chrysocolla talismans will help protect a person from negative influences and drive away fears and illusions. Chrysocolla worn around the neck will help protect a person from problems with alcohol. It should be noted that chrysocolla is a rather fragile stone, and also contains water in its composition. You should not heat it or store it near sources of strong heat; it is best to store jewelry with chrysocolla in individual packaging or a bag to avoid scratches on the surface of the stone. In no case is it recommended to clean the surface of the stone chemically (steam, soapy water) or ultrasound – you should only wipe it with a soft cloth from time to time. If the blue chrysocolla has turned pale, as a restoration method, it can be advised to keep it in water for about ten hours (or about a day), and then lubricate it with pure butter. Vegetable and margarine will not work, they will only ruin the stone insert. It is also best to avoid contact with hand cream. Nowadays, chrysocolla is processed in many different ways – in the form of tumbling, cabochons, flat inserts or beads, so everyone can choose a piece of jewelry to suit their taste! Other products made from this stone: Turquoise is a very famous and widespread mineral that everyone has heard of. Even the name of the color – “turquoise” – is firmly entrenched in our minds as something taken for granted. Many people believe that beautiful turquoise is affordable and therefore not interesting. We assure you that this is absolutely not true. Beautiful high-quality turquoise is a very rare, expensive and revered item throughout the world. And the “turquoise” color is just one of the many shades of this ancient jewelry stone.

What determines the cost of turquoise

Much confusion is caused by the various cheap imitations that fill the market. Such confusion benefits unscrupulous sellers; it allows them to pass off cheap products as expensive ones. In addition, there are various ways to enhance (give higher characteristics) turquoise, which can also affect the price, prestige and durability of the jewelry. In order to decide what is right for you, make the right choice and not regret it in the future, you need to have an idea of ​​what the turquoise market looks like “from the inside.” In this article we would like to pay attention to one of the most common varieties of turquoise – stabilized. To understand what it is, whether it is good or not, what types of stabilization there are, what it leads to and how it relates to untouched natural specimens.

Is stabilization bad?

So. Stabilization is one of the types of refining (“improving” ornamental stones), a process in which a foreign substance is introduced into the porous structure of a mineral in order to increase density and strength. We consider stabilization as a process that affects the entire surface of the stone. It is very important that the stabilized mineral remains natural, but goes into class ennobled natural stones. And this is the key and fundamental difference from any artificial or synthetic imitations.

So. Why is stabilization needed?

Any turquoise must contain iron and copper. Gradually, oxidation and a change in the ratio of these metals occurs. This is the main reason why, over time, almost any blue or blue turquoise noticeably turns green, losing its attractiveness and falling in price. Some types of turquoise (for example, Armenian turquoise) are very porous in their structure, much like school chalk. This structure makes the stone extremely susceptible to various types of liquids. Liquids easily enter through a very large number of pores on the surface – and just as easily leave turquoise when conditions change. For jewelry making, this property is, of course, very undesirable, since numerous cycles of absorption and drying will damage the stone. The liquid will gradually wash away its structure. In addition, getting a chemically active (detergent) or, for example, colored liquid (such as tea or coffee) inside the stone will certainly cause irreparable damage to both the structure and appearance. However, in this case, the problem itself is already the key to the solution. In fact, there are several ways out. If contact of the stone with the environment cannot be completely eliminated, then it is necessary to protect it, either by covering it with a transparent and durable film, or during the manufacturing process, impregnate the stone with a harmless compound with suitable properties: colorless, fairly thick, but moderately plastic and, what is very important, does not interact in any way with surrounding moisture. Since ancient times, for such cases, for example, animal fat or wax/wax-like substances could be used. This choice is obvious: technological accessibility, low cost and ease of use. The stone could be successively covered in several layers until it stopped absorbing. Nowadays, various paraffins (synthetic wax-like compounds) or liquid soda glass can be used instead of fat and wax, but polymers are much more popular. This choice is due, firstly, to the wide variety of polymers with different properties, secondly, to the availability of the material, ease of use, and thirdly, to the predictability of the properties of the selected material.

How is turquoise stabilized?

The impregnation/stabilization process has not changed in general terms. The stone is covered in surface layers or immersed in liquid. In some cases, special closed autoclaves are used to create high pressure. In this case, the impregnation material can penetrate deep inside (or even the entire depth). Next, the polymer/liquid glass solidifies. The conditions for this may be different, it all depends on the substances used (sometimes it’s enough to just wait at room conditions). The obvious advantages of such refining of turquoise include an increase in its strength (the stone will not crumble, since, in fact, it is glued from the inside), protection of turquoise from interaction with oxygen, which helps prevent greening, and protection from interaction with any liquid in the environment. As additional “bonuses” we get a slight increase in the mass of the stone and a significant saturation of the original color (even if transparent fillers are used).

Disadvantages of stabilization

However, stabilization is not a perfect solution. The first and most obvious reason: stabilization is still an intervention in the structure of the stone and its “naturalness”. Of course, such stones are inferior in prestige and cost to similar unstabilized samples. The second point does not apply to all minerals, but it is of great importance for turquoise: even the most colorless polymers subtly turn yellow, which can lead to a change in the shade of turquoise towards a noticeable green spectrum. But it’s much worse that any sudden changes in environmental conditions (pressure, temperature) can further damage the stone. A trivial example is traveling on an airplane. The sudden change in pressure that occurs during takeoff and landing affects the material contained inside, causing changes in its volume, and this, in turn, can destroy the structure of turquoise from the inside. In addition, chemically active substances such as acetone or alcohol (sometimes included in hygiene or technical products) will definitely damage the surface, most likely leaving streaks and stains. However, the above situations are dangerous for any turquoise in principle. There is no point in talking about a separate risk group. Any stone needs careful treatment and care. It is important to remember that in any case, stabilization definitely prolongs the life of turquoise, makes it easier to work with, reducing risks, makes it stronger and brighter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button