In 1967 New Mexico declared turquoise its state stone. It surely came as no surprise to inhabitants of our great state, as the region has long been famous for its production of the gem and its extensive use among native cultures. Turquoise was the unofficial state stone long before 1967, and continues to enjoy incredible popularity in Albuquerque, across the United States, and around the world. As proud New Mexicans, we at Harris Jewelers appreciate the unique beauty of turquoise- from its distinct cast when set in a ring of silver, to its eye-catching hue when worn in a pair of earrings. This versatile stone has been a staple of fashion in New Mexico for centuries, so make sure your pieces last long enough to be passed down to the next generation by understanding the gemstone and taking proper care of it.

Turquoise is a mineral found in many arid regions of the world, but the bulk of which comes from the American southwest. As far as gems go, it is a rather soft stone, requiring extra care and attention when it comes to wearing, storing, and cleaning it. The relative softness of turquoise means that it can easily be damaged by sharp scratches and other impacts. Particularly when it comes to rings, avoid wearing your turquoise jewelry while doing any heavy work. For this reason, turquoise jewelry should also not be stored near harder stones, like diamonds, that may scratch its surface.

The thing that stands out most about turquoise, of course, is its striking color. Ranging from opaque robin’s egg blue to darker shades with veins of brown and green, the stone is undeniably unique. Unfortunately, in addition to being somewhat soft, it is also a porous mineral. This means that long term exposure to chemicals, soaps, grease, even oils from your skin, can alter the color of your turquoise. Once the color of the stone has been impacted, unfortunately, the change cannot be corrected. So, avoid wearing necklaces, rings, bracelets, and earrings when cleaning, spritzing on perfume, applying lotion, et cetera.

Due to its permeable composition, many commercial jewelry polishes and cleaners should be avoided when you’re sprucing up your jewelry. Instead, consider taking your most cherished pieces of jewelry to a professional for cleaning every six months to a year, like the certified gemologists on staff at Harris Jewelers. When you bring in your turquoise jewelry for a routine cleaning, we can also assess the condition of the piece and identify loose prongs, worn mountings, and more, so you never have to deal with the heartbreak of losing a one-of-a-kind turquoise stone. Looking to buy some turquoise? We have a variety of pieces available for purchase, all hand-picked by staff for their beauty, craftsmanship, and distinct look. Stop in at our store in Rio Rancho, and any of our knowledgeable staff will be glad to assist you in finding a uniquely New Mexican piece of jewelry.

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