Persian turquoise came from a number of mines in modern day Iran. The stones from all mines show a great color variation. Many mines were worked around Nishapur, 225 miles east of the southern end of the Caspian Sea, close to old caravan routes.
Firm evidence exists that these mines were heavily worked beginning in the 10th century, but there is also evidence that some of the mines near the surface may have been exploited as early as 2100 B.C.
The stones that are valued the most in Persia are the stones that completely lack matrix of any kind and that have a bright blue color. The oldest known piece of jewelry, a turquoise bracelet made with Persian turquoise, was found on the mummified wrist of ancient Egyptian Queen Nor.
The Persian turquoise sold by Silver Sun comes from a mine on the corner of Armenia, Azerbijan and Iran. It has since flooded.
Fourteen years ago, I got one of those infamous “you gotta see the stones I have” phone calls. Never say no. So, the gentleman flew his little plane to Albuquerque with about 80 lbs. A top stonecutter and I picked up about 40 lbs. I love the gentle clear blue in the rough turquoise . . . these are smaller pieces . . . hard and shiny.
It turns out it looks like the Persian used by the Victorians at the turn-of-the-century. This new find was documented from Armenia. This mine is close to the ancient mines of the Egyptians (same mountain range). In 1998 and 1999, it could be legally exported from Armenia.
Later finds in the mine were deep green and very hard.
Europeans and Asians love Persian (blue without matrix) and Sleeping Beauty. They much prefer it to turquoise with matrix.