Caravan Turquoise comes from the Middle East, from mines in Persia (now called Iran). Gem turquoise has originated in this area for more than five thousand years and has been highly valued through the ages. The material on this page was purchased more than forty years ago and came to us through Turkey. Some of these stones are sprinkled with silvery pyrite; others have intense, turquoise color; while others feature a contrast between the sky of the turquoise and the warm earthy browns of its matrix. Still others feature a rich green/olive cast, while another group sports pastel aqua coloring. They undoubtedly came from different mines, but since I bought them as a group, I am calling them all "Caravan Turquoise."
Most of these were cut in the traditional shape: nearly flat on the surface, with rounded backs. Since this cut doesn't fit well in western settings, I have flattened nearly all of the backs. However, the sides still flare outwards from the base, creating an undercut profile. Please be sure to review the diagram which is included in the photos of each stone so that you understand what the back looks like and how it should be set. Moderately undercut stones are thick enough to be safely set in any manner--bezel, prong, beading, cast, or wire-wrap. Severely undercut stones have thinner edges that need to have a "seated" or supported setting. There are also a couple that I've left in their original round form, as well as a couple more with western cabochon cuts. They all have unpolished backs.