ABSTRACT

Turquoise, CuAl6(PO4)4(OH)8·4H2O, belongs to the turquoise group, which consists of turquoise, chalcosiderite, aheylite, faustite, planerite, and UM1981-32-PO:FeH. In order to study turquoise-group solid solutions in samples from the Neyshabour and Meydook mines, 17 samples were selected and investigated using electron probe microanalysis. In addition, their major elements were compared in order to evaluate the feasibility of distinguishing the provenance of Persian turquoises. The electron microprobe data show that the studied samples are not constituted of pure turquoise (or any other pure endmember) and belong, from the chemical point of view, to turquoise-group solid solutions.

In a turquoise–planerite–chalcosiderite–unknown mineral quaternary solid solution diagram, the chemical compositions of the analyzed samples lie along the turquoise–planerite line with minor involvement of chalcosiderite and the unknown mineral. Among light blue samples with varying hues and saturations from both studied areas, planerite is more abundant among samples from Meydook compared with samples from Neyshabour. Nevertheless, not all the light blue samples are planerite. This study demonstrates that distinguishing the deposit of origin for isochromatic blue and green turquoises, based on electron probe microanalysis method and constitutive major elements, is not possible.

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