African turquoise is a descriptive name and is not true turquoise, but actually a jasper found in Africa. These semiprecious beads have a matrix structure similar to that of turquoise, and are light bluish-green in color. The matrix in African turquoise is usually dark or black. Due to its durability and attractive color, we often have matte African turquoise in stock as well as highly polished African turquoise. African turquoise looks very similar to variquoise, a unique combination of variscite and turquoise found in Utah and Nevada.
Genuine turquoise is a soft stone (5 to 6 on the Mohs scale of hardness), and jasper is harder (7 on the Mohs scale), making African turquoise a more durable stone than natural turquoise. As turquoise mines around the world are played out, we expect that African turquoise will continue to gain in popularity.