Turquoise is easily recognized by its sky blue or Robin’s egg colour, which is a color that occurs very rarely in minerals. The name turquoise comes from the French word “turquois” which means “Turkey.” It was named after the country of Turkey which is where European turquoise was coming from in the 17th century. It is one of the first gems ever to be mined and is found all over the world from Iran to New Mexico, demonstrating how global its appeal is.
Physical: Turquoise is a stunning blue-green opaque stone. It does not form into crystals and has no definite, regular shape, which makes every stone unique, adding to its beauty. Natural turquoise deposits are remote and the stones need to be carefully mined by hand. However, turquoise can also be recovered as a by-product of copper mining.
Healing/Meaning: The primary meaning of Turquoise is purification. Turquoise is also believed to be a protective stone, and to bring good fortune which is why the Egyptians used it in their grave furnishings. It is also a stone of friendship making it ideal as a non-romantic gift.
The Navajo and the Apache believed that wearing turquoise would improve an archer’s aim, and would even attach it to their bows. Turquoise is also believed to have anti-inflammatory properties and is worn to help with arthritis or rheumatism.
For thousands of years in Iran, turquoise was used to cover the domes of palaces. It was used by Ancient Egyptians dating back to 6,000 years ago, and Indigenous peoples in North America have been using turquoise for at least 2,000 years. Turquoise has also been used in Persia not just for centuries, but for millennia.
Ancient Egyptian and Aztec rulers used turquoise to adorn themselves, in the form of masks, shields, and crowns. The world famous gold funeral mask of Tutankhamun was inlaid with turquoise.
In fact, when French archaeologists first unearthed the tomb of Tutankhamun in the 1800’s, the Ancient Egyptian turquoise was so impressive that it sparked a jewelry revival in France.
Because of the rich and diverse history of the use of turquoise, by so many different cultures over the course of millions of years, there are many different style options when it comes to turquoise jewelry. In North America, it is most commonly seen in silver, which is traditional to the Navajo of America’s South West.
However, the Aztecs and the Egyptians preferred to inlay gold with turquoise. This makes a turquoise stone customizable to a warmer palette, with a gold setting, or a cooler palette, with a silver setting.
Depending on personal style, turquoise can be used to add a touch of color to a smaller, more delicate piece, or its unusual shape can be utilized in a bigger, more dramatic, statement piece of jewelry.
Care & Cleaning
Traditionally, turquoise was worn because it was believed it would change color to warn of approaching doom. While this psychic quality of the stone remains unproven, it can indeed change color.
In fact, it is quite sensitive to extended direct sunlight, as well as perfume and cosmetics such as hair spray and sunscreen, so it is best to opt out of wearing your turquoise jewelry to the beach or pool.
Turquoise can be easily cleaned with a soft cloth. It can also be washed gently with soap and water but should be dried immediately. High heat should be avoided as it may also cause discoloration, or even fracturing of the stone.
There are usually unique and breathtaking Turquoise pieces in my online store, it is a beautiful gem to create handmade jewelry with. Shop all Turquoise pieces in my online store and get your very own Turquoise gem jewelry shipped right to your door.
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