Turquoise is the third birthstone for December along with Tanzanite and Blue Zircon. It is one of the oldest celebrated gemstones in history with Chinese artisans carving turquoise 3,000 years ago, and ancient Egyptians adorning themselves in this beautiful gem 4,000 years ago! It is gem that has been worn by royalty, Pharaohs, and Native Americans.
The name dates back to the 13th century when it is likely that it came to Europe through Turkish trade routes. Turquoise comes from the French expression, pierre tourques, which means Turkish stone. The Navajo Tribe call it “Doo tl’ izh ii” and is known as the ‘stone of life.’ The Apache tribe believed that turquoise would increase a warrior’s accuracy if they attached it to their bows.
Turquoise is found in a few places in the world, but only where it is dry and barren with acidic, copper-rich groundwater. When the copper-rich groundwater seeps downward and reacts phosphorus and aluminum filled minerals, turquoise is formed. Historically, Iran produced the finest turquoise, and it was called ‘Persian Turquoise.’ It is no longer commercially viable, but China and the United States are important sources. Turkey is another ancient source that is no longer commercially viable.
Turquoise has a color range from dull green, to grass green, to bright sky blue. Some of the most interesting turquoise has black veining throughout the gemstone and others have no veining and have been nick named ‘robin eggs blue.’ It is an opaque gemstone that is cut in beads or cabochons (flat bottom, rounded top). Often, we see it in Native American jewelry set in sterling silver, but lately, 14kt yellow gold and turquoise have been making a splash!
I would love to help you with jewelry this holiday season! Angela Cisneros Jewelry Concierge brings back the joy and confidence of jewelry shopping, so that you can celebrate with ease! My by-appointment approach means:
One-on-one appointments (personal attention and no crowds!)
Discretion and privacy (surprises remain surprises!)
Expert help from a Graduate Gemologist with 24 years of experience (yep, that’s me!)
Book your FREE appointment with me today! www.angelacisneros.com/book-appointment