Monday, November 21, 2011

Turquoise : The Birthstone for December

Turquoise is a Greek name meaning “Turkish stone”. It was brought to Europe through Turkey. Its colour ranges from pale blue to deep sky blue. High quality turquoise that has no veins of brown or black is called turquoise matrix. Low quality stones are very common.

This gem was popular in Egyptian times. Mummies from 7500 years earlier have been unearthed and found adorned with turquoise jewellery and their sarcophagus’s were also found inlaid with turquoise.

Turquoise was not only prized by the Egyptians but also the people of Persia, Tibet, and the Aztecs and Incas of Central America. American Indians have made jewellery out of turquoise for thousands of years. Even today they still enjoy making jewellery out of turquoise and silver. Back in the 1970s my father brought me a silver and turquoise bracelet from Mexico, that I prize to this day. Please see my photo of this bracelet.

Turquoise also comes from Iran, Australia and the United States of Arizona and New Mexico among other places. It is an opaque stone so it is made into round beads and cabochons, round or oval domed shapes. The Indians also like to carve it into little animals indigenous to their area, such as rabbits or bears.

Turquoise is a soft stone but very durable.

This gem is suitable for women and men. This is a stone that is equally desired by men because of its blue colour. Men would be more likely to wear this stone in a ring.  It is often set into insignia rings. Perhaps I should buy one for my brother for his birthday, as his birthstone is turquoise.

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