All About Turquoise

Famous for its gorgeous blue-green color, get to know a little more about this ever-popular stone.

The History

Considered a prized gem since ancient times, many civilizations have revered turquoise for its unique color and perceived meaning. A vast array of cultures from across the world feature turquoise in jewelry, but the two primary groups most associated with the gem are the Native Americans and the Egyptians.

Turquoise has been uncovered on the tombs of Egyptian pharaohs, including King Tutankhamun. The Egyptians believed turquoise to be a gem that possessed holy qualities in addition to intense beauty. Though named for its suspected country of origin, Turkey, turquoise continues to be famously associated with Egyptian artifacts and culture.

Of course, Native American culture is also connected to turquoise.

To this day, Native American artisans feature turquoise in items ranging from ordinary to sacred. Turquoise jewelry created and inspired by Native American designs, primarily paired with silver, continues to be quite popular. According to some cultural beliefs, turquoise represents water and sky. Wearing this gem is also thought to provide protection, accuracy and health - meanings that have been adopted beyond Native American culture.

Some Basics

LOOK: The color of turquoise can range from deep blue-green to a bright blue shade. An opaque stone, turquoise can appear as a solid color or feature natural mineral lines defined in the stone.

TREATMENTS: Turquoise may be treated with a plastic or wax to protect it.

COMMONLY SEEN IN: As mentioned, turquoise is often set in silver, though gold provides a striking contrast. The gem remains popular in every type of jewelry and is considered one of three traditional birthstones for the month of December.