Mystery and Romance of Turquoise

What chemical element gives December’s birthstone its vivid blue or green color?

The unusual qualities of turquoise have fascinated people for centuries:

  • In 4,000 BC, ancient Egyptian pharaohs adorn themselves with turquoise jewelry.
  • 3,000-year-old Chinese artisans carve statues and trinkets from it.
  • Montezuma considers it the god Quetzalcoatl’s favorite gem.
  • Tibetans laud it as their national gem.
  • Modern Americans use it as one of the birthstones for December (along with Zircon).
  • Old world Native Americans use it as a medium of exchange and to make ceremonial amulets. The Apache Nation believes when turquoise is attached to a bow or firearm, it increases the hunter’s or warrior’s accuracy. Today, some of the world’s most unique turquoise jewelry is crafted by the Native Americans of southwestern United States.

Turquoise is a word that comes from a 13th century French expression, pierre tourques, which means, “Turkish stone.” People prize turquoise because they think the gemstone guarantees health, good fortune, joy, delight and protection from evil. Thus, the romance. What gives turquoise its color? Copper.

As for the Mystery

Along with its romantic heritage, turquoise has an intense, soul-satisfying, unforgettable color: Persian blue. The opaque stone is both a gem for jewelry and an ornamental material, in colors that range from light blue to limes and greens – and that sky blue. Found in only a few places on Earth, some pieces of turquoise have veins of matrix, or remnants of surrounding rock, running through it, creating fine seams that form attractive web-like patterns. While the most valuable turquoise is Persian blue with no matrix and a good polish, contemporary designers also crave the visceral magnificence of spiderweb turquoise, especially because the patterns provide a dark contrast to the gem’s bright blue.

Looking for the perfect holiday gift? Ask us about our Custom Jewelry Gift Experience.

Indy Facets – Everyone’s Private Jeweler

Indy Facets seamlessly blends the expertise and full service of a traditional jewelry store with the value and convenience of a personal jeweler experience. We give you the face-to-face interaction with an expert that you deserve, in a private setting where you can relax and feel comfortable. Owner/Designer Shaun Goodyear and his team have earned an excellent reputation as everyone’s private jeweler for engagement rings, custom design, investment grade diamonds, luxury Swiss timepieces, estate jewelry, jewelry repair and the highest level of customer service, available to you from an onsite, state-of-the-art Custom Design Studio and Gemological Laboratory by private appointment only. You are guaranteed a unique, fun and exciting experience without the hype, pressure, judgment or uncertainty associated with other jewelry shopping options. We schedule appointments at your convenience, and are usually available evenings and weekends, too. Call (317) 296-6273 for your private appointment or schedule online, www.indyfacets.com/schedule.

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