Turquoise is a secondary mineral which forms as a porous blue cryptocrystalline aggregate, and is found in veins within rocks in arid regions. It is an opaque to semi-translucent gemstone and has a waxy to dull lustre. Turquoise gets its colour from copper and iron content, and its colour varies from blue (the influence of copper) to green (the influence of iron) to grey. Pure blue colour is rare and most Turquoise is intermixed with black, brown or grey veins caused by the presence of other minerals. This is called the “Turquoise matrix”. The most prized Turquoise has no (or very little) veining.
Turquoise is relatively soft and porous and can be easily damaged and crack over time. Its colour can also fade. To prevent this some Turquoise is “stabilised” which involves soaking/impregnating it with an artificial resin or wax. This improves its colour and hardens it surface.
Turquoise can be found in Afghanistan, Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, Mexico, Persia (Iran), Russia, Tanzania, and the United States
Turquoise Gemstone Meaning – Traditional legends, gemstone folklore and healing properties
Turquoise is thought to be one of the oldest known minerals and is one of the first gems to be mined. It is said to have been mined more than 6000 years ago in Sinai.
Its name derives from the French “turc” meaning Turkish, which dates to the 16th century when it was first brought to Europe from Persia, via Turkey. The Persians used it to embellish thrones, swords, daggers, bowls, cups and ornamental objects and prior to World War II it was Iran’s principal export.
The Ancient Egyptians valued Turquoise for its beauty and used it widely in jewellery, mosaics and ceremonial costumes. The Mexican Aztecs, Toltecs and Olmecs also revered it and death masks were decorated with it. According to the Mayan culture, no one was allowed to wear or own Turquoise as it was reserved as an offering to the gods, and for the decoration of their images and statues.
American Indians and Inca cultures also venerated Turquoise.
Turquoise it is believed to be the last of the twelve gemstones set in the ceremonial breastplate of Aaron, representing the twelve tribes of Israel as described in the Old Testament book of Exodus.
Turquoise has always been regarded as lucky stone, protecting the wearer from evil. It is thought of as the stone of prosperity and a holy stone, believed to bring the wearer good fortune and a prosperous life. It is considered a protective stone, guarding against violence and accidents, and a valuable amulet for travellers.
Turquoise is thought to clear the mind and inspire cheer. It’s believed by some to denote a sense of wellbeing and spiritual harmony. Turquoise is also considered to be a stone of friendship and loyalty. It is said to aid in creative expression and bring peace of mind and emotional balance.
Healers believe that Turquoise attracts healing spirits, making it a premier healing stone. It is said to be a cure for many ailments and is thought to guard against all diseases, including assisting in tissue regeneration, body alignment and strengthening
Given as a gift, Turquoise is believed to bestow wealth and happiness upon its receiver, and bring happiness and good fortune – it makes an ideal present!
Turquoise is the birthstone for December and is the gemstone for the eleventh wedding anniversary.