An alternative birthstone for December, turquoise has a rich historical past. The pharaohs and other rulers of ancient Egypt adorned themselves with jewellery and amulets embellished with turquoise, while Chinese artisans carved it more than 3,000 years ago. We handpick some of the eye-catching designer pieces from across the world.
Turquoise was believed to hold talismanic powers, bestowing good health and fortune. During the 13th century, it was believed to protect the wearer from falling (especially off horses). Another fascinating theory was that the turquoise would break into several pieces in the wake of imminent disaster. Hindu mystics, who loved its symbolism, felt that seeing a turquoise after beholding the new moon promised the gift of wealth.
The turquoise, a semi-translucent to opaque gem, with a bluish-green hue often has veins of matrix (remnants of the rock in which it formed) running through it. Turquoise birthstone remained significant to Native Americans; the Apache believed the gemstone could be found by following a rainbow to its end. They also thought that attaching a turquoise to a bow or firearm would ensure an accurate aim. The Pueblo maintained that turquoise borrowed its colour from the blue sky, while the Hopi thought the gem was produced by lizards scurrying over the earth.
Turquoise has been mined in the Nishapur district of Iran for more than 1,000 years. The prized even-coloured, intense blue turquoise from this region is dubbed “robin’s egg blue,” “sky blue” and “Persian blue.” New Mexico was the largest producer of turquoise in the US until the 1920s, but most of the US production of turquoise now comes from Arizona and Nevada. Interestingly, China, today, is the world’s largest producer of this stone.
If you’re looking for jewellery with turquoise in stand-out designs and settings, browse through our edit. These are the perfect presents for birthdays.