Well Hello There Gorgeous!!

As December rolls around, bringing with it the festive spirit and winter chill, it’s the perfect time to appreciate the unique beauty of December’s birthstone: Turquoise. 

This semi-precious gemstone is not only admired for its stunning blue colour but also for its deep historical and cultural significance. Whether you’re celebrating a birthday or have an affinity for this captivating stone, Turquoise holds a special place in the hearts of many.

Welcome to today’s blog post, where we explore the captivating world of Turquoise, the semi-precious birthstone for December. Known for its striking blue hues and rich history, Turquoise has been a cherished gem across various cultures for thousands of years. In ancient times, it was considered a stone of good fortune and protection against evil spirits. Today, it continues to symbolise positive energy, good luck, and timeless beauty.

Whether you’re drawn to its vibrant colour, its symbolic meanings, or its healing properties, Turquoise remains a popular choice for December birthdays and beyond. Join me as we explore the history, significance, physical properties, and myriad uses of this beautiful stone, and discover why Turquoise continues to enchant people around the globe. Turquoise is such a recognisable semi-precious gemstone…they even named a colour after it! 

I’m going to be completely honest and upfront about this; due to the extremely high cost of genuine, natural Turquoise, most people in my line of business (semi-precious jewelry makers) use dyed Howlite as a replacement. 

It’s simply a way to keep our products affordable. (But we’ll talk about that in a bit.) Phew! I feel better now that I’ve got that off my chest.

FUN FACT: Turquoise is the official semi-precious birthstone of December and is most beneficial to those born under the Sagittarius Star Sign (Nov 23 – Dec 21). But it is also relevant to the Scorpio, Pisces and Aquarius Star Signs.

Turquoise is the traditional gemstone gift given to someone who is celebrating their 11th wedding anniversary.

The History & Significance of Turquoise

Let’s take a journey through the fascinating history of Turquoise, a gemstone cherished across the globe for thousands of years. 

In ancient times, Turquoise was beloved by many cultures. The Ancient Egyptians, for instance, used it in their stunning jewelry and ceremonial pieces, believing it brought good health and protection. This vibrant blue-green gemstone even adorned King Tutankhamun’s famous gold mask, showcasing its significance.

The ancient Persians believed that Turquoise represented the sky and was a symbol of prosperity. They used Turquoise to adorn their daggers, emphasising its importance in their culture. The Aztecs famously used Turquoise for sacred objects like ceremonial shields, earrings, bracelets, necklaces, armbands, plates, diadems, and the handles of sacrificial knives.

In the Middle Ages, knights wore Turquoise to prevent themselves from falling off their horses. Native American cultures have long held Turquoise in high regard, using it to create beautiful jewelry and other decorative objects. They believed it had the power to protect against negative energy and promote well-being. The Apache used Turquoise in their bows to ensure their aim always remained true. Many tribes still value Turquoise today, and it remains an important part of Native American culture.

The name “Turquoise” itself comes from the French word “turquois,” meaning “Turkish stone,” as it was first brought to Europe from Turkey. The stone’s vibrant blue colour and unique veins of matrix make it a distinctive choice for various types of jewelry and decorative items. Turquoise has also played an important role in Chinese artisans’ work, being carved into intricate designs and used in traditional ornaments.

From ancient civilisations to modern times, Turquoise has maintained its allure and significance. It is not just a gemstone but a symbol of good fortune, positive energy, and a connection to the past. This rich history makes Turquoise a timeless and cherished birthstone for those born in the month of December.

The Physical Properties of Turquoise

Turquoise is admired for its beauty and also its unique physical properties. This semi-precious stone typically ranges from blue to green in colour, with its most prized shade being a sky blue. The colour variations in Turquoise are due to the presence of copper (which gives the blue colour) and iron (which gives the green colour).

One of the most distinctive features of Turquoise is the presence of veins or matrix, which are the host rock inclusions within the gemstone. These veins can appear in various patterns and colours, often creating a beautiful contrast with the blue or green background of the stone. Spider web Turquoise, which has a dense, intricate pattern of veins, is particularly sought after by collectors and jewelry makers.

On the Mohs scale of hardness, Turquoise usually falls between 5 and 6, making it a relatively soft stone. This means it requires careful handling to avoid scratches and damage. High heat and direct sunlight can also affect its colour and durability, so it’s best to protect your Turquoise jewelry from prolonged exposure to these elements.

Turquoise is found in arid regions around the world, with notable deposits in the southwestern United States, Iran, Egypt, and China. Each region produces Turquoise with its own unique characteristics. For example, Turquoise from the Nishapur district of Iran is renowned for its intense blue colour and high clarity. At the same time, Turquoise from the American Southwest is often characterised by its distinctive matrix patterns.

Despite being a softer gemstone, Turquoise remains a popular choice for various types of jewelry, including anklets, rings, necklaces and bracelets. Its unique hue and striking appearance make it a versatile and beloved addition to any collection.

Turquoise’s chemical formula is CuAl6(PO4)4(OH)8·4H2O. (Just in case you were wondering or wanted to have it engraved on a bracelet)

The Meaning & Healing Properties of Turquoise

Turquoise is more than just a pretty stone; it’s also packed with meaning and believed healing properties that have fascinated people for centuries. Known as a stone of protection, Turquoise has been used to ward off negative energy and bring good fortune. Ancient cultures, like the Aztecs and Egyptians, considered it a sacred stone, believing it could connect them with the spiritual world.

One of the reasons people are drawn to Turquoise is its association with positive energy and good health. Many believe that wearing Turquoise jewelry can help encourage a sense of well-being and emotional balance. It’s thought to be especially helpful for people who are concerned with stress and anxiety levels, as it can help foster calm and serenity to the wearer.

Besides its emotional benefits, Turquoise is also believed to have physical healing properties. Some say it can help strengthen the immune system and alleviate pain, making it a terrific choice for someone looking to boost their overall health. Turquoise is also said to aid in detoxifying the body and improving circulation, giving it a reputation as a versatile healing stone.

Turquoise has been associated with the throat chakra, which is linked to communication and self-expression. Wearing a Turquoise necklace or other jewelry is thought to help open this chakra, encouraging honest and clear communication. This makes Turquoise a favourite among those who want to improve their ability to express themselves and connect with others.

Throughout history, Turquoise has been cherished not just for its beauty but for its powerful meanings and healing properties. From bringing good luck to promoting positive energy, this gemstone has a lot to offer. Whether you’re wearing it for its looks or its benefits, Turquoise is a stone that truly stands out.

How Turquoise is Used

Turquoise has been cherished for centuries, not only for its stunning beauty but also for its versatility. Let’s talk about the many ways this captivating gemstone is used today.

First and foremost, Turquoise is a popular choice in jewelry design. You’ll often see it set in rings, necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. From a bold Turquoise necklace to a delicate Turquoise ring, this gemstone adds a touch of class and a splash of colour to any outfit. Its unique hue and striking patterns make it a standout piece in any collection.

But did you know that Turquoise has industrial uses too? It’s true! Turquoise is used in the production of electronic components and even as a polishing agent. This shows just how versatile this gemstone can be, finding its place in both beautiful jewelry and practical applications.

Despite its popularity, authentic Turquoise can be quite expensive. This has led to the use of dyed Howlite as a substitute. Howlite is a white mineral that is often dyed to resemble Turquoise. While it can mimic the look, it doesn’t have the same physical or spiritual properties. Dyed Howlite is significantly less expensive, making it a popular choice for those who love the look of Turquoise but are on a budget.

When shopping for Turquoise, it’s important to know whether you’re getting the real deal or a substitute. Genuine Turquoise has a rich history and unique meanings that dyed Howlite simply can’t replicate. For instance, genuine Turquoise is associated with good fortune, positive energy, and even healing properties that many find beneficial.

Whether it’s used in beautiful jewelry pieces, industrial applications, or as a more affordable alternative, Turquoise continues to captivate and inspire. Its unique colour, rich history and versatility make it a gemstone like no other.

Today, as I’m writing this (Feb 8, 2024) I was trying to do some research to show you the price difference between real, authentic Turquoise and dyed Howlite. I couldn’t even find real, authentic 8mm Turquoise beads to buy. I went through 8 different online beads stores from all over the world. They ALL tried to pass off imitation (Dyed Howlite) Turquoise as the real thing. They still claimed it was real. I did find some genuine Turquoise 6mm beads and they started at CAD$97 for a string that was 15 inches long. When I checked online @ Pandahall.com for the price of the dyed Howlite, the average price for the same sized bead & length was…CAD$1.08.

So you can see why I’d say 99.5% of all semi-precious gemstone bracelets you can find on Etsy, ebay, Amazon, Farmers Markets and Craft Fairs use imitation Turquoise.

Some of Turquoise’s Health Benefits Include

(FYI, this is in no way intended to replace medication &/or the care of a licensed healthcare professional)

  • Helps in the absorption of nutrients
  • Anti-inflammatory agents
  • Helps fight viral infections
  • Helps heal the eyes

5 Interesting Facts about Turquoise…

  1. Turquoise is the only gemstone to have a colour named after it.
  2. The Tibetan and Nepalese people call it the ‘Sky Stone’ and it is very important to their culture.
  3. Turquoise is a soft stone, so you need to treat it accordingly.
  4. The markings or veining through authentic Turquoise is actually referred to as matrix.
  5. Turquoise is classified as one of the world’s oldest gemstones.

Where to Buy Turquoise Jewelry

If you are looking to purchase authentic Turquoise jewelry, it is important to do your research and buy from a reputable source. 

One option is to visit a Native American reservation or pueblo where artisans create and sell handmade jewelry. 

Another option is to look for jewelry stores that specialize in Native American or Southwest styles, as they are likely to sell authentic pieces. 

Additionally, you can purchase from online retailers that specialize in authentic Native American jewelry but make sure you read reviews and do your due diligence to ensure the authenticity of the pieces. 

By taking these steps, you can ensure that you are purchasing genuine Turquoise jewelry.

If you would like to buy Turquoise (but NOT authentic) jewelry, it is widely available at jewelry stores and online retailers. It can come in a variety of styles and price points, from simple stud earrings to elaborate necklaces and bracelets.

Here’s a quick link to the One Zero Eight Shop for these Imitation Turquoise pieces…Simple EarringsDeluxe EarringsImitation Turquoise Bracelet

You can also buy Turquoise jewelry from local artisans at craft fairs, farmer’s markets and such.

How to Identify Imitation Turquoise

Once you know what imitation Turquoise looks like, you won’t be as easily tricked. 

There are a lot of imitation Turquoise products on the market that can be difficult to distinguish from the real thing. 

One of the main differences between real and imitation Turquoise is their composition. Naturally occurring Turquoise is a mineral that is formed from a combination of copper, aluminum, and phosphate. 

In contrast, imitation Turquoise is often made from materials like plastic, glass, resin or even other semi-precious gemstones that are dyed to look like the real thing. 

Additionally, real Turquoise may have natural variations in colour and texture, while imitation Turquoise tends to look more uniform. 

If you’re unsure whether a piece of turquoise jewelry or decor is real or fake, it’s always best to consult with an expert or do your research before making a purchase.

How to Care for Turquoise Jewelry

Turquoise is a relatively soft stone, so it is important to handle it with care. Avoid exposing it to heat, chemicals, and direct sunlight. To clean it, simply use a soft cloth.

For a deeper look into making your gemstone feel loved, read The 5 Best Ways to Take Care of Your Gemstone Bracelets & The Essential Guide to Cleansing Your Gemstone Bracelets.

Frequently Asked Questions About Turquoise

Q: What is Turquoise?

A: Turquoise is a blue-green mineral that has been used for centuries in jewelry and art. It is often found in arid regions and has been a valuable commodity for many cultures throughout history.

Q: Where does Turquoise come from?

A: Turquoise can be found in various regions of the world, including the United States, Mexico, China, Iran, and Egypt. The quality and colour of the stone depends on the location and the conditions in which it was formed.

Q: What are the uses of Turquoise?

Turquoise is most commonly used in jewelry, but it has also been used in art and architecture. It is believed to have healing properties and historically, has been used in traditional medicine to treat various ailments. Additionally, it has been used in religious ceremonies and as a symbol of protection and good fortune.

We’ve covered a lot about Turquoise, from its rich history and significance to its physical properties and various uses. It’s no wonder that this beautiful stone, with its unique blue colour and fascinating matrix patterns, continues to be a favorite for many. Whether you’re drawn to its aesthetic appeal, its historical connections, or its believed healing properties, Turquoise truly stands out.

Remember, Turquoise isn’t just for December birthdays. Its charm and versatility make it a great addition to any jewelry collection, whether you’re looking for a statement piece or something more subtle. And if you’re on a budget, dyed Howlite can offer a similar look, though it lacks the unique properties of genuine Turquoise.

As you consider adding Turquoise to your collection, think about the rich tapestry of history it carries. From the ancient Egyptians and Persians to Native American cultures and even industrial applications today, Turquoise has played an important role across the ages. It’s a symbol of good fortune, protection, and positive energy, making it more than just a pretty stone.

So next time you see a stunning Turquoise necklace, stirring bracelet or a striking Turquoise ring, you’ll know there’s much more to this gemstone than meets the eye. Whether for its beauty, its history, or its positive vibes, Turquoise remains a timeless and cherished gemstone.

Thank you for joining me on this journey through the captivating world of Turquoise. I hope you’ve enjoyed learning about December’s birthstone as much as I’ve enjoyed sharing its story with you.

To find your own (or other) birth month semi-precious gemstone introduction blog, click below.

SeptemberLapis Lazuli
OctoberPink Tourmaline
Click on a birthstone to get instantly teleported over to that specific blog.

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