- Category: Gemstones by the Month
Turquoise: December’s gemstone
For selling, turquoise is similar to jade and pearl for the same reasons. Everyone appreciates it, and the gem always looks good however it’s used. Turquoise is the birthstone for December.
What is turquoise?
Turquoise is a soft, opaque gemstone, formed by volcanic rock reacting to copper deposits brought by water. Colour ranges from blue-green, to yellow-green with grey, black or brown veining. Most non-green turquoise these days is dyed. As genuine turquoise is expensive, reconstituted turquoise is common - crafted from real turquoise chips fused with other stones to cut cost.
Turquoise has been found in 5,000-year-old Egyptian tombs and the Tibetans used it as currency centuries ago. North Africa and the Middle East hold large deposits, but most turquoise today originates from Burma and is carved in China. Turquoise didn’t reach Europe until the crusades when the name originated, meaning “Turkish stone”.
Ancient doctors thought turquoise prevented injury and ground it into a powder to cure stomach disorders, internal bleeding, and insect bites. Turquoise has always been used to protect the wearer from danger, attract wealth, and warn as a talisman or good luck charm. Some believe it will fade when danger or illness is near, or a lover is unfaithful. It’s also said to protect against pollution and strengthen the body.
Turquoise is porous, so contact with liquids, oils or even perspiration should be avoided. This is why it’s often impregnated with plastic, colourless oil or wax to improve colour and durability. Jewellery should be removed before washing.
Untreated turquoise will eventually turn green.
Turquoise & pearl
Turquoise and pearl go so well together - creating natural, expensive-looking, quality jewellery, ideal for presents. Wrap it in a nice box and try to be present when it’s opened - that's if you can't resist keeping the piece for yourself! Turquoise also looks great with red coral, creating jewellery with mystique, giving a Tibetan effect.