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Vibrant Turquoise for all December Babies
It’s the beginning of the month again and we thought we’d talk about December’s birthstone, Turquoise.
December also has two other stunning birthstones – tanzanite and zircon. But in this post we are going to talk about Turquoise.
Turquoise is said to derive from the old French word for “Turkish” as it was first brought to Europe from Turkey.
A beautifully coloured stone, Turquoise is sure to brighten up any cold and grey day. We are always puzzled that this bright, vibrant stone is the birthstone for December as Turquoise, to us, seems so well suited the hot months of summer, where more vibrant colours abound.
It looks just as fabulous against sun-kissed and bronze skins as it does against paler skin during during the crisp, cold winter’s months.
It always struck me as rather strange that one of December’s birthstones being Turquoise when it’s such a prevalent “summer” colour. But it does add a touch of brightness to the bleakness of the month of December.
The Mining of Turquoise
Turquoise was one of the first gems to be mined and is still mined today. Many sites where Turquoise was mined in the past have now sadly been depleted so that nowadays some mining sites are remote and this can mean they have to be mined by hand.
In the USA turquoise is often a by-product of large copper-mining installations. In Nevada, in the United States, produces an unusual brown veining in the stone known as “spider’s web matrix”.
Turquoise is also found in Persia, China and Iran.
The Colours of Turquoise - Heaven on Earth
In Prussia Turquoise was said to mean “heaven on earth” because of its colour.
The natural stone can occur in many hues. In our experience it is the blue turquoise that is preferred by our customers.
It regularly appears as quite a green stone. When it does it is often with copper-coloured or brown-coloured veins running throughout the stone.
The bright green and yellow-green shades typically contain a higher zinc or iron content.
Veining can add value, although in Western Asia they value un-veined, uniform colour. Hardness and colour are the factors that determine the value of Turquoise. Colour is largely personal but the most desirable is a strong blue or ” robins-egg” blue.
Although Turquoise is a prized gem, imitations, treated and synthetic forms of it have devalued it slightly.
Turquoise in Jewellery
There are many beautiful pieces of silver and turquoise jewellery. Whilst you do see turquoise set in gold, turquoise is more commonly seen set in silver jewellery.
From simple, classic pieces like a pair of turquoise earrings to show-stopping, elaborate turquoise necklaces and sets, it is a stone which lends itself to all styles of jewellery.
Reconstituted turquoise appears quite often in jewellery making. This is where little “bits” of turquoise are bonded together with resin to form a new stone. This makes it much more affordable although sometimes there is no guarantee of how much natural turquoise is in the finished piece.
Turquoise is popular stone to use in evil eye jewellery as the central bright blue of the eye.
The Metaphysical Effects of Turquoise
Metaphysically it is good for the throat chakra, therefore it is said to benefit the “truth”and forthrightness. It may help shy people contribute more to conversations or help calm and centre you when speaking in public. It is said to help with stress.
Protective and powerful, even wearing the colour is said to bring emotional clarity and balance and help with communication, and develop empathy.
Caring for Turquoise
Being a phosphate mineral, turquoise is extremely susceptible to solvents especially perfume and cosmetics and hairspray – it will attack the finish and also the colour.
At only 5-6 on the Mohs Hardness scale, care needs to be taken with turquoise.
Strong sunlight over a prolonged period will dehydrate it and change the colour. Similarly, storing in an airtight container may damage it. Don’t ever clean it by using jewellery cleaning dip to clean use a soft, dry cloth or use our wonderful Delicate Jewellery Cleaner.
Remember the golden rule – jewellery should be the last thing you put on in the morning and the first thing you take off in the evening.