Turquoise is a semi-precious blue-green gemstone, whose stunning unique colour has been prized for thousands of years. The stone is opaque and often displays brown, black or grey veins, and metallic pyrite spots. Every piece has its own individual character. The stone ranges in colour from bright blue to green, with variations in the exact colour occurring because of the different levels of copper and aluminium present in the water that flows through the rocks in which turquoise is formed.
Turquoise has a beautiful natural sheen, almost waxy in appearance, and is smooth to the touch. It is a relatively soft gemstone and in jewellery settings the stone is covered with a colourless protective coating to ensure it holds its allure for a long time.
Where is Turquoise Found?
Turquoise has been found all over the world. Most turquoise used in jewellery now comes from the southwestern American states of Nevada and Arizona, but turquoise is also widely found Mexico, Iran, Chile, and Australia, amongst many other countries.
Turquoise Through History
The origin of the name for turquoise comes from 'turqueise' which is an Old French word for 'Turkish'. The gemstone first came to Western Europe along the silk and spice trade routes through Turkey, so Europeans named the stone after its apparent origins.
Many ancient cultures prized turquoise for its unique colour and the symbolic properties they associated with it. Persian soldiers wore turquoise as they believe it signified strength, and the mask of Tutankhamun is inlayed with turquoise as a symbol of peace.
Caring for your Turquoise
Turquoise, like all jewellery, should be treated with the appropriate care. Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight, cosmetics and heat can cause the colour of a turquoise gemstone to change, so we always recommend storing your jewellery in its box, or in your jewellery case. Do not wear your jewellery whilst swimming, or in the shower and always apply perfumes/cosmetics first, and let them dry, before putting on your jewellery. You can clean your turquoise jewellery with a soft cloth from time to time, but avoid any harsh silver polish or cleaning fluids; warm mildly soapy water is all you will need.
The Birthstone for December
Turquoise is the traditional birthstone for December. Our sterling silver December birthstone pendant displays the gemstone in a simple polished surround. Matching turquoise stud earrings are also available to complete the set, or to wear separately as classic everyday earrings.