First mined 5,000 years ago by Tibetans and Egyptians, turquoise’s colour can range from dull greys, to yellows, grass greens to bright sky blues. The most prized colour, a bright robins egg blue, comes from the Nishapur district of Iran. This is sometimes said to be ‘Persian Blue’. Turquoise has long been a symbol of wealth as well as being associated to meanings of purity and healing.
Turquoise was popular in ancient Egypt – Cleopatra kept a collection of the gemstone, but it was in Turkey, Greece and Persia (now Iran) where it became the most popular. Turkey actually takes its name from the gemstone.
For the South-Western Native Americans, who have mined turquoise for over 1000 years, turquoise symbolized life-giving water and they saw the stone as a life-protecting force: they used turquoise on their weapons and guarded tombs with statues made of the gemstone.
Turquoise usually forms in limonite or sandstone – two stones which create veins of matrix within the stone. The less matrix, usually the more valuable the turquoise. However stones with many networks of matrix – known as spiderweb - is very valuable.
Where is turquoise mined?
Turquoise is mined in Iran, Africa, Afghanistan, Tibet and Australia.
Turquoise is 5-6 on the Mohs scale.
Blue or Green.
Birthstone and Anniversary Stone
Turquoise is the birthstone of the month December and is also traditionally given as a gift for the 11th Wedding anniversary.