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Birthstone Guide for December – Turquoise

In its rough form, the turquoise stone is a light blue, almost sky blue, due to the presence of copper. Once it’s been cut and polished, the stone takes on the vibrant colour that is more typically recognised as ‘turquoise’ and that led to the naming of the colour.

The December birthstone, turquoise was a feature in some of the oldest jewellery in the world and has been found in tombs from as early as 4,000BC. Ancient Egyptians believed that turquoise was the favourite gem of the gods. Here, we provide a little more detail about the turquoise stone and its history:

Where is turquoise found?

You might be surprised to find out that, despite being available in cheap Sterling Silver jewellery, turquoise is relatively hard to come by. It’s specifically found in very dry regions with acidic and copper-rich soils, through which occasional rainfall can seep. As the water moves down into the soil, collecting the copper and acid, it reacts with minerals to form the turquoise stone.

Parts of Egypt and China are the main sources of turquoise, which can also be found in Iran, Mexico and Arizona.

What does turquoise symbolise?

The turquoise stone is said to promote wealth, fortune and success. Ancient cultures also believed that turquoise offered protection from forces of evil. Turquoise jewellery, such as our multi-strand bracelet or our contemporary turquoise drop pendant, is particularly popular in Native American tribes where turquoise stones are used in ceremonial rituals. The people in these tribes might not wear the smooth Sterling Silver jewellery that we sell on the Delicate Dreams website, but they do create their own jewellery using turquoise stones and pieces of string, rope and leather.

What does a turquoise stone look like?

When polished, a turquoise stone might have a very even colour. Alternatively, it could include a road map of lines that run over the rock to create a unique and intricate pattern. The lines are formed by the surrounding rock as turquoise is created underground, whilst the green-blue colour comes from the copper that forms the stone. Turquoise stones with their ‘matrix’ of lines are often less valuable than smooth, even blue-green stones.

Turquoise doesn’t sparkle or reflect the light but is still rightfully recognised as a particularly beautiful stone for use in jewellery across the globe.