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An introduction to Turquoise

What is Turquoise?

Turquoise is a semi-precious opaque gemstone that has been sought after in many of the world's historic civilisations. The stone's unique colour has a distinctly blue hue to it with hints of green in some cuts. In fact, the colour is so unique that Turquoise is the only gemstone to have had a distinctive colour named after it. The individuality of Turquoise shines through in the creamy brown-coloured veins that are often visible in the natural, hand-cut stones, so every piece has its own discernible character. It has a waxy lustre that makes it as pleasing to the touch as it is on the eye, so it's no wonder that it's been obsessed over for thousands of years.

What are the origins of Turquoise?

The origin of the name for this semi-precious gemstone comes from (pierre) turqueise, which is the Old French phrase for 'Turkish (stone)'. It was commonly mined in Central Asia, particularly in Persia's historical Khorasan region, and then brought to Europe by travelling salesmen. The most logical route into Europe from Persia was through Turkey, so naturally turqueise grew into the universal name we all know it by today, Turquoise. Many ancient cultures, from the Egyptians to the Aztecs, yearned for the stunning stone to act as a symbol of wisdom and power and a provider of protection in their lives (and actually in their afterlives, too; did you know that the inlay of the Mask of Tutankhamun famously contains Turquoise as a symbol of peace?).

What are the historic uses of Turquoise?

The protective qualities of Turquoise have been part of belief systems in centuries' worth of societies around the world. Native Americans are known to have valued the gemstone for ornamental purposes in everything from fashion to burial ceremonies, so its role in our world has certainly been a longstanding one. What's more, Turkish soldiers traditionally used it on parts of their uniforms to protect against injuries, too, and it's thought that this tradition filtered its way into everyday lives as a result of such firm belief in the ancient stone of strength.

It's not hard to see why Turquoise had such an impact on the human eye when it was first discovered - its vibrant colour oozes elegance (in fact, the Persians were so struck by its beauty that they believed its blue hue was an earthly symbol of the heavens). Its ability to instil the safety and security of protection and friendship is as powerful today as it was in the societies of yesteryear.

Where is Turquoise sourced?

In the 21st century, most of the world's Turquoise is mined in the southwestern American states of Nevada and Arizona, but sources of the mineral are also found in abundance in Iran, Mexico, Chile, and Australia, amongst many other countries.Iran has always been a rich source of Turquoise, but its historic counterparts included Egypt's Sinai Peninsula and Israel's city of Eilat, where it was also found to be a property of the national stone of Israel, aptly named the Eilat Stone (otherwise known as the Sage Stone). Sourced in the US, our Turquoise stones are personally hand selected and cut from the rough, allowing us to remain true to Monica's design vision without compromise. Our use of genuine stones ensures that each Turquoise piece has its own distinct personality.

Is Turquoise a birthstone?

Turquoise is the official birthstone of December, along with the fittingly blue stones of Tanzanite and Zircon. It is a stone for the Sagittarius Zodiac and represents 'strength'. Besides the beautiful vibrant hue for which it's known, Turquoise is said to have mystical properties, and thought to bring strength to whomever wears it.

How is Turquoise worn?

Given that Turquoise is one of the oldest known gemstones on the planet, it is the ideal base for mixing classic, iconic jewellery with modern, everyday pieces. Whether you are looking for everyday jewellery, subtle workwear pieces or statement jewels to glam up your evening look, Turquoise is the perfect gemstone to complement all styles and can add the finishing touch to any outfit.

At Monica Vinader, we craft all of our vibrant Turquoise pieces with the intention of making a natural statement, so they can be stacked and styled with elegance, whether it's with a delicate pavé set diamond ring or a simple friendship chain bracelet.

Turquoise at Monica Vinader

All of our Turquoise gemstones are ethically sourced, hand-selected and cut from the rough, by artisan skilled craftsman. The superlative of our Turquoise gemstones is a result of the immense pride we take in choosing and designing each and every piece for you, so you can rest assured that there's no compromise on quality.

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