The role of Turquoise in Ancient Egypt
If Turquoise is held in regal regard for its appearance, it is
thanks in great part to the Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt. It was such
a prized possession for many of them that it even found its way
into tombs and onto the death mask of King Tutankhamun himself.
The gemstone was ingrained in Ancient Egyptian society as a
protector of all those who wore it. You could not possibly be an
esteemed member of society without a piece of Turquoise adorning
your public image. A rich, reddish webbing runs through the stones
that are sourced from Egypt, which made it perfect to set into gold
for added luxury. This combined with its translucent blue
appearance meant that its wearer would be protected from all
dangers, so you'd have been wise to keep it on you at all times in
the Sinai Peninsula and beyond.
In those times, Turquoise was very closely associated with the
Goddess of Joy and Fertility, Hathor, who was one of the most
important divinities in Ancient Egyptian culture. The 'Mistress of
Turquoise' would protect the workers in the southern mines of the
Sinai Peninsula as they dug out the vibrant stones, so the ones
that made it into the beautiful Egyptian jewellery were highly
desirable pieces to have - the tradition is known to date as far
back as the First Dynasty.