December’s Birthstone- Turquoise
December’s birthstone Turquoise is a soft bright opaque mineral commonly associated with American Indian silver jewellery. It has a colour so unique that it’s name has come to mean that particular greenish-blue. The word Turquoise is late Middle English and comes from the old French pierre turqueise meaning ‘Turkish (stone)’. In fact, the first turquoises were probably found in Iran or Sinai and simply traded in Turkish markets. The definitive list of Birthstones for each month was written by the American National Association of Jewelers in 1912 and the current list include both Turquoise and Tanzanite (added in 2002) as December birthstones.
The bright blue colour in turquoise is caused by copper and the green colours are caused by iron. More detailed gemmological information can be found here on gemdat.org and it’s sister site, mindat.org.
It has long been believed that different stones should be worn at different times of the year according the signs of the Zodiac or the months.
History of Birthstones
Ideas of wearing a stone close to the skin to bring luck and good fortune are not new and originated as early as pre-biblical times. Some say that a passage in Exodus referred to 12 stones in Aaron’s breastplate, corresponding with the months or signs of the Zodiac, though it depends on the translation. Others say that the tradition is more socially based and originated in Poland or Germany.
The best turquoise has been mined for 2000 years in Persia, now know as Iran. A greener shade of turquoise containing more iron is mined in the Southwest USA in locations like Arizona, California and New Mexico. Smaller deposits of turquoise also exist in Afghanistan, Australia and China.
Turquoise is a unique stone, reminiscent of summer skies and warm idyllic seas by beaches. Wear it to cheer your heart and bring a splash of colour to any outfit. Turquoise contrasts beautifully with bright orange and it is complimented by any warm toned blue. Turquoise looks particularly lovely teamed with gold.
Buy Turquoise beads
I-Beads also stock a stone with the trade name Mohave Turquoise. Mohave Turquoise is a man-made gemstone matrix incorporating pieces of real turquoise, heated, dyed and compressed with metallic coloured resins. Often purple and sometimes green, the stone has a space-age look with it’s combination of neon colour and natural looking inclusions.