Sara T. Khan/Sponsorship Managementfirstname.lastname@example.org
My favorite stone ever? Turquoise. It is undeniably beautiful; the gorgeous blue-green color is calm – yet has a certain energy to it.
When I thought about the origin of turquoise, I thought of Mediterranean countries, and was surprised to learn that the United States is actually the world’s largest producer of turquoise. It is believed that the name “turquoise” came from the word Turquie which is French for Turkey, because of the early belief that the stone came from that region. In all likelihood, it probably came from Persia (present day Iran).
For a long time, “Persian turquoise” was considered to be the finest, with a rich blue color. In the 1800’s and early 1900’s, miners discovered large deposits of turquoise in western and southwestern United States (Arizona, California, Nevada, and New Mexico) that was just as fine as the Persian turquoise. Turquoise can also be found in China, Afghanistan, and Chile. Turquoise is usually found in desert areas (i.e. Arizona). Copper is a component of turquoise, so it is common to find turquoise deposits near copper.
Turquoise has been around forever – the Ancient Egyptians used it for burial mask, rings, necklaces, and other jewelry. The most well known use of turquoise by the Ancient Egyptians is the burial mask of the pharaoh Tutankhamun. Turquoise was associated with Hathor (the goddess of love, motherhood, joy, and music), which made it very popular amongst the Ancient Egyptians.
Ancient Mayans were not allowed to wear turquoise for it was so precious it was used as an offering to gods. For the Apache people, a medicine man was nothing unless he had turquoise. In Persia, turquoise was used to embellish turbans, bridles, and masjids such as the Medresseh-I Shah Husein Mosque of Isfahan. The Persian style of turquoise usage was introduced to India during the Mughal Empire, where it was coupled with rubies and diamonds in jewelry, and used in the Taj Mahal.
Some people believe turquoise has mystical properties. In the Middle East, people weave turquoise beads into the manes of animals for good luck and the health of the animal. Beginning in the 13th century, turquoise was a horse man’s talisman – believed to keep the rider safe and to ensure they didn’t break any bones if they fell off their horse. In the 15th century, medicine men made it a practice to carry a turquoise stone in their medicine bags to counteract poison, scorpion stings, and even possession from demons. Some believe that the health of a person wearing turquoise is indicated by the depth of the color; paling turquoise meant the wearer was ill. Persians believed that if the stone was a bright blue, the weather would be nice.
As we all know, even today, turquoise is popular. Turquoise jewelry adorns wrists and ears and fingers all over, of all ages, and I don’t think the love of turquoise is going anywhere anytime soon.