Is Turquoise the oldest ever known Gemstone?
This gorgeous blue-to-green colour gemstone is an opaque mineral and is formed by a chemical reaction that occurs when water leaks through rocks which contain specific minerals such as Copper and Aluminium.
The origin of the name Turquoise is derived from the Greek word "Turkois" meaning "Turkish" because it was first brought to Europe from Turkey.
The mineral is rare and valuable in finer grades and has been prized as a gem and ornamental stone for thousands of years owing to its unique colour.
Turquoise is a sacred crystal that is amongst the most ancient to be utilised by human beings. In fact, it was the first crystal ever to be mined by a civilisation, at around 6000 BC!
Turquoise captivated the Ancients and represented wisdom, tranquility, protection, good fortune, and hope.
Ancient peoples believed in its profound power to protect, as well as its tranquil energy and its association with enduring love.
In 4000 BC, ancient Egyptian pharaohs adorn themselves with turquoise jewellery and this stone was used by Egyptian healers.
Tibetan people believe that turquoise gemstones can bring protection to travellers and warriors. They also believe that necklaces with a special turquoise stone connects to their soul.
Turquoise has been mined all over North America for hundreds of years, but its richest deposits have always been found primarily in the southwestern states of Arizona and Nevada.
The Kingman turquoise mine of Arizona is one of the largest in North America. It has produced the largest quantity of stones ever recorded in history.
The Navajos Indians originally mined Kingman Turquoise in 600 A.D.
It was later discovered again in the 1800s, but did not become really popular until marketing campaigns from 1950 onwards.
Other places in the world where good quality Turquoise can be found includes, Iran, Egypt, Northwest China, Tibet and Mexico.
Turquoise ranks 5 to 6 on the Mineral hardness scale (mohs) so it’s not a particularly hard gemstone compared to say Diamonds which are 10 on the Mohs scale.
Turquoise is the birthstone of the month of December which relates to the Zodiac Sign of Sagittarius and in European tradition, the gift of a Turquoise ring means “forget me not.”