Turquoise has long been a symbol of wealth and opulence in ancient cultures, but fascination with this striking gemstone has never been stronger than today. No matter where it is found, turquoise is always associated with strong, positive traits such as purity and healing.
Turquoise was prominent in several ancient cultures, which prized it for its vibrant hue and perceived spiritual powers. Today, those early myths continue to shape public perception of turquoise, making it one of the most popular stones and colors in the world.
Native American Cultures
When Southwestern Native Americans found turquoise, they saw in it the blue, open sky that stretched over their desert homelands.
It also represented life-giving water and the green tones of the earth.
Because of the stone’s deep connection to the world around them, Native Americans saw turquoise as a protecting force.
It drew in helpful spirits, repelled demons, brought prosperity and encouraged the free flow of thoughts in its wearer.
Carved turquoise animals guarded their tombs, warriors decorated their weapons with turquoise beads and the stones were used heavily in amulets and jewelry.
The Middle East and Mediterranean Civilizations
Turquoise was first mined in Egypt approximately 5000 years ago. Cleopatra kept a collection of the gem and it is a common sight in wealthy tombs, but it became most widespread in Turkey, Greece and Persia.
Persians wore the stone, decorated with it and even lined the domes of their palaces with turquoise.
Turquoise symbolized heaven for the Persians and appeared in every aspect of their daily life and ornamentation.
Today, Iran is still a major source of the world’s turquoise supply. In Greece, it signified purity and was worn by maidens.
Turkey, the namesake of turquoise, introduced the gem to Europe along the Silk Road, although it never gained such prominence in Western civilizations.
Tibet is another turquoise-rich nation, and turquoise bracelets and pendants are a frequent sight on both the civilian population and Buddhist monks.
Besides valuing the stone for its serene color, the Tibetans appreciate the gradual shift of turquoise’s color from blue to green as it is worn.
This signifies the development of wisdom as well as the cycle of life and death, which is central to their religion.
It is thought that Tibetans began mining the stone at roughly the same time period as the ancient Egyptians.
Wearing Turquoise Today
Turquoise has not faded in popularity since the early days of human civilization. Today, it is a versatile fashion statement and is still believed to hold beneficial properties.
Turquoise is said to clear thoughts, open the heart and enhance spirituality. It is a gem of emotional healing and well-being. As a gift, it symbolizes well-wishes, good health and hopes for future prosperity.
To offset turquoise’s stunning color, wear it with white, gold and red, but don’t let the outfit become too garish.
Turquoise is eye-catching and demanding, meaning it shouldn’t be made to compete with other accessories and colors.
With a little thought beforehand, you too can experience the calm tranquility that comes from this most ancient of gemstones.*Disclaimer: This article is meant to serve only as an illustration of opinions and practices and should not be considered an endorsement of any kind. Any beliefs described here may not necessarily be true. No portion of the text above should be considered a source of medical advice.
Where to Buy Turquoise Jewelry?
If you are looking to buy turquoise jewelry, we highly recommend that you take a look at the great selection of turquoise pieces available at Amazon as well as Ross-Simons and Reeds Jewelers.