Turquoise has a rich history behind it, with the use of this beautiful stone recorded as far back as six thousand years. Turquoise has been found in tombs in Egypt on the bracelets of Queen Zar dating back to around 5500 BC. Turquoise is also mentioned in works by Pliny and Aristotle and even Marco Polo. Over the ages, turquoise has been constantly referred to as the ‘stone of life’.
Turquoise was used by Native Americans for over a century for healing and protection. It has also been used in art, religion, trade, jewelry and even for treaty negotiations. In terms of healing purposes, the stone was used for insect bites, headaches, eye problems and fever. Ground to a fine powder and mixed in water, it was used for common stomach-related illnesses. Turquoise is also said to have noteworthy metaphysical properties, used for stress relief and nervousness. Many cultures value turquoise requiring it to be carried at all times for protection.
Turquoise ranges from a green to a vibrant sky blue and mostly has thin brown or black veins running through it. As opposed to gold, silver is the metal of choice for turquoise jewelry, as it enhances its colors much more.
This gemstone is found in Arizona, New Mexico, Iran, China, Turkey, Persia and Egypt.
Most turquoise is treated with wax to deepen its color and for stability. Otherwise, the stone tends to be quite chalky and porous and is not all that great on jewelry until treated.