Terrific Turquoise

There has been quite a bit of debate about what exactly the birthstone for December is.  Some people say Turquoise, some say Blue Topaz, and some say Tanzanite or Zircon.  So, which is it?  Well, there really is not a good answer for that.  However, most lists have Turquoise as either the main stone or as an alternate birthstone for December.  For that reason we will just say that it is Turquoise since it appears on the most lists.

Genuine Turquoise in a variety of colours

Turquoise is a beautiful stone in a range of colours.  It can be anywhere from green to blue with many shades of bluish-green in between the two.  The most desirable shade of Turquoise is a robin’s egg blue in colour.  Unlike most birthstones, Turquoise has black or brown cracks in.  Those cracks are naturally occurring and there is no need to be alarmed by them.  Stones without those cracks may not the genuine stone.  Turquoise is also one of the few opaque stones used as a main birthstone or as an alternate.  Stones are also commonly found with several shades in one stone and stones with one consistent colour are hard to find.  These characteristics make it a

Un-dyed Howlite

bit easier to identify an imitation stone.  An imitation stone will usually have one consistent colour throughout and might not have very defined cracks.  There is an exception to this though!  Recently dyed Howlite has been used as an imitation Turquoise stone.  These stones are hard to identify as in their natural state they too have black veining in the stone.  It is best to take any stone that you have any questions about to your jeweller to get checked.

Where is Turquoise found?  Most people just assume that it is only found in the American Southwest.  This is far from the truth though.  I will grant them this though; Turquoise is commonly used in Southwest American Indian jewellery and figurines.  The use of Turquoise in various forms of jewellery and accessories is also found all over the Middle East, Asia, South America, and even in parts of Africa such as Egypt.  The Ancient Egyptians were actually the first to be able to figure out how to make imitation Turquoise!  Frequently it is found with other minerals such.  The most common of these is sandstone.

Turquoise has been seen as a sacred stone by many cultures both ancient and modern.  It was valued so highly that the death mask of  Pharaoh Tutankhamun has Turquoise inlayed in it as dose the mask of Xiuhtecuhtli!  In Jewish tradition Turquoise appears on the Priestly breastplate in the second row of stones.  The stone has so many different meanings to so many American Indian tribes that it is hard to keep track of.

Turquoise is such a unique stone in that it can have several different colours in the same stone and not go by a different name!  It has been used by so many different cultures for so many different things that it really is an amazing gemstone!  Even though there are quite a few people born in December that are not fond of the stone, they should count themselves lucky.  This is one of the oldest used gems in the world and has a great deal of history associated with it!

I hope that you all have found this interesting and that it has helped you all in some way!

Until next time!

Stay lovely and beautiful!

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