Turquoise is an opaque stone composed of hydrated copper aluminium phosphate. December's birthstone forms in dry, barren regions where the groundwater is acidic and rich in copper. Turquoise originates in South Western USA (Arizona and Colorado), China, Egypt, Iran, Chile and Mexico. We are going to explore the history behind the use of turquoise and how it can benefit us all (even if you are not a December baby).
The History of Turquoise
The history of turquoise dates back to the Ancient Egyptians, and was referred to as Mefkat, meaning "joy" and "fertility". The oldest turquoise mines are in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, near the ancient temple dedicated to the Greek Goddess Hathor. Hathor was the goddess of joy and love, and a protector and patron saint of mining. The Egyptians used turquoise to adorn their jewellery and to carve into scarabs. This vibrant stone was a protective talisman and was found in abundance on King Tutankhamun's burial mask.
Turquoise played a powerful role in Ancient Persian culture and was called Pirouzeh, meaning "victory" in Arabic. They believed that turquoise guaranteed protection and victory in battle, with the ability to warn its wearer of imminent danger by changing colour. Turquoise adorned the Ancient Persian's daggers, jewellery and turbans, and was engraved with Arabic scriptures. It was believed that turquoise's sky-blue colour represented heaven and was used to line palace domes.
During the 13th century, Turkish traders travelled along the Silk Road to Europe, where the French named this stone turquoise, meaning Turkish-stone.
The Apache Native American tribes used turquoise for its talismanic powers, and legend has it that this stone could be found at the end of a rainbow. Shamans used it during ceremonies to connect with the spirit of the sky, and it was said that it ensured a Shaman would be respected by his tribe.
The Aztec Empire traded with the Native Americans, introducing turquoise to Central America.
Turquoise is linked to the heart chakra and is a stone of protection and healing.
Turquoise is known as a strengthening stone and is said to reduce exhaustion, stress and acidity. It is said to boost the immune system, and to have anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and detoxifying powers.
Turquoise's tranquil blue energy is said to be mood enhancing, reducing stress and bringing a sense of serenity and peace to the wearer. It is said to increase empathy and wisdom, and aid with creative problem solving.
This stone is said to be a powerful healer and cleanser for the energy centre and physical body. Turquoise can assist in connecting to one's spiritual truth, and is often worn as mala beads during meditation.
There is so much to love about turquoise, from its sky-blue colour to its rich history and talismanic properties.
* This is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment.