Turquoise, as well as blue zircon and tanzanite, are often cited as the birthstones for December. All of these beautiful blue gems are prized for their color, but turquoise has a vast hisotry and has often been associated with the mystic and mysterious. Fine quality turquoise was so revered by ancient Mexican cultures that it was dedicated to the gods, no mortal was permitted to wear it.
5 Facts You Might Not Have Known About Turquoise:
- “Ferozah” is the Persian word for turquoise, it means victorious.
- Turquoise is one of the longest worn gemstones, ancient Egyptians mined and used it as far back at 5500 BC.
- Arizona, New Mexico and Iran are the suppliers of the finest turquoise in the world.
- Tibetan’s believed that turquoise was a symbol of good luck. It is extremely popular in the region and is used in many religious ceremonies as well.
- Untreated turquoise can change color! The stone absorbs moisture from finger oils and the environment, and if not sealed, can eventually darken or turn green. Many pieces made before the 1970’s were not treated and can show signs of color change.
Caring for turquoise:
- Turquoise is ranked a 5-6 on the Mohs Scale (which is used to grade the hardness of gemstones) that means it has a fair to good toughness. It can be scratched with constant wear, so make sure not to wear it while doing things like working out, moving furniture or gardening.
- Don’t store turquoise near other harder gemstones like diamonds, rubies or sapphires- they will scratch!
- Keep turquoise away from substances like beauty products and perfumes. They can be damaged by the chemicals in them.
- To clean turquoise, use warm water and a gentle soap. They should never be put in an ultrasonic cleaner or steam cleaned.