Turquoise is for December!. It’s the traditional December birthstone. Turquoise has been a popular and much used gemstone for jewelry for a long time. It’s the traditional birthstone for December. Turquoise is often used for beads and cabochons and is also tumbled and used as chips. Turquoise is frequently soaked in resin to improve color and make the turquoise harder. Turquoise is a soft stone that susceptible to damage from household cleaners and detergents, cosmetics, perspiration, and also scratching (very important for rings). Remove turquoise rings when washing your hands.
Turquoise is a copper aluminum phosphate. The traditional color is sky blue. However, pure blue turquoise is difficult to find – most stones are a mixture of colors interspersed with “spider veins” and other black or brown markings that are called turquoise matrix. Shades range from blue green through various shades of green. A lot of turquoise from the US contains some iron that has substituted for the aluminum. The iron provides a greenish hue. Kingman turquoise is a strong blue; Navajo turquoise from the southwestern US varies from blue to green shades and has has black and brown markings.
Turquoise in a variety of forms was brought to Europe with other goods. The trade route to Europe ran through Turkey and this blue Turkish stone was called turquoise from the French word for Turkey. Turquoise is an ancient stone. Turquoise was prized by the Ancient Egyptians and used for jewelry by Aztecs and Native American cultures have prized turquoise for its talismanic properties.