Gemstone: Turquoise – The Oldest Gemstone

Turquoise is among the oldest known gemstones and its popularity has spanned the globe for centuries.

The origin of the name Turquoise comes from the Greek word “Turkois” meaning “Turkish”. So named because it was first brought from Turkey.



Turquoise is an opaque, light to dark blue or blue-green gem with its finest colour being an intense blue. Turquoise may contain narrow veins of other materials either isolated or as a network. They are usually black, brown, or yellowish-brown. Known as the matrix, these veins of colour are sometimes in the form of an intricate pattern which is called a spider web.



Modern Birthstone – December

Zodiac Sign – Sagittarius

Anniversary – 5th and 11th


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For thousands of years the finest intense blue turquoise in the world were found in Persia. The term “Persian Turquoise” became synonymous with the finest quality. During the late 1800’s and early 1900’s miners discovered significant deposits of high-quality turquoise in the western and southwestern United States. Material from many of these deposits was just as fine as the finest “Persian.” Today, the term “Persian Turquoise” is more often a definition of quality than a statement of origin. The majority of the world’s finest-quality turquoise now comes from the United States.



Turquoise is a 5-7 on the Mohs scale or hardness. (Slightly harder than window glass)



In the ancient days, it was believed that the Turquoise birthstone protected the wearer from all types of evil and illness.

turquoise 4Turquoise is said to bring happiness, strength and good luck to the wearer.

The colour is mainly determined and caused by the gem’s selective absorption of certain wavelengths of light. These are called the body colour.

Turquoise was a popular gemstone used in jewellery in Victorian times.

Turquoise birthstone signifies good fortune, success, wealth and joy.

Natural turquoise may need to be cut and polished, but no artificial changes are made to the stones.


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Click to discover more interesting facts about Topaz or Ruby gemstones.

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