Azure sky, robin’s egg blue: Vivid shades of turquoise define the color that’s named after this gem.
Turquoise is the traditional birthstone for the month of December and the gem of the 11th anniversary.
Turquoise is found in only a few places on earth: dry and barren regions where acidic, copper-rich groundwater seeps downward and reacts with minerals that contain phosphorus and aluminum. The result of this sedimentary process is a porous, semitranslucent to opaque compound of hydrated copper and aluminum phosphate.
WHY WE LOVE THIS GEMSTONE
Turquoise buried in Ancient Egyptian tombs is among the world’s oldest jewelry.
Ancient Egyptians called turquoise “mefkat,” which also means “joy” and “delight.”
Montezuma, thinking Cortes was Quetzalcoatl, gave him the god’s favorite gem: turquoise.
The spiderweb of veins that appear in turquoise are matrix: evidence of the surrounding rock.
A legacy of turquoise appreciation spans the globe, from ancient Egypt to Mesoamerica to China.
Turquoise is colored by copper, which creates some of the most vivid blues and greens in gems.
Turquoise is judged on its color, texture, and the absence of matrix.