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Turquoise’s meaning, styling, and care

The meaning of Turquoise

The name Turquoise comes from the French phrase "pierre turquoise," meaning "Turkish stone." (The gem first came to Europe through the Ottoman Empire.) It's one of the oldest known gemstones, and experts believe it may have been the first one ever mined, around 8,000 years ago.

Connected to the throat chakra, Turquoise is a stone of communication. It helps us to speak our truth openly and without fear. If you're making a presentation or speaking in public, wear Turquoise jewelry to help express yourself clearly and calmly. Wearing Turquoise allows us to strengthen our relationships by being open and honest with family and friends.

Since ancient times, humans have associated gemstones with healing properties and spiritual significance.

What is a Turquoise?

Turquoise is an opaque, blue-to-green phosphate mineral. It's found around the world in arid regions, especially near copper deposits. Today, the major producers of Turquoise include Iran, China, Mexico, Tibet, Australia, and the southwestern United States.

While some Turquoise stones are a solid color, many more feature dark brown veining, called a matrix. Turquoise is commonly cut and polished into rounded cabochon shapes to highlight its lustrous appearance.

Turquoise can range in color from sky blue to nearly green.

More fun facts about Turquoise

Caring for your Turquoise jewelry

Turquoise is porous, meaning it can absorb chemicals such as lotions, creams, and perfumes, which may cause its color to change. Remove your Turquoise jewelry before applying anything that could be absorbed by the stone. Avoid wearing Turquoise in water. Keep it away from extreme heat and be sure not to strike it against hard surfaces.

How to clean Turquoise jewelry

How to wear Turquoise

With its brilliant blue hue, Turquoise will always make a statement when worn on its own. As an opaque gem, though, it provides a lovely contrast when paired with other stones.

Turquoise is especially stunning when paired with other blue tones. Try setting Turquoise with Aquamarine or Nantucket Blue Topaz (December's other birthstone) for a lovely contrast of opaque and translucent gems. Turquoise and Sapphire create a dramatic color story of bright and inky blue hues. Wear Turquoise with Amethyst for an interesting accent.

While most of us are used to seeing Turquoise jewelry set in sterling silver or white gold, it also looks amazing in yellow gold!

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Is Turquoise a good-luck stone?

Tradition says that wearing your birthstone is good luck, so if you're a December baby, it's a great choice for jewelry! Turquoise is considered to be a lucky stone in general, so it makes a wonderful gem for everybody. Try pairing it with Diamond -- that gem's dazzle, set next to the opaque blue of Turquoise, creates a stunning contrast.

Should I wear Turquoise only if it’s my birthstone?

People wear gemstones for many reasons, not just because it’s the birthstone for the month they were born. You may choose to wear a stone because you feel a connection to the color, because its traditional meaning resonates with you, or because it reminds you of someone you love, such as a child, friend, or loved one who’s passed away. Jewelry is extremely personal and you should feel free to wear any gemstone that speaks to you.

Can I wear Turquoise in the shower, or while swimming?

Because Turquoise is a porous stone, it can absorb not only water but also the chemicals found in lotions, creams, and perfumes -- and this can cause the stone's color to change. To keep your Turquoise jewelry looking its best, remove it before going into the shower or pool, and put it on after you've applied your skin-care products.