December’s Birthstone: All about Turquoise

close-up of several turquoise stonesOne of the three birthstones for the month of December, turquoise is a beautiful and enchanting gemstone enriched with cultural significance. It has been admired since ancient times and was one of the first gemstones to be mined and used in jewelry. Because trade routes that brought turquoise to Europe from the mines in central Asia went through Turkey, the gemstone earned its name from the French phrase Pierre turquoise, meaning “Turkish stone.”

Turquoise is perhaps best known for its stunningly unique colors. The gemstone can be found as an opaque, light-to-dark blue or blue-green, with its most beautiful color being an intense blue. It often contains narrow views of other materials that are black or brown in color. Known as the matrix, these “veins” of color can form intricate patterns.

Turquoise is one of the earth’s most ancient gemstones. For thousands of years, it has been continuously admired as a stone of sentiment and strong meaning throughout many cultures. For example, it held great ceremonial value in being an instrument of change between Native American tribes. As the national stone of Tibet, turquoise also became a symbol of success, good health, and fortune.

Turquoise is a strengthening stone. Those who wear it as a crystal healing pendant may find relief from exhaustion, depression, or anxiety. It also stimulates the Throat Chakra, making it easier to articulate and bring forth one's most profound wisdom.

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