What is Turquoise?
Turquoise is a mineral made up of copper and aluminum that has a distinctive, waxy appearance and blue to blue-green color. It measures 5-6 on the Mohs scale and is relatively delicate and porous.
It has been prized as a valuable gemstone for thousands of years and has a wealth of history and lore attached to it, dating back to at least 1000 BCE.
Like many gemstones, turquoise has suffered from devaluation in more modern times due to the introduction of treatments, additives, and synthetics, although genuine, high-grade turquoise retains its value and reputation.
The Origin: Where Is Turquoise Found?
Turquoise is easily obtained and is mined in many regions, including Egypt, Mexico, China, Iran, Peru, Poland, Russia, France, the United States, and Tibet.
The History & Lore of Turquoise
Turquoise is one of the world’s oldest gems and specimens of Turquoise jewelry have been unearthed in archaeological digs in Egypt, China, and Tibet.
Its appeal to humans goes back many thousands of years. It is revered in many cultures as a stone of good luck, protection, and good fortune.
Turquoise was extremely popular amongst the rulers of ancient Egypt.
Examples of the stone were found amongst their grave goods and in the death mask of King Tutankhamun.
It was widely believed to bestow protection upon the wearer, guarding against physical threats and dangers as well as affording protection against curses and ill wishes.
It was obviously seen as a sign of wealth and status in Egyptian society, often incorporated into rich golden jewelry pieces for added opulence.
Turquoise was associated with the Egyptian Goddess Hathor, who governed joy and fertility.
Hathor was an important divinity, sometimes referred to as the “Mistress of Turquoise”.
Workers mining the stone on the Sinai Peninsula called upon Hathor for protection as they carried out their sometimes-perilous mining tasks.
Turquoise was equally revered in Ancient Persia.
Merchants who traveled the Great Silk Road faced many dangers on their long journeys and wore talismans and amulets of Turquoise for personal protection.
These merchants were responsible for trading Turquoise over many thousands of miles, into Europe and beyond.
The best quality Turquoise comes from Persian mines and shows little trace of the brown veining that is found in many other sources.
It was helped to be the purest form of the gem, and the vividness of its blue/green color led to its strong association with the sky, and by implication the Heavens.
This may explain its reputation as a protective talisman.
It was believed that the stones would change color to warn the wearer of impending danger.
Amongst the Native American tribes of the southwestern US Turquoise was used as currency and as a ceremonial gem as well as being fashioned into jewelry and amulets.
The Apaches said that Turquoise improved the accuracy of their bows and would often attach a small piece to their weapons for fighting or hunting.
Description of Turquoise
Turquoise belongs to the phosphate class of minerals and is comprised of Hydrated Copper and Aluminum.
Most Turquoise is cryptocrystalline.
This means that the crystals are so tiny that they cannot be seen by the naked eye, and this accounts for the waxy, opaque sheen of the stone.
How to Identify Turquoise
Unfortunately, the Turquoise on sale is not always the real deal.
It is fairly easy to fake, and many of the stones sold under the name of Turquoise are in fact a dyed form of white Howlite.
Howlite is an absorbent mineral that takes color very well. Other materials sold as turquoise include resin, plastic, and epoxy.
Turquoise is always blue, green, or blue-green in color.
If you find pink or purple shades or any other color that is not “turquoise” the stone is a fake and is not authentic Turquoise stone.
If the gem feels light when you pick it up, it is fake.
Many imitations are made from lightweight materials, whereas true Turquoise is dense and heavy.
Try scratching the stone in a place that will not be visible. Howlite is easily scratched by a fingernail.
Plastic or resin may not show scratch marks from your fingernail, but they will damage easily if scratched by a knife or other metal object.
Types of Turquoise
The most highly prized type of Turquoise is known as Persian Turquoise and is identifiable by its vibrant blue color and the absence of veining.
Tibetan Turquoise is green and carries a different vibration than the vivid blue of other Turquoise.
It is especially useful for past life regression work and for healing long-standing karmic effects way down the ancestral line.
It heals the Throat chakra and removes blockages resulting from suppressed self-expression.
Mohave Turquoise is the trade name for the dyed stones that come from the Kingman Mine in Arizona.
They are made from stabilized blue Kingman Turquoise and are then treated with dye and a copper or bronze infusion.
This process creates blue, green, and purple variations of Turquoise.
The Kingman mine is the only mine authorized to process their Turquoise in this way.
Turquoise Birthstone Meaning & History
Turquoise is one the birthstones for the month of December, and for the zodiac sign of Capricorn (Dec 22 – Jan 20)
Capricorn is one of the most hard-working and ambitious signs.
A gift of Turquoise to a Capricorn will be well received by men and women alike.
Not only does Turquoise have the reputation of showing high status in men, but it also has associations with female deities, fecundity, and fertility.
Turquoise encourages us to look truthfully at our character traits and flaws and to learn the lessons we need to absorb from past mistakes.
Capricorns are usually very good at taking responsibility for their own behavior, so a gift of Turquoise can enhance this positive quality.
Capricorns have a mature, pragmatic, disciplined approach to life and are often highly organized.
They pursue their goals with diligence and rarely give up until they have achieved them.
On the other hand, Capricorn can be a pessimistic sign, given to focusing on how something looks rather than how it feels.
They can be overly critical of others and situations which then leads them into a cycle of negative thinking and a propensity for catastrophizing.
Turquoise reminds them that joy exists in all aspects of life and that the little things are worth celebrating just as much as the bigger successes in life.
How to Clean and Care for Turquoise
Non-processed Turquoise is quite a delicate stone. It measures between 5 and 6 on the Mohs scale for hardness and is slightly porous.
For this reason, it is best to clean your Turquoise using only pure running water or a soft, dry brush.
Never leave it to soak in water, and always dry it thoroughly before storing it in a soft cloth.
Natural turquoise will darken over the years due to exposure to the natural oils in your skin.
Antique pieces can often appear as a dark green color.
Avoid exposing your Turquoise jewelry to lotions and body oils if you can, and limit its exposure to direct sunlight.
Turquoise will absorb negative vibrations and will need to be recharged and cleansed regularly.
Do this by passing the stones through sage smoke or leaving them in a bowl of brown rice for a few hours.
Turquoise responds well to programming during meditation and makes a useful addition to a healing grid for psychological and emotional issues.
Buyers Guide: Tips & Advice
When choosing Turquoise stones, you need to look at color, texture, and the presence or absence of matrix.
Matrix is formed by the remnants of the rock in which the Turquoise is found and can form delicate patterns of gray, black, or brown in fine lines that are attractive to some.
On the other hand, thicker, intrusive lines of matrix rock are seen as undesirable in turquoise gems.
Turquoise Quality Factors
The most prized color of Turquoise is blue, called Robin’s Egg, or Sky blue in the trade.
The highest-grade blue turquoise comes from the Shahpur district of Iran (Persia).
Green turquoise is also highly regarded by collectors because it often indicates an older, more antique specimen.
The color of turquoise darkens from blue to blue-green over time, due to the fact that it absorbs the natural oils of the wearer’s skin.
Turquoise has an opaque, or waxy luster and should not appear transparent or even translucent.
The most common cut for turquoise is a cabochon as the smooth rounded dome of this cut shows off the color and texture of the stone beautifully.
Smaller beads and ovals are often used to make necklaces and bracelets.
Turquoise is weighed in carats, with 5 carats equaling one gram.
It varies in size from large, rougher pieces which are carved into ornaments and amulets, to smaller, flatter stones inset in jewelry pieces.
Whatever the size, the value is dependent on the quality and evenness of the color
Turquoise and Chakras
Turquoise resonates with the vibration of the Throat, Third Eye, and Solar Plexus chakras.
It forms a bridge between the physical and spiritual worlds and can be used to enhance communication with the Angelic and divine realms.
It also opens and activates the Third Eye to enable your latent psychic gifts to grow and develop.
When used at the Throat chakra, this stone supports clear communication and alleviates shyness or trepidation in public speaking.
It promotes speaking your truth in a way that is positive and beneficial for all concerned.
It encourages the “voice of the body” to let go of old wounds and traumas that may be impacting your physical health.
It also soothes the physical throat and neck, alleviating the symptoms of tonsillitis, laryngitis, sore throats, and earache.
When you place Turquoise on your Solar Plexus chakra you receive the courage and support you need to stand up for yourself and to reclaim your power, especially after traumatic or abusive experiences.
When your Solar Plexus is blocked you may experience physical symptoms such as stomachache, flatulence, constipation, or diarrhea.
You may also feel a physical tightness in the region of your stomach, just under the breastbone, as a result of emotional upset.
This is the area, and the feeling we refer to when we talk about “gut instinct”. You may become apathetic or indifferent.
You may procrastinate and be indecisive, and sometimes feel as if you are the mercy of fate, or the that the world is against you.
Using turquoise to free these tightening, or blocked energies, allows you to step once more into your own power.
It gives you strength and courage and restores your belief in your own integrity.
Low self-esteem is a sign of a blocked Solar Plexus.
Ensure that yours is functioning at its optimum level by performing regular chakra balances and using crystals, such as Turquoise, to open and activate the chakras and to clear restrictions from the energy meridians.
Turquoise Healing Properties
Physical Healing Properties
Turquoise enhances and boosts the physical immune system.
It is anti-inflammatory and detoxifying, supporting the organs of elimination such as the liver, skin, and kidneys.
It is beneficial for gut health, reduces acidity, and soothes inflammation in the lower intestine and bowel.
And can help to alleviate the symptoms of IBS and diverticular disease.
Turquoise is also good for problems in the head and neck.
It helps with cataracts, migraines, and problems with the ears.
Turquoise aids breathing conditions such as asthma and COPD and can be worn as a pendant around the neck to help calm irritation in the bronchial tract and chest.
Mental & Emotional Healing Properties
Turquoise brings solace and peace to a troubled mind. It lifts your spirits and overall mood by helping to bring balance to the emotional and mental bodies.
Turquoise relieves the effects of mental exhaustion and stress by bringing in vibrations of comfort and tranquility.
It helps anxiety and panic attacks by helping to calm an overactive imagination and releasing feelings of dread and fear of the unknown.
Turquoise is a purification stone that disperses negative energy from the human biofield.
It also forms a protective barrier against electromagnetic smog.
It is a good stone for inner development work because it allows us to recognize the true causes of our problems and negative feelings.
It gently releases blocked energies from past traumas and brings them into the conscious mind for release and transmutation.
Turquoise imparts the strength of character and supports anyone who feels bullied or victimized.
It clears blocked energy from the Throat chakra that may be causing you to keep silent in the face of prejudice or manipulation.
It is said to benefit a narcissistic character by encouraging you to look outside of your own needs and desires and to acknowledge the needs of others.
Turquoise negates martyrdom and feelings of victimhood by promoting a higher level of self-esteem and empowerment.
It also helps you to release negative or harmful patterns of behavior and self-sabotage.
Turquoise is a stone of inner calm and tranquility. It has protective powers that benefit the physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional layers of the aura.
It promotes intuition and wisdom and expands the mind so that you can open up to new experiences and ideas.
Turquoise is an excellent stone for speaking, whether this be your own truth or a public speech of some sort.
As a communication stone, Turquoise is often called upon to open the Throat chakra and encourage expression in writers and actors.
It helps to clear blockages in the chakras and meridians and activates the Kundalini energy at the base of the spine.
When this energy rises, it is represented as a serpent uncoiling bringing earthly chi, or energy into the physical body through the base chakra.
This travels up the spine through the Hara line and connects our physical, sexual, dynamic, and motivational energies with the higher chakras and their finer vibrations.
Turquoise allows the release of old attachments and is beneficial when used in cord-cutting exercises.
Spiritual Healing Properties
Spiritually, Turquoise is believed to unite the Earth and the Sky and bring male and female energies into balance and harmony.
It cleanses and enhances the spiritual centers of the human biofield and activates the Third eye chakra when used in meditation for this kind of work.
It induces wisdom and understanding, opens the mind to the infinite possibilities of the cosmic realms, and forms connections between you and your guides, angels, teachers, and spiritual support teams.
It removes limitations and fear. Leaving your spirit free to experience joy, happiness, compassion, and understanding.
Turquoise teaches the spiritual truth that enlightenment can only come after we have accepted the lessons learned through mistakes and bad experiences.
Turquoise is a karmic release stone and can be used to heal ancestral or family karma that keeps repeating through the generations.
How to Use Turquoise
Turquoise jewelry is often dramatic and unique. It can be used to craft large, eye-catching pendants or tiny ear studs.
Wearing turquoise jewelry allows you to access its purification and protective properties throughout the day.
In-Home and Office
Place a piece of turquoise, or a basket of tumbled Turquoise stones between you and your electronic devices to protect you from electromagnetic smog and harmful electronic frequencies.
Best Crystal Combinations with Turquoise
Turquoise and Aquamarine
Combining Aquamarine and Turquoise is beneficial for the Throat chakra and helps you to speak your truth fearlessly and calmly.
It promotes an atmosphere of peace and tranquility and helps to alleviate the symptoms of stress and anxiety.
This pairing is also highly protective and has been used over the ages by sailors as a talisman against the dangers of the sea.
Read more about the best crystal combinations for Aquamarine.
Turquoise and Opal
Pairing Opal with Turquoise promotes a powerful vibration of transformation and the realization of potential.
The combination of the protective power of Turquoise with the higher, spiritual vibration of Opal makes it a good choice for meditations and shamanic journeys into the other worldly realms.
Turquoise and Lapis Lazuli
Pairing Lapis Lazuli and Turquoise enhances your mood and lifts your spirits.
It restores physical and mental vitality after illness or following an emotionally draining time in your life.
Together, these blue crystals promote self-acceptance and high levels of self-confidence.
Read more about the best crystal combinations for Turquoise.
Final Thoughts & Conclusion
Turquoise has many myths and legends associated with it. It was believed to protect riders from injury, sailors from perils at sea, and travelers of all kinds from the dangers of the open road.
It is said to protect against curses and ill-wishing and has been used as a talisman against witchcraft and sorcery over the ages.
Folklore around the properties of turquoise states that the color of the stone is influenced by the physical health of the wearer.
When a person is sick, the stone is said to turn pale or even lose all of its colors.
Likewise, it has acquired the reputation of being able to warn a wearer of impending betrayal or infidelity, again by changing its color.
Today, Turquoise offers many benefits to the collector and wearer. It absorbs electromagnetic pollution and purifies the atmosphere.
It brings vibrations of strength, courage, and positivity and soothes troubled minds.
It is associated with increasing fertility in childless couples and symbolizes commitment, loyalty, and fidelity in romantic relationships.
Turquoise is a stone of friendship and luck. Give a piece of Turquoise to a good friend if you wish them to prosper and thrive.
Traditional wisdom states that a gift of Turquoise from a genuine friend ensures that you will never want for friendship and happiness.
It is believed to bestow good fortune on both the giver and the receiver.
If you want to improve your physical health, try wearing Turquoise to help detoxify your systems and boost your immunity.
It also helps with poor eyesight, loss of balance, headaches, and sleep disorders.
Gem Society | GIA | GIA | Prep Scholar | Wikipedia