December’s Alternate Birthstone: Turquoise
Where is Turquoise Mined?
Not far from our Gilbert home, one of the largest turquoise mines in North America is located in Globe, Arizona. The turquoise found there is known for its popular and un-matched light blue color. Even though turquoise is also mined in New Mexico and Nevada as well as Mexico, Iran, and Tibet, the color produced from the Arizona mine is striking!
Brief Turquoise Background
Over 4,000 year old turquoise jewelry was discovered in ancient Egyptian tombs! Pharaohs adorned themselves with the beautiful stone and called it ‘mefkat’ which means joy and delight. Declared as the national gem of Tibet, the people there considered turquoise to guarantee health, fortune and protection from evil spirits. In more recent history, Native American tribes used turquoise in their ceremonies and as a form of currency when bartering. The Apache tribe would attach the stone to their weapons as they believed it increased a warrior’s accuracy. As seen in Arizona and around the Southwest, Native American tribes are also famous for creating beautifully crafted turquoise jewelry!
The Color Range of Turquoise
Because turquoise is colored by copper, the gems can appear vivid blue to vibrant green. The copper seeps into the rock and is made apparent in the unique dark veins that run through the blue or green stones!
Color of Turquoise: Blue or Green
Variations on Color: vivid blue to light blue to greenish hues
Birthstone Month: December
Wedding Anniversary Year: 11
If you were born in December it is a rare month as you have three birthstones to choose from! The traditional birthstone is zircon but there are two more recent birthstone additions, tanzanite and turquoise. All are gorgeous stones but living in the Southwest we do have a soft spot in our hearts for turquoise! As always, we're here to help with any birthstone or jewelry related queries so never hesitate to call or come in!