While the weather is turning cold during this time of year, December is full of warmth, excitement, and special moments. Oftentimes, with the twinkling lights, the falling snow, and the mix of holiday colors + festivities, the very special birthdays can be overlooked, so here’s a little glimpse at the fascinating history and meaning behind December’s birthstone: Turquoise.
Among the oldest of gemstones on the planet, turquoise is a stone that has been prized for thousands of years, having been worn by royalty around the world, from the ancient Egyptians, the Aztecs, and many of the nobility in Victorian England. This beautiful stone acquired it’s name, Turquoise, from the French translation for “Turkish stone”. Venetian merchants brought it to Europe after finding it in Turkish markets along the Silk road. Though the name we use today has it’s roots in Europe, Turquoise has been found and used by a wide array of cultures around the globe and has always been seen as a very special gemstone, even thought to possess magical properties by some. From Native North Americans, to the Chinese, this gorgeous sky blue jewel has been worn to give protection from evil, good fortune, and even divine powers of immortality.
The month of December is a time of beautiful warm feelings and remembrances of the divine; Turquoise is a gorgeous stone and a wonderful symbol of these ideas. The Chinese even have a proverb about giving turquoise as a gift – “Given by a loving hand, it brings with it happiness and good fortune.” From your loving hands, your December sweetie can carry with them the warmth of your affections, happiness, and the good fortune of a caring heart. Turquoise is also a great symbol of friendship, being a very personal stone of peace in ones home.
While the lovely blue stone is perfect for daily wear, it can also be somewhat fragile, not intended for rough treatment, since it is among the softer of gemstones. Be sure to steer clear of extreme heat, chemicals, and certain cosmetics, as these can damage turquoise. The best way to cleanse your turquoise jewelry is to gently wash it with warm water and a little soap.