Used for adornment for over 6,000 years, turquoise is one of the oldest and most recognizable gemstones. As we learned from findings in Egyptian tombs, Ancient Persians decorated extensively with turquoise. It was also used by Aztecs on ceremonial masks and shields on the other side of the world. And right here in the US, turquoise is still used, to this day, by Native Americans as it has been for centuries.
Turquoise can be bluish green, greenish blue, or yellowish green, depending on its copper or iron content. An intense, uniform, medium blue with no matrix is turquoise's most-prized color -- sometimes referred to as robin's-egg blue, sky blue, or Persian blue (as it was once mined in Iran, formerly known as Persia).
Turquoise is one of the main stones used in traditional Native American jewelry. Because it's a softer stone (5-6 on the MOHs hardness scale), turquoise is ideal for carving in to talismans, objects, cabochons for everything including squash blossom necklaces, and inlay.
Want to learn more about turquoise? Check out my blog on Roadtripping for American Gems to get my tips on a great book to read and museum to visit!