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Birthstone of the Month

December Birthstone - Turquoise

Turquoise is one of the official birthstones for the month of December and among the first gemstones to be mined and set to jewelry sets. Its name is derived from the French word “pierre turquoise” which means “Turkish stone”, for it was originally thought to be first produced in the country of Turkey. Turquoise was introduced to Europe through Turkish traders, but actually mined in Persia.

For thousands of years, turquoise has been considered as sacred and the most valuable stone by the Egyptians. When the tombs were excavated, archeologists discovered artifacts decorated with turquoise and even the burial mask of King Tut, an Egyptian Pharaoh, was displayed with a sophisticated detail of this gem. Similarly, when the tomb of Queen Zer was unearthed, a turquoise and gold bracelet was found on her wrist

Ancient Egyptians are known to have a strong hold on the spiritual world for protection, abundance and health. They believed that accessorizing with turquoise could shield them from all forms of illnesses or diseases in the afterlife. During battles, it was also thought to bestow strength and courage among warriors who have the gem placed on their sword handle.

Turquoise is a non-transparent mineral and is among the most valued gems, and comes in a variety of shades from light green to dark green, blue-green, sky blue to dark blue and yellow green. The most desirable color is the blue and far more expensive than the other shades. If turquoise tends to have more of greens than blue hues, the estimated value is lower.

Pure turquoise has the hardness rating ranges from 5-6 on the Mohs scale which is relatively soft. Oftentimes, the stone is treated to improve the durability and color. Two of the most common treatments are dyeing and stabilization.

Coveted for its intense, exotic hue, turquoise is preferably set to necklaces, rings, and bracelets. Crafted out of the best and sophisticated designs, they are a must have in your precious stone collection. The gem makes a great gift for close friends and family. Celebrating the 5th and 11th year of marriage, your special day may be enhanced with turquoise jewelry as a traditional gift.
AT: 12/03/2012 12:40:03 PM  

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