Turquoise Is December's Birthstone
By Sam Serio
If you're still young enough to remember your birthday,
you probably also remember the special birthstone assigned to it. But at your age, we bet
you don't really know the SIGNIFICANCE of your birthstone and what power the ancients felt
would be bestowed about you by wearing it.
December's Birthstone: Turquoise
Alternative Birthstone: Lapis Lazuli
Turquoise is the birthstone for December and the
traditional gift to commemorate the 5th and 11th years of marriage. It's color is, of
course, is referred to as turquoise, but the hue can range widely from the familiar
green-blue to a light sky-blue.
It is generally accepted that turquoise gets its name from
"pierre turquoise" a French phrase meaning "Turkish stone." Others
believe that the name comes from the Persian word "fiouze," meaning the color
turquoise. Ancient and yet always at the height of current fashion, turquoise was mined by
early Egyptians as early as 6000 BC.
Many people are surprised to learn that the finest
turquoise comes from Iran, not the American Southwest. However beautiful specimens are
also found in Arizona and New Mexico in the United States, as well as in Australia,
Afghanistan and other localities in the Middle East.
For thousands of years, turquoise has been appreciated as
a holy stone, talisman, and a good-luck-charm. The excavation of Egyptian tombs from
approximately 3,000 B.C. holds the oldest living proof of man's interest in turquoise,
where the gemstone was found decorating artifacts that were buried with the dead. When the
tomb of Queen Zer was unearthed in 1900, a turquoise and gold bracelet was found on her
wrist, one of the oldest pieces of jewelry ever discovered!
In ancient Persian, the sky-blue gemstones were originally
worn around the neck or on the hand as protection to ward off unnatural death. If the
stones changed their colour, there was an imminent danger for the wearer.
Turquoise also has a sacred place in the religious rites
of North American Indians and by the Tibetans, whose shamans include it in rituals and
ceremonies. Turquoise is said to promote mental and spiritual clarity to enhance wisdom,
trust, kindness, and understanding.
You've Got the Power
Apache Indians believed that turquoise gave warriors and
hunters better aim and Zuni tribes believed that it protected them from demons. In Asia,
turquoise was considered protection against the evil eye, while Tibetans carved turquoise
into ritual objects.
Wherever in the world it is worn and loved, turquoise is
believed to promote prosperity
For centuries, turquoise was thought to protect riders and
horses from falls. Today the beautiful stone is considered a good luck "charm"
for aviators, flight staff and other professionals who need to ward off accidents.
Turquoise's bright and happy color is supposed to lend
self-confidence to subdued personalities, and it is also very popular as a token of
friendship, since Turquoise is reputed to be responsible for faithfulness and reliable