Turquoise

Azure sky, robin’s egg blue: Vivid shades of turquoise define the color that’s named after this gem.

BRIEF INTRO

Turquoise is found in only a few places on earth: dry and barren regions where acidic, copper-rich groundwater seeps downward and reacts with minerals that contain phosphorus and aluminum. The result of this sedimentary process is a porous, semitranslucent to opaque compound of hydrated copper and aluminum phosphate.

4,000 BC

Turquoise buried in Ancient Egyptian tombs is among the world’s oldest jewelry.

MEFKAT

Ancient Egyptians called turquoise “mefkat,” which also means “joy” and “delight.”

1519

Montezuma, thinking Cortes was Quetzalcoatl, gave him the god’s favorite gem: turquoise.

TREATMENTS

There are a number of processes used to alter the color, apparent clarity, or improve the durability of gems.

ANNIVERSARIES

Turquoise is the traditional birthstone for the month of December and the gem of the 11th anniversary.