A December birthstone, turquoise is a light to dark blue or blue-green gemstone. The finest color is an intense blue that is uniform throughout. Turquoise may contain narrow veins of its host rock known as the matrix, sometimes in a web-like pattern. Discovered by ancient Egyptians, turquoise was widely used in treasures fit for pharaohs. Native American Indians used it as a shaman’s stone. Tibetans revered the gemstone as a talisman of good fortune. Turquoise is also one of December’s birthstones.
Strikingly opaque and robin’s-egg blue, turquoise has been prized since 3,200 BC. Held in high regard by many cultures, turquoise is believed to promote wealth, luck and healing, as well as protection from evil.