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What is Turquoise?

Turquoise, one of the birthstones for December, is a copper mineral which is valued for its sky-blue colour. In lore, it is said to bring good fortune and happiness. It was also thought to change colour with the wearer's health and protect from untoward forces. Turquoise occurs in small and thins seams. It is translucent to opaque and can appear waxy with a 'porcelain' like lustre.


It has a long history as a gem material, from the earliest days of ancient Egypt to Central American civilisations who used turquoise for beads and inlay work.

Rough turquoise being selected and sawn and mounted on dop sticks to be cut and polished as cabochons. Photo Ian Mercer
Home » The Gemstones » Turquoise