Turquoise Meaning and Uses
Turquoise is one of the most popular gemstones to date. Its clear sea-green color has captivated many. It can also make any ring, bracelet, or necklace shine. However, turquoise stones were not always just for the glamor.
In this article, we’ll discuss what the turquoise stone means, its symbolism, its healing properties, and what to wear with a turquoise piece.
What is Turquoise?
Turquoise is an opaque stone with colors ranging from blue to green. The name ‘turquoise’ comes from a French word that means ‘Turkish’. This is likely because the stone was first introduced to Medieval Europe by Turkish sources.
Turquoise was prominent in several ancient cultures, all of which had their own myths and beliefs about the stone.
Southwestern Native Americans believe that turquoise represents the life-giving waters and green tones of nature. Many also believe it is a protective stone because of its deep connection to the earth.
Native Americans believe people who wear turquoise jewelry attract helpful spirits and repel negative energy. For this reason, they have decorated tombs with carved turquoise animals, weapons bearing turquoise beads, and amulets featuring turquoise gemstones.
Middle Eastern and Mediterranean
Turquoise was first mined by the Ancient Egyptians about 5,000 years ago. At the time, the stone became a prominent sighting in the tombs of wealthy people. Fun fact: Cleopatra actually kept a collection of turquoise stones.
After its discovery in Egypt, word of the stone spread across the Middle Eastern and Mediterranean civilizations.
In Persia, people either wore the stone as an accessory or used it to line the domes of their palaces. The Persians believed the stone symbolized heaven and would use it in every aspect of their daily lives.
In Ancient Greece, turquoise stones symbolized purity and were often worn by young women. In England and Russia, turquoise symbolized everlasting love.
In many Asian countries, including China, turquoise is believed to have the ability to protect its wearer from the evil eye. This is why the stone has been used to adorn protection amulets for centuries, even today.
In Tibet, a nation rich in turquoise, the gemstone is associated with divine energy. Dubbed the ‘Sky Stone’, Tibetans believe that turquoise came from the heavens. Furthermore, they believe that the stone loses its color as the bearer grows older, but reacquires its color and luster when passed down to someone younger.
What Does Turquoise Symbolize?
The meaning of turquoise changes depending on the culture. However, there are three strong associations that persist in all cultures, even in the modern day.
To this day, the turquoise gemstone is associated with wisdom. Specifically, this blue-green stone helps with self-actualization and unlocking creative energies.
Turquoise crystals also remind their holders of the value of every person’s experience and the importance of seeing mistakes as learning opportunities. Further, it helps the bearer to let go of the need to seek justice and instead embrace the forgiveness of others and themselves.
Apart from conferring wisdom, the turquoise crystal also provides a calming energy. This makes it easier for the user to make decisions out of a union of emotions, intuition, and logic.
In addition to keeping its bearer grounded, turquoise also helps its bearer achieve a state of balance, inner harmony, serendipity, and tranquility.
Many regard turquoise as a strengthening stone with the ability to protect one’s physical body. In fact, horse riders often wear a turquoise necklace or carry a turquoise amulet in the belief that it reduces the chances of falling. Some horse riders also place the sea-green stones on the horse’s bridle to prevent serious accidents.
Types of Turquoise
There are more than a dozen types of turquoise, each of which is named after their respective mines. Some mines produce a variety of turquoise while others create only the same kind. We’ve listed some of the most popular and unique types of turquoise below.
Carrico Lake Turquoise
Carrico Lake Turquoise features a clean, spring-green color or a dark-blue green color. Often, these stones are marked with a black spiderweb-like matrix. These stones can only be mined from Carrico Lake. As such, their scarcity leads to higher prices than other turquoise stones.
Sleeping Beauty Turquoise
Sleeping Beauty Turquoise is one of the most recognizable types of turquoise in the world. This type of turquoise features a rich, sky-blue color with barely any matrix. Over the years, however, jewelers have used shoe polish and other methods to artificially darken the stone’s matrix to appeal to buyers who prefer stones with matrices.
Sleeping Beauty turquoise earned its name from a mine of the same name in Globe, Arizona. The mine was closed in 2012 due to increased government regulations and mining costs.
Tibetan Turquoise is a rare type of turquoise mined in the Himalayas, specifically in the areas of Derge, Draya, Lhasa, and Ngari-Khorsum. Tibetan Turquoise tends to be more blue-green in color—a feature that makes it highly sought after as other turquoise stones lean more towards blue.
Number 8 Turquoise
Number 8 Turquoise was first discovered in a mine in Eureka County, Nevada. This gemstone varies from blue with shades of green to a beautiful deep blue color. Number 8 Turquoise is easily distinguishable through its black, golden-red, and brown matrix.
Number 8 Turquoise is no longer being produced. The mine where it was found now only produces gold.
Lander Blue Turquoise
Discovered in Lander County, Nevada, this type of turquoise produces a deep blue color with black spiderwebs and chunks of brown matrices. The Lander Blue Turquoise is very rare. In fact, less than 110 pounds of Lander Blue Turquoise has been mined since the 1970s.
Kingman Turquoise comes from one of the oldest and highest-producing turquoise mines in America. Originally discovered more than 1,000 years ago, this gemstone remains one of the most popular choices among buyers.
Kingman Turquoise often exhibits a sky-blue color with a primarily white matrix. Today, the mine where this type of turquoise is produced also has turquoise stones of other colors.
Of all the types of turquoise, Dragon Skin is perhaps the most widely used. Also called Chinese Turquoise, Dragon Skin has been used since 1,700 BC. The color of Dragon Skin turquoise spans the entire spectrum. What sets it apart from other turquoise stones is its dark blue spider web matrix.
Turquoise Stone Benefits
Turquoise Healing Properties
There are numerous benefits to having turquoise stones on your person or in your home. In ancient cultures up until modern times, turquoise has been believed to carry healing properties. For instance, some cultures believe that turquoise has a strong connection to the throat chakra. This then helps enhance the user’s communication and expression.
In other cultures, turquoise functions both as a purification stone and a healing stone that helps the bearer forgive past wounds and free themselves from patterns of self-sabotage. Additionally, it dispels negative energy to help bearers feel calmer and more at ease.
There are many other benefits to bearing turquoise stones. Here are some:
Physical Healing Properties of Turquoise
As mentioned, turquoise is connected to throat chakras. As such, one of its metaphysical properties is its ability to heal all issues in the throat area, including sore throats, respiratory issues, allergies, and migraines. It also cures physical ailments in the ears, nose, and lungs.
Apart from the throat, turquoise is also deeply connected to the breath. Many believe that its soothing touch helps the bearer breathe more easily and allows for a deeper flow of oxygen in the lungs. In this way, turquoise healing crystals can help to keep mood swings and panic attacks at bay.
If you’re suffering from rheumatism and other similar conditions, turquoise has anti-inflammatory properties that boost the immune system and help soak up nutrients to keep the physical body and soul fresh and healthy.
Spiritual Healing Properties of Turquoise
Turquoises are peaceful stones that are deeply connected to the physical and spiritual worlds. As such, it helps strengthen the connection and communication of spirits to the earth and the sky. Additionally, it increases one’s inactive psychic abilities, boosts intuition, and offers insights.
In the olden days, turquoise was used in releasing rituals. When placed on the throat, turquoise was believed to neutralize the powers of old vows. This allowed the bearer’s soul to express itself without being held back by restrictions from the past. Usually, these rituals used tumbled stones.
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