Sunday, May 4, 2008

Turquoise Jewelry: The Stone Made From the Sky

By Corey Landis
Native American languages are filled with particularly descriptive words. Their word for turquoise means 'sky stone', or possibly 'stone made from sky,' and no single ethnic group knows more about making turquoise jewelry than the Native Americans. The 'sky stone' is a staple in their jewelry, and wearing it is believed to confer luck and prosperity on the wearer. Certainly turquoise is a beautiful stone, and turquoise jewelry has a warmth and yet an elegance that is rarely matched by other stones.

Far from being limited to Native American jewelry, however, this 'stone made from the sky' shows up in such unlikely places as Africa, Europe, and even Russia. Turquoise and jade were sacred stones to the Incas and the Maya. Ancient Greeks believed that turquoise jewelry had almost magical properties, and could increase wisdom, vision, and sexual attraction. Certainly our love affair with turquoise jewelry continues to this day; turquoises and turquoise jewelry appear in the jewel collections of monarchs, nobility, actresses, and the very wealthy. Yet turquoise jewelry is not an exceptionally expensive stone, and it also turns up in the jewelry boxes of ordinary working women, and even in some high-quality children's jewelry.

Some birthstone charts list turquoise as the stone for those born in December or October. The 'stone of the sky' seems an appropriate, if somewhat wishful, symbol for the month when the days are at their shortest, and the sky is often dark or clouded over. But turquoise jewelry remains an appropriate gift for any woman, for any birthday, in any month. And, no doubt because of its reputation with the Greeks as an aphrodisiac, the stone made from the sky is the perfect gift for weddings and anniversaries. It is a rare woman, indeed, who doesn't love turquoise's infinite pale blue and the warmth of this beautiful stone.

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