Because they are the birthstone of December, turquoises are becoming holiday favorites. They make a striking appearance at Christmas and New Year. They blend in nicely with the traditional red and green colors of Christmas while having a modern feel. The blue to grey-green colors of turquoise gems make them ideal holiday jewelry. Wearing turquoise jewelry serves as a reminder of the holidays and the spirit of celebration. Turquoises are said to facilitate the success of the wearer. Both men and women wear and enjoy them and their long history as an international gemstone recommends turquoises to people everywhere.
Turquoise is one of the most widely used gem minerals, and is found in many parts of the world. Turquoises can come in many colors from blue to bluish-green to greenish-gray. Since the dawn of history, the mines of Persia produced turquoise and the ancient Egyptians also mined turquoise. Turquoise has been mined in the southwestern part of the United States, especially in Nevada, and also in Mexico.
Native Americans of the Southwest used turquoise for making jewelry and ornaments. The Zuni and Navajo peoples excelled at it. Turquoise is frequently set in silver jewelry. Craftsmen have fashioned bracelets, necklaces, earrings, brooches, and pendants of turquoise and silver. The Aztecs once made elaborate turquoise masks.
Charles Loloma is the father of contemporary Native American jewelry. Growing up, he was surrounded by artists and soon began producing artwork including illustrations, murals, and pottery called “Lolomaware”. In 1955, he began creating jewelry, and soon his new venture took precedence, and in 1963 he had an ultra-successful Paris jewelry show. His work soon became internationally renowned and started gracing the collections of high profile movie stars and jewelry aficionados. The iconic work of Loloma is remarkable for its innovative style and daring structure. His contemporary inlaid pieces of the 1960’s were often more ornate on the inside than the outside to remind the wearer of its ‘inner beauty’.
“I felt a strong kinship to stones, not just the precious and semi-precious stones I use in my jewelry, but the humble stones I pick up at random while on a hike through the hills or a walk along the beach. I feel the stone and think, not to conquer it, but to help it express itself”. – Charles Loloma
Turquoise is used in many forms of jewelry, including beads and cameos and multiple pieces of turquoise are used in mosaics. Turquoise can be set with other gems to create an interesting figural piece in imitation of an animal, insect, flower, or popular design. Collectors prize antique turquoise ornaments and jewelry. Victorian and Art Nouveau turquoise jewelry command a high price.
We love turquoises for their soft tones and accessible style and price point. You’ll find many beautiful turquoise items on Ruby Lane.
*Note: zircon and lapis lazuli are other December birthstones.
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