December: Month of Turquoise
The December birthstone, turquoise, is regarded as a love charm. It is also a symbol of good fortune and success, and it is believed to relax the mind and to protect its wearer from harm. Turquoise rings, in particular, are thought to keep away evil spirits.
History of turquoise
Since about 6,000 B.C. when it was first mined by the Egyptians, turquoise has been one of the most valuable opaque minerals in the jewelry business. Native Americans and Persians also valued it for its decorative and ornamental beauty. The Navajo believe that turquoise is a part of the sky that fell to Earth.
Science of turquoise
Turquoise is composed of hydrated copper and aluminum phosphate. It forms when circulating water alters other aluminum-rich rocks in desert environments. Turquoise has a slightly waxy appearance and can range in color from blue to shades of green and yellowish gray. The most valued color of turquoise, though, is the beautiful greenish-blue that contrasts so nicely with precious metals such as silver.
Follow these simple steps to keep your jewelry looking its best
- Always store jewelry separately; on a tube, in a box or in an anti-tarnish pouch (precious jewelry only).
- Always remove jewelry before swimming, bathing, doing household chores, or using abrasive cleaners. Remember, some household cleaners contain chlorine bleach; these will cause discoloration of gemstone jewelry.
- Apply beauty products such as perfume, hairspray or deodorant before wearing jewelry as certain chemicals can leave a residue on your jewelry that can harm or dull silver, gold and gemstones.
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