Turquoise is a copper aluminum phosphate mineral with a hardness of 5 to 6. Its striking blue color is caused by copper, and the greenish shades of Turquoise are because of iron. Its crystal structure is triclinic, and it is usually composed of submicroscopic crystals, making the stones opaque. The name Turquoise is derived from the French pierre turquoise, meaning ‘Turkish stone.’ This is because the trade routes through which Turquoise reached Europe from the mines in central Asia went through Turkey, and Venetian merchants often bought the stone in Turkish bazaars. Turquoise may be the longest-used of all gemstones. Beads dating back to 5000 B.C. have been found in Iraq. The Egyptians were mining Turquoise in the Sinai in 3200 B.C. Throughout history, Turquoise has been fashioned into jewelry and decorations for a host of objects, from weapons to amulets. Turquoise is the national gemstone of Iran, and it has been the most valued gem in Tibet for many centuries. About 1,000 years ago, Native Americans began to mine and fashion Turquoise, and the gem has been found in burial sites from Argentina to New Mexico.

In both Hindu and Persian beliefs, seeing a Turquoise and the new moon at the same moment would lead to good fortune, protection from evil and/ or an increase of wealth. The Navajos used Turquoise to bring needed rain by throwing a stone into a river while praying to the rain god. Apaches thought Turquoise could enhance the accuracy of their weapons, and the Zuni believed it could protect them from demons. In central Asia, the belief that Turquoise could keep riders from falling led to the use of Turquoise in decorating horse trappings. In the cultures of countries where Turquoise is found, the belief in its beneficial properties persists to this day. ROBERT SIMMONS Turquoise is not only a stone for finding wholeness and truth, it is also an aid in the communication and manifestation of those qualities. It stimulates and harmonizes the throat chakra, making it more effortless for one to articulate and bring forth one’s deepest wisdom. Wearing Turquoise can empower those who are shy about sharing their understanding, and it can help one realize that, in speaking from the wholeness of our being, we each have something important to contribute to the collective. Because it is a stone of wholeness, Turquoise is also beneficial to overall well-being and soundness of one’s mood and emotions. It is balancing and induces a sense of serenity and peace. Holding or wearing Turquoise can help one restore depleted vitality and lift sagging spirits. This stone has the capacity to heal the emotional body, relieve stress, and bring the focal point of awareness to its proper center in the heart. Turquoise teaches the wisdom of compassion and forgiveness and offers one the opportunity to experience the insight that enlightened selfishness is identical with kindness and generosity. What one wishes for oneself, at one’s core, is happiness, love and freedom from limitation and fear. Through its heightening of emotional intelligence, Turquoise demonstrates that when one releases one’s insistence on ‘justice’ and views others through the lens of compassion and forgiveness, one immediately receives those gifts through one’s own heart. Thus the most generous gesture towards others also brings about what one most desires for oneself. Not only that— such actions are contagious and self-reinforcing! And Turquoise’s gift of communication assists one in effectively sharing such insights with others.

Simmons, Robert; Ahsian, Naisha. The Book of Stones, Revised Edition: Who They Are and What They Teach (several pages). North Atlantic Books. Kindle Edition.

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