Blue Rondo a la Turque – December – Turquoise

Turquoise is a blue-green mineral that is a hydrous phosphate of copper and aluminium. The name derives from the French turques as the gemstone mined in Persia was imported to Europe through Turkey. It was known to the Aztecs as chalchihuitl.

Persian sky-blue turquoise was highly valued for more than 2000 years, and primarily mined in the area around the mountain peak of Neyshabur. The Southwest of the USA was an important source, mainly from Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada. It was mined from pre-Columbian times by First Nation peoples, and has been used extensively by Navajo, Zuni and Hopi jewellers up to the present day.

China, Afghanistan, and Northern India have all been sources of turquoise. It has been seen as a holy stone and good luck amulet. In Ancient Egypt it accompanied the dead inlaid in grave goods , and in Persia the brightest blue gemstones were believed to be protective against untimely death.


Above left to right: Ram Rijal 22ct gold and turquoise ring; Lithos pendant of turquoise and 18ct gold set with blue topaz  and 18ct gold, turquoise  and diamond ring. From a selection at Talisman Gallery Harvey Nichols