Turquoise is an opaque gemstone with rich color variations from green and greenish blue to bright sky blue shades. Turquoise has been an important gemstone in many cultures for thousands of years. The name turquoise is said to have originated when was gem was first brought to Europe by traders from Asia Minor, even though the traders were not necessarily of Turkish origin. Most likely Turquoise from that time came from mines in Egypt, not Turkey. Today important deposits are also found in Afghanistan, Australia, Brazil, China, Tibet, Israel, United States and Mexico. Historically, the Aztecs mined turquoise in an area now known as New Mexico and a significant amount of fine Turquoise still comes from Arizona, California and Nevada.
Throughout history Turquoise has been considered a precious stone by ancient Egyptian, Persian, and other Eastern cultures. In the ancient Persian myth, the sky-blue gemstones were earlier worn round the neck or wrist as protection against unnatural death. If they changed colour, the wearer was thought to have reason to fear the approach of doom. The Aztecs and other Mesoamerican peoples valued Turquoise very highly; Aztecs and many Native American cultures cherished turquoise for its healing and protective power, and it's power to attract beneficial spirits. It is extremely prized in Tibet, where it is considered more valuable than gold, and is sometimes worn one’s entire life as a dowry heirloom.
In many cultures of the Old and New Worlds, this gemstone has been esteemed for thousands of years as a holy stone, a bringer of good fortune or a protective talisman. A common belief shared by many of these civilizations held that turquoise possessed certain protective/ preventative qualities to fend off a disease or other misfortune. Turquoise was thought to change colour with the wearer's health and protect him or her from untoward forces. In more contemporary stone folklore, it is rumored to strengthen and align personal drive and aid in success, as well as protect good health and ease tension.