The history of turquoise is long and as colorful as the stones themselves.
This history has contributed a major role in the popularity of the stone.
Persian and Egyptian Turquoise
In the earliest times the Persians produced turquoise in 2000 year old mines. The stones from this region have a characteristic robin’s egg blue color. The Persians saw the blue sky overhead in the light blue of the stones. They used it to cover the ceilings of their palaces and their temples.
Some of the earliest known mines from history are Sarabit el-Khadim and Wadi Maghareh. Both of these mines are believed to be among the oldest of the area.
It is thought that the Ancient Egyptians possibly mined Sarabit el-Khadim for its turquoise. The Like the Persians, the Egyptians were heavy users of the stones in their architecture. They also prized the blue color for their temples and palaces.
In all the earliest use of turquoise the common thread is one of believed spirituality contained in the stones themselves, and supernatural properties of the stones.
Native American Turquoise
Our attention is on the Turquoise produced from the North American Mines. The Southwestern United States is very significant region in the importance and development of turquoise jewelry. Archeologists believe the Native American tribes first began mining the Park Mine area several thousand years ago.
Like the Persians and Egyptians, the Aztecs believed the stone was sacred and held special power for it’s users. They made beautiful, intricate masks and other articles of regalia.
Throughout these regions where the Aztec flourished up into the Southwest United States turquoise was found and mined. It was a much cherished item from the very beginnings of these tribes.
The earliest jewelry consisted of bead necklaces and carvings. Inlaid mosaics were also popular in early history.
Native American Jewelry Is Born
In the 19th century, the style we associate with Native American Jewelry emerged. The Navajos began working with silver and perfecting their technique of mounting stones securely. It is thought that a white trader may have persuaded some Navajo craftsmen to use coin silver with their turquoise work.
These breakthroughs have given us the turquoise jewelry styles that we have today. Their methods and their materials have withstood the tests of time
for durability and beauty. Many of these techniques are still in use today by the most successful Native American Artists, like Bo Fain and Chris Kommesetaddle. The symbolism of the turquoise pieces also remains in use.
Turquoise continues to be produced all over the world. Persian (Iranian) turquoise is still produced, but the United States remains the world’s largest producer.
You can benefit from the mystical powers of turquoise that has captivated the hearts and minds of people throughout the ages. At least look as awesome as any Persian Priest or Navajo medicine man ever. We have it all, from small turquoise rings to massive turquoise Squash Blossom necklaces to give you a look like no other.