Mojave Turquoise Crystal Pendant 14k
Turquoise is a true cultural chameleon, appearing in some of the world's most significant civilizations. While Egyptians, Mesopotamians (modern-day Iraq), Persians (modern-day Iran), Mongols, Tibetans, Chinese and Native Americans all greatly valued Turquoise, the two geographic areas forever linked with this gemstone are the Middle East and the Americas. Today, Turquoise is Iran's national gemstone and also strongly associated with Native American jewelry, such as Zuni bracelets and Navajo belts.
Despite its long history, Turquoise wasn't always called Turquoise. In Persian, the gem is called 'ferozah', which means 'victorious', and until the 13th century in Europe it was called 'calläis' (beautiful stone), probably from the Roman gem names 'callainos' or 'callaina'. While some mineralogists and gemstone authors think these names represented our Turquoise during antiquity, others disagree.
Its delightful color aside, Turquoise's rich history and mythology are probably due to it being one of the first gemstones ever mined. Mining Turquoise dates back to 6000 BC in Egypt and 5000 BC in Persia. In fact, a Turquoise and gold bracelet excavated in 1900 from the tomb of the Egyptian Queen Zer (5500 BC) is one of the world's oldest pieces of jewelry. In the Americas, the Aztecs began mining Turquoise in Mexico around 900 AD and created elaborate Turquoise mosaics. The Mayans, Anasazi, Zuni, Navajo and Apache people were so taken by the beauty of Turquoise that by the 16th century ingenious cultures in the American southwest were using it as currency. The treasure of Moctezuma II (1466-1520), the ninth Aztec emperor and ruler at the beginning of the Spanish conquest, includes a serpent carving covered by a mosaic of Turquoise. Despite Theophrastus (the successor of Aristotle's school of philosophy) noticing the gem in the spoils brought home from Persia by Macedonian soldiers, Turquoise did not make a big impact on European fashion until the Middle Ages.
A gemstone of prosperity in many cultures from the Persians to the Apache.
Dimensions: 1.56" x .77" x .15" inches
Weight Grams: 20 carats