december gemstone of the month: turquoise

In her monthly column, Gem + Remedy takes us around the globe exploring the many uses of turquoise, one of the birthstones of December. Read on to learn more about how turquoise can be used to bring good luck.

She’s up all night for good fun
I’m up all night to get lucky.

-from the song “Get Lucky”
by Daft Punk

 

Every stone and crystal has different metaphysical properties depending on what book or website you look to—so when I make my bracelet formulations I go through all the books I can find looking for properties that are mentioned multiple times in different cultures. The property that pops up the most is the one I use—and with turquoise it’s luck and good fortune.

Here in the United States many of us think of chunky Native American Jewelry when we think of turquoise, but it has been used for thousands of years in many areas of the world, for many different things. The name itself is French for “Turkish stone”—as turquoise was brought to Europe by way of Turkey, where soldiers adorned their horse bridles with it, believing the stone had powers to make the horses surefooted, thereby preventing falls. In Tibet, it is believed that giving a piece of green (rather than blue) turquoise to a friend will bring them good fortune. In China, it is given to a romantic partner to bring fidelity and devotion. (Let’s face it, finding your soul-mate is certainly luck of the draw, so I filed that in the “luck” category.)

Certain Native American tribes believed the stone symbolized the bridge between the earth and sky, so when praying to the spirits for their wishes to be fulfilled, they included turquoise in their ceremonies as an aid in manifesting their earthly desires in the spiritual realm. If the ceremony was successful, good fortune was bestowed.

 

“When praying to the spirits for their wishes to be fulfilled, they included turquoise in their ceremonies as an aid in manifesting their earthly desires in the spiritual realm.”

 

One of the many titles of the ancient Egyptian goddess Hathor was “Lady of Turquoise” because she was thought to be the protector of the desert regions where turquoise was mined. An artifact that is closely related to Hathor is a “Menat”, which is a large necklace made up of a metal chest plate and beaded strings. The beads were usually turquoise and the Menat was worn to give the wearer good luck and protection from evil spirits.

Turquoise jewelry is abundant and easy to find. Even though it’s a December birth stone, summer seems to be the most popular season to wear it. Maybe because it looks so good with white clothing… but probably because subconsciously everyone is looking to “get lucky”. Hey, they don’t call it “summer lovin'” for nothing.