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December’s Mystical Birthstone – Turquoise

Most people can easily recognize December’s uniquely opaque birthstone – the turquoise, which is available in various shades of blue, blue-green and green. These color variations, caused by the stone’s tendency to change color as it ages, symbolize the cycle of life, from birth to old age and eventually death. It is believed to be one of the oldest stones used to make jewelry; and many ancient civilizations considered it to be sacred.

The word turquoise originated from the Greek word “Turkois” because the stone was brought to medieval Europe by Turkish traders. Despite its origins, it is most commonly known for its use in Native American jewelry. It was especially important to the Apache people. Without this highly esteemed stone, an Apache medicine-man would be without honor and respect. Apache hunters believed the turquoise caused their arrows to fly true and used it as an amulet to protect themselves.

In fact, it is the stone most frequently used in the creation of amulets because of its beauty and mystical virtues. In the Middle East, where it is especially revered, it is engraved with Arabic script and then set in gold.

Because of this birthstone’s beauty and mystical properties, the turquoise makes a great gift, especially for those celebrating December birthdays.

So why was this stone chosen for the month of December? This old December poem birthstone by an unknown poet may provide the answer:

“If cold December gave you birth
The month of snow and ice and mirth
Place on your hand a turquoise blue
Success will bless whate’er you do.”

This poem reveals some of the properties that are associated with turquoise — good fortune, success, prosperity and success.

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