Until recently, the jewellery industry saw turquoise as an inexpensive material that could be framed in silver. It was in this form that the stone with its amazing colour would find itself in the jewellery boxes of young ladies. But the latest trends - which paved the way for this admittedly affordable but enchanting gemstone to make its way into high jewellery collections - have taken turquoise to a whole new level. In the last year alone, it has become part of collections at Bulgari, Harry Winston, Louis Vuitton, Mellerio Dits Meller, Suzanne Syz, Veschetti, David Yurman and many other famous brands.
This appears to be something of an unprecedented elevation for such an unpretentious stone, but no! Turquoise has for time immemorial been accustomed to royal environments, both in the literal and figurative sense. In the 16th century for example, Persian craftsmen made the throne presented to Boris Godunov by Shah Abbas I from hammered gold with a floral pattern that was richly decorated with rubies, pearls and turquoise. Turquoise also adorns the throne that originally belonged to Ivan the Terrible, and then to Mikhail Romanov. Here, inlays made with the blue mineral are accentuated by tourmalines, chrysolites, pearls and two large topazes. It is not surprising that turquoise became world-famous thanks to the generous gifts of eastern rulers, as its first deposits were found in modern-day Iran. Now turquoise is also mined in the USA (Arizona), Mexico, Mongolia, Afghanistan, China, Israel, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and the Sinai Peninsula.
Turquoise certainly was not chosen to be a December birthstone by chance. It can be damaged by fats, oils and alcohol solutions, heat or direct sunlight - but with the help of water it adopts a more intense colour. There is often not enough blue sky in winter, and so a jewel with this particular colour will invariably invoke pleasant associations for both its owner and for those around them!