The gentle color of turquoise has attracted fans for thousands of years. In varying shades of blue and blue green, it is popular smoothed or rough, pure or with the intricate lines that often trace through the gem.
Sometimes carried in amulets or as adornment, cultures from the ancient Egyptians, Persians, Chinese, and in the Americas, the Atzecs, the Incas, and the native North Americans have all prized the gem. it is considered a symbol of immortality, wisdom, and power to name a few.
Most common perhaps was as a symbol of good fortune, a protection against unnatural death. A common belief shared by many of these civilizations held that turquoise possessed certain preventative medical qualities. It was thought to change colour with the wearer’s health and protect him or her from untoward forces. While the stones do change color it is now thought to be due to light or acidity in the skin.
Some of the most beautiful jewelry is designed by artisans in their own small independent shops. An example of its fine design use can be seen in the lovely and intricate necklace pictured here. Created by Bhavesh, of Jaipur, it’s one of many items he has created. His father too, was master of the craft. Though he died when Bhavesh was only two, he still believes it is a gift from his father.
Almost as interesting as the jewelry itself is the history of the artisans featured here. Raised by a single mother who struggled to support her children. Once he completed his education, he went back to designing jewelry as he had most of his life. Jaipur is considered a long time home of jewelry design in the area.
Turquoise is often represented here in the United States in Aztec or Native North America designs. Beautiful stones, large or small, inlaid in silver, are still so very popular.