A few years ago, I was in Sante Fe, NM with my sister, shopping for turquoise. The native women would line the parks and shop fronts, sitting cross legged on colorful hand woven blankets, with their beautiful stones and jewelry shining on display for the dealers and tourists. Trying to choose a few items was an impossible dilemma, but I heard a story that day that illustrated the historical reverence for turquoise.
A young Indian woman who seemed to be in good health and good spirits, suddenly began to walk with a decided limp, and her speech, normally clear and humorous, began to falter and stammer. Fearing a brain injury, she went to the medicine man, and gave him a detailed account of her life and emotions. He listened, and nodded wisely. He searched his pockets and baskets, and came up with a shiny blue turquoise for her, and explained that, based on the conversation, she was harboring a romantic notion for another woman’s man. The dishonesty in her heart was expressing itself in the limp and stammer. he advised her to carry the stone always, and be true to her friendships. She thanked him for his insight and discretion, and the symptoms, as well as the infatuation, soon went away.
Many of the mines in the US are no longer producing turquoise, or are operated mainly as copper mines, with turquoise mining being performed by secondary leased third parties.
"Sleeping Beauty" mine still produces on of the purest gem quality turquoise specimens available, but since it has little to no matrix or veining, it is also easy to fake.
A good bit of turquoise available in jewelry and online is dyed howlite or magnesite. Terrific stones in their own right, but easily dyed and naturally veined.
Why would you want to wear or carry it?
Turquoise is known as a stone of Truth. It amplifies the core of your essence, and reflects it back to the world. It elevates understanding and compassion. It helps one to communicate in a way that is kind and direct, in word and action. Turquoise jewelry is presently popular with modern culture for its varied and reflective shades of blue, earthy browns and copper veining, with a fashionable trend toward what seems simple and beautiful.
Turquoise is the stone of friendship, healers, and binding social agreements. It is most powerful when given as a gift, transferring its power and honoring the receiver. Up until the last century, turquoise jewelry was only worn by men, they believed it gave them hunting prowess, virility, protected them from physical harm, and strengthened their social bonds and loyalties. Female Shamans wore turquoise to indicate their position, and wisdom. It is said that an untrue heart will not long possess a piece of turquoise, and its a good one to choose to wear or meditate with if your heart is feeling dishonest, or conflicted.
Turquoise is also known as a Master healing stone, it seems to bond with a person on a total assessment scale, adjusting energies that will most benefit the wearer, instead of any singular point of resonance. It is associated with the throat chakra, communication, emotional acceptance, and aiding the respiratory and immune system.
I use it in many of my designs for overall health, emotional peace, and pain relief. On a humorous note, folklore tells a story that turquoise, like people, has a literal breaking point. After it has protected you one too many times, in quick succession, it will literally crack apart, or lose its blueness.