Turquoise. December birthstone.
Opaque semiprecious stone, comes in shades of blue, greenish-blue and green. It is formed by alumina phosphate with a mixture of copper and iron.
The most abundant source of turquoise is ancient Persia, today Iran, from where they arrived in Europe through Turkey, hence its name which means “Turkish” in French.
They have adorned the rulers of Ancient Egypt, the Incas, Moches, Chimus, Aztecs (and possibly other pre-Columbian Mesoamerican cultures), the Persians, Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley Civilization and China since at least the Shang Dynasty.
Since it is considered a protective stone, it has been used as an amulet since time immemorial.
Turquoise is also the gem of the 11th wedding anniversary.