A Writers Guide to Turquoise

turquoise and quartz

turquoise and quartz

Turquoise, an opaque mineral, is a hydrous phosphate of copper and aluminium. The color varies greatly from sky blue to green.

This stone shows up in most of antiquity including ancient Egypt, Aztec culture, Persia, Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley, and ancient China.

The word turquoise is derived from the old French word “Turquie” meaning “Turkish” because it was first brought to Europe from Turkey. The stone has been known by many names: Pliny the Elder called it callais, the Aztecs called it Teoxihuitl, and the Persians (Iranians) called it pirouzeh meaning “victory.” Ancient Egyptians called it mefkat, which means “joy” and “delight.”

History and Lore

  • The oldest artifacts with turquoise are four bracelets found on the mummified arm of Queen Zar, who ruled Egypt c. 5500 BCE.
  • Native Americans believed it to be a holy stone and one of protection, in particular it brought protection to a horse and its rider.
  • In the Middle Ages, it was believed the stone made women virtuous and loyal.
  • In the 13th century, turquoise was believed to protect the wearer from falling.
  • Most physicians in the 15th century included turquoise as part of their medical equipment with the belief that the stone counteracted the effects of poison.
  • Worn around the wrist or neck, it protects against unnatural death.
  • If turquoise changes color, it warns the wearer of danger or illness.
  • Thrown into a stream or held under water, it will bring rain.
  • Turquoise is considered a symbol of generosity, sincerity, and affection.
Empress Marie-Louise Diadem

Empress Marie-Louise Diadem

Famous Turqoise

  • Empress Marie-Louise Diadem: set in silver and gold with 79 Persian turquoise stones and 1,006 old mine cut diamonds; the turquoise are very blue stones; originally set with emeralds.
  • Double-headed Serpent | Aztec Serpent: 15th-16th century icon of Mexican (Aztec) art; made with wood, turquoise, pine resin, and shell; probably worn on ceremonial occasions.
  • King Tut’s Funeral Mask: King Tutankhamen’s golden funeral mask is inlaid with turquoise, lapis, and carnelian.

turquoise with bright pyrite microcrystals

Magical and Mystical Properties include

  • alleviating rheumatism, gout, stomach problems, viral infections
  • increasing growth and muscular strength
  • alleviating pain
  • protecting against pollution
  • relieving depression and exhaustion
  • promoting marital harmony
  • preserving friendships
  • promoting honest and clear communication
  • promoting happiness
  • promoting good fortune
  • drawing out negative energy
  • bringing good luck (if received at a gift)
  • opening one’s mind
  • cleansing one’s energy centers
  • promoting psychic sensitivity
  • connecting to the spirit world
  • aiding in astral projection
  • often used in love spells

*Use with copper to increase its power.

Discharging & Recharging

Discharge turquoise once a month in a bowl of dry, tumbled hematite stones. To recharge turquoise, place it in a bowl with rock crystals overnight (avoid sunlight). (In stone therapy, when using stones to heal, their energy is used up, requiring the stones to be recharged.)

This is a reference for fiction writers and should not be taken as medical or spiritual advice.

gemstone index
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  1. Sounds like it has a very positive force.

  2. I always thought it was a pretty color. We saw a lot of it when living in NM.

  3. This is such a beautiful stone. And turquoise has been a hugely popular color recently. I see it everywhere.

    Happy reading and writing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

  4. How does it rain when under water? That sounds interesting. Love the colour of course.

  5. This could be very useful in a story.

  6. I love looking at turquoise. I don’t own any. But I do like looking at it if I see it displayed in stores.

    Thanks for the in-depth skinny on turquiouse!

  7. Hi Holly .. turquoise is such an amazing colour .. I associate it with scarab beetles – the jewellery often created, which uses turquoise for its shell ..

    It featured so heavily in Ancient Egyptian life.

    I love all the descriptions and detail you’ve given us .. cheers Hilary

  8. In our little spot of Texas, we’re still under extreme drought conditions. Perhaps I need to round up every piece of turquoise I can get my hands on and put it in the sink tonight when I do dishes. I love your posts on stones 🙂

  9. Interesting. I had no idea it had so many properties!

  10. Fascinating post. I use some “crystal magic” in my current WIP and will likely add more as the story progresses, so these posts are great. Turquoise is a favorite of mine. Until recently I thought all turquoise was just … uh … turquoise in color? Then I tried matching a turquoise ring I own. Who knew the color had so many variations?

    VR Barkowski

  11. I am not sure if I would ever need this information for my writing, but I find the uses and history of gemstones fascinating.

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H.R. Sinclair © 2016
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