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Turquoise Beads

Could any other stone be more associated with American jewelry-making? One of the oldest gemstones known to humans, turquoise is highly prized for its vivid coloring and the ease with which it can be carved. Turquoise derives its name from Renaissance France, where Europeans were introduced to the stone via Turkey (though those stones were traded from Iran). Turquoise has been used in jewelry-making for at least 5,000 years! In the Americas, turquoise has been utilized since at least 200 BC in the American southwest. Turquoise from this area often was traded to MesoAmerican groups, including the Aztecs.

Turquoise contains copper and aluminum, as a hydrated phosphate.

Turquoise is said to be a healing and protective stone, and is a December birthstone.