Native American Indians  and the origins of turquoise jewelry

Legend has it that the Native American Indians danced and rejoiced when the rains came. Their tears of joy mixed with the rain and seeped into Mother Earth to become SkyStone Turquoise.

Turquoise, the "fallen sky stone" hidden in Mother Earth, has been valued by cultures for its beauty and reputed spiritual and life-giving qualities for over 7000 years. It is a true gem of the centuries. A long time ago someone noticed a clear blue line running through gray rock, and saw the imagery of sky and water in stone, and from that time on, turquoise has been cherished above all else in creation - turquoise, stone of sky, stone of water, stone of blessings, good fortune, protection, good health and long life.

Elsewhere, turquoise may come and go with fashion. Here turquoise is more precious than gold, an enduring expression of Native American Indian culture. It is the birthstone of December and signifies success.

There is a wonderful fascination to turquoise, a feeling that takes hold of a person who comes in contact with it for a while. The fascination has been the same down through the centuries and it has been prized for thousands of years through many countries of the world.

Photo Credit: Arland Ben Source

Native American Indians had as many different words for turquoise as there were languages spoken. Many of the words translated into English as the sky stone evoking the sky-blue shade of the stone most commonly found. Native Americans had been working turquoise mines with stone mauls and antler picks for centuries before the arrival of the Europeans.

Native Americans believe that the earth is alive and that all things, no matter how small or apparently inanimate, are precious. To the Native Americans, turquoise is life. There are stones medicine men keep in their sacred bundles because they possess powers of healing. Stones and crystals have unique attributed that support and heal us. Turquoise, especially, is known for its positive healing energy, an aid in mental functions, communications and expression and as a protector. If you’re wearing a turquoise ring and you look down and see a crack in your stone, the Native Americans would say “the stone took it”, meaning the stone took the blow that you would have received.

Responses to "The Story of SkyStone Turquoise and the Meaning to Native Americans"

  1. Anonymous says:

    Some natural blue to blue-green materials, such as this botryoidal chrysocolla with drusy quartz, are occasionally confused with, or used to imitate turquoise.

    The Egyptians were the first to produce an artificial imitation of turquoise, in the glazed earthenware product faience. Later glass and enamel were also used, and in modern times more sophisticated porcelain, plastics, and various assembled, pressed, bonded, and sintered products (composed of various copper and aluminium compounds) have been developed: examples of the latter include "Viennese turquoise", made from precipitated aluminium phosphate coloured by copper oleate; and "neolith", a mixture of bayerite and copper phosphate. Most of these products differ markedly from natural turquoise in both physical and chemical properties, but in 1972 Pierre Gilson introduced one fairly close to a true synthetic (it does differ in chemical composition owing to a binder used, meaning it is best described as a simulant rather than a synthetic). Gilson turquoise is made in both a uniform colour and with black "spiderweb matrix" veining not unlike the natural Nevada material.

    The most common imitation of turquoise encountered today is dyed howlite and magnesite, both white in their natural states, and the former also having natural (and convincing) black veining similar to that of turquoise. Dyed chalcedony, jasper, and marble is less common, and much less convincing. Other natural materials occasionally confused with or used in lieu of turquoise include: variscite and faustite;[5] chrysocolla (especially when impregnating quartz); lazulite; smithsonite; hemimorphite; wardite; and a fossil bone or tooth called odontolite or "bone turquoise", coloured blue naturally by the mineral vivianite. While rarely encountered today, odontolite was once mined in large quantities—specifically for its use as a substitute for turquoise—in southern France.

    These fakes are detected by gemologists using a number of tests, relying primarily on non-destructive, close examination of surface structure under magnification; a featureless, pale blue background peppered by flecks or spots of whitish material is the typical surface appearance of natural turquoise, while manufactured imitations will appear radically different in both colour (usually a uniform dark blue) and texture (usually granular or sugary). Glass and plastic will have a much greater translucency, with bubbles or flow lines often visible just below the surface. Staining between grain boundaries may be visible in dyed imitations.

    Some destructive tests may, however, be necessary; for example, the application of diluted hydrochloric acid will cause the carbonates odontolite and magnesite to effervesce and howlite to turn green, while a heated probe may give rise to the pungent smell so indicative of plastic. Differences in specific gravity, refractive index, light absorption (as evident in a material's absorption spectrum), and other physical and optical properties are also considered as means of separation.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I enjoyed this story about turquoise, I'd always wondered why I loved the stone so much. I'm a sixty year old English woman, but have always been drawn to Native American spirituality. The photographs that go with the writing are stunning. Thank you.

  3. Anonymous says:


  4. Unknown says:

    I am Swiss but have been ^surrounded^ by Turquoises since Childhood. My Mother collected some Turquoise jewellery. When I was young she used to wear a particularly nice big ring of this stone. She became very sick once but insisted on not taking her Turquoise ring off. Amazing: as she became better the ring became paler, as if he had given healing blue energy to my Mother ! Personally I feel attracted to greenish golden Turquoises. I recently got one from a Tibetan Wedding Bonnet. A beautiful stone I always have near me....

  5. Anonymous says:

    I have always been fascinated with turtle ornaments. Turquoise ones in particular. I had one as a kid. I would imagine a positive outcome whilst rubbing its shell then briefly blow on its back. I carried that turtle with me and imagined that it gave me protection. A funny thing to do in retrospect but I was a kid. I also used to dream of turquoise objects and for some strange reason they induced a profound sadness. So much so that I would wake-up crying. Completely bewildered as to what it was about the object in particular and the color turquoise in general that brought me to tears.

  6. Anonymous says:

    My mother cherished turquoise and loved making jewelry with it. Perhaps she was Native American in a past life? To this day, that color is my favorite.

  7. Unknown says:

    whenever I am stressed or having a hard time I wear my turquoise. It brings me peace. I have loved it ever since I was a kid. My turquoise and sitting at the ocean is what brings me peace.

  8. Unknown says:

    Loved the story.

  9. They sky to me, since I was a child seemed holy. It floated above us, but also lived in our lungs. I am not Native American, but have always been drawn to the south west and the colors. Thank you for the story, helps me to see the watch band I wear in a new way, as well as some rings.

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