Gem of the Month – December

December is the proud possessor of three different birthstones, of which my personal favourite is turquoise.

Turquoise is a gem of many personalities; revered for centuries by mystics and shamans, used extensively as decoration and ‘medicine’ for thousands of years before the advent of Christianity and other ‘modern’ disciplines, and extensivley copied and subjected to various ‘enhancements’.

Turquoise is believed to bring calm and confidence to the wearer and to be able to help you see through the fog of choices and decisions to allow clarity and logic to prevail. It often features in Ayuverdic healing and other such disciplines and it is suggested that this gorgeous stone clarifies the mind and body.  Turquoise is also said to work effectively with other healing crystals and gemstones as it has the ability to absorb the energies from these for maximum effect and benefit.

But buying turquoise can be a minefield, an absolute quagmire of imitations, treatments and falsehoods. For example, the turquoise coloured bracelet in the picture above is actually howlite that has been dyed to look like turquoise.  I make this clear in the description here, and in my Folksy shop and I would hope that others do the same.

On a personal level I don’t mind this particular manifestation as both stones are said to have some comparable properties in terms of energies and ‘healing’.  I think that howlite is used because, apart from being cheaper, it has natural striations that mimic the matrix turquoise which is prized by many; but, as long as the description refers to this, I’m ok with that.  It’s when poor quality turquoise is crushed and reformed that I begin to have issues, to me that really does seem to be a little disingenuous.

The key, when buying turquoise is to ask questions, to seek out a reputable supplier and to be aware that, as with most purchases, if a deal seems too good to be true then it probably is.