At AC Silver, we are proud to boast a selection of turquoise jewellery for sale.
Our impressive collection of turquoise jewellery covers many eras including; Georgian, Victorian, Edwardian, Art Deco and more.
Andrew Campbell, using his 40 years experience within the antique industry, handpicks all vintage and antique turquoise jewellery for sale.
All of our vintage and antique turquoise jewellery comes with free and insured global shipping.
In most cultures, turquoise has been viewed as a health stone. It is believed that the stone’s surface colour will change to warn the wearer of potential damage. Evil forces are kept at bay by wearing turquoise stones close to the skin.
Chemical reactions between turquoise and acids on the skin, dust in the air, or even artificial components of cosmetics can alter the colour of the stone. In ancient cultures, this colour change was believed to warn of danger. Those with superstitious minds might choose to keep turquoise nearby in order to defend themselves against the unpredictable.
The use of turquoise in Ancient Egyptian burials displays the cultural belief that turquoise is a good-luck charm in both Old and New World societies. Supposedly, wearing turquoise could protect Ancient Persian citizens from an untimely and unnatural death.
In Aztec culture, turquoise was believed to physically embody fire, generating heat. Objects like knives, shields, and masks were inlaid with veins of turquoise, as well as jet, gold, and shells. Turquoise was used by Native Americans for equally ceremonial purposes. Apache tribes used turquoise in their arrows and bows, believing it afforded deadly accuracy to the archer.
The silver and turquoise jewellery famously made by Native Americans in the southwest of America was initially created in the late-1800s. Although turquoise was used in native jewellery for centuries before this, silver was a relatively new crafting material. The distinctive jewellery proved popular with European Colonisers, and so Native Americans became associated with this style. Even today, turquoise jewellery from this region is popular around the world for its relation to the diminishing Native American cultures.
Turquoise is a mineral composed of hydrated phosphate of copper and aluminium, giving it its opaque colouring. The idiochromatic copper in its formation can affect its colouring whilst most examples are the blue-green combination associated with the name, it’s possible to find sky-blue turquoise, or even white turquoise. Many examples of turquoise also feature specks of pyrite or limonite veins, creating dark slivers within the blue hues.
The name turquoise evolved from the French ‘pierre tourques’, meaning Turkish stone, as majority of the turquoise in Europe was originally imported from Turkey’s Ottoman Empire. In North America, turquoise is found in great abundance. It was one of the earliest gemstones to be mined, and many sites have been entirely depleted as demand has grown. Egypt, Iran, and the United States are among the largest exporters of turquoise.
Turquoise is mined in the southwest of the United States in particular, as well as in northern Mexico. California, Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico are all rich in turquoise deposits. Native Americans used turquoise in their trading, as well as for jewellery, tools, and other crafts. In the West, turquoise was not culturally significant until much later, becoming a papal stone in the 1300s.
In Persia, turquoise was used as religious decoration. Featured on everything from turbans to mosques, turquoise was believed to represent the union between Heaven and Earth. Many Ancient Persian palaces have turquoise featured in their domes, strengthening the holiness of the palace and its inhabitants.
Perhaps the most iconic item crafted with turquoise is the burial mask of Tutankhamun. Inlaid with lapis lazuli, carnelian, and turquoise, this mask has been treasured around the world since its discovery in 1925. The piece is one of the most widely-known pieces of art in the world.
If you know someone who could use some guidance with a birthday in December, perhaps a birthstone jewellery gift can help them put things into perspective. Equally, a piece of vintage or antique turquoise jewellery can guide them away from anything sinister they might face.