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Turquoise History and Facts

April 07, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 101

It is widely believed that turquoise was brought to the western world, starting with Europe, from the eastern Mediterranean area by various traders, back then simply referred to as Turks. In fact, I just found out that the word "Turquoise" itself has its origin in the French language that simply means "the stone from Turkey". But what few people might not realize is that turquoise was used for centuries before it made it to the western world. It is believed that ancient Egyptians were the first to discover the turquoise stones, mostly in what is referred to today as the Sinai Peninsula, and they used it for many purposes. One distinct and definitely unusual for today's standards is its use as a religious ornament that was believed to protect the bearer of evil and keep him/her safe during his/her daily life in a world that was filled with beasts and danger of all kinds.

When archeologists and Egyptologists today study the ancient Egyptian history, they find that turquoise can easily be considered one of the most important materials for ancient Egyptians, maybe even second only to gold. Turquoise was used in temples, in palaces, in the making of decorative pottery and royal ornaments, and of course, in the making of jewelry. It is known today that as far as the first ancient Egyptian dynasty, both kings and queens wore full collar necklaces, which today are mostly attributed to Queen Cleopatra even though she was born about 2000 years after that time period.

The first well documented use of turquoise in jewelry can be tied to the great Queen Nefertiti. Again, the full collar necklace usually referred to as "Cleopatra's Necklace" was worn centuries before that by Queen Nefertiti (and maybe other queens that are less known to us today). The remains of some of the necklaces worn by Queen Nefertiti have been found by archeologists in the early twentieth century in the area referred to as the Valley of Kings (though it has more treasures that belong to queens but as usual, it has always been a man's world so we shouldn't be surprised!). In any case, the remains of those necklaces show how sacred scarabs (as it is well known that ancient Egyptians considered the scarab beetles to be of extraordinary religious value), made of genuine turquoise stones cover the necklace from all angles. Even if we ignore the historical value of such a necklace, it can easily be assessed to cost a fortune if we just consider the amount of gold used.

That being said, I should mention that people today don't have to pay millions of dollars to get their hands on perfect reproductions of those turquoise inlaid necklaces which are available from several online stores, while the one I prefer the most is a relatively new store by the name of Nina of Egypt. Checkout their so called " Cleopatra Necklace " embossed with turquoise scarabs. If I never saw the original Nefertiti necklace, that one would have been more than I could have dreamt of.

Source: EzineArticles
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Turquoise Necklaces


Cleopatra Necklaces


Turquoise Jewelry


Genuine Turquoise


Ancient Egypt

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