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December Birthstone: Turquoise
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Turquoise is the one of the official birth stones for the month of December as adopted by the American National Association of Jewelers in 1912 and the Planetary stone for Aquarius, Taurus and Sagittarius. See the birthstone tables for additional references to this stone.
The name turquoise is apparently related to the fact that is was brought to Europe from the Eastern Mediterranean by Levantine traders, more commonly known as Turks. Its been used as a valuable ornament for ages and was used by the Egyptians thousands of years ago. The color is, of course, turquoise, but its range of color varies from green and greenish blue to sky blue shades.
For centuries, the most valuable turquoise came from Iran (Persia) but today some specimens mined in the southwestern United States compete with it. The name "Persian Turquoise" is now generally used to refer to any turquoise stone that does not have the black or brown veining commonly found in turquoise mined in the United States and used in a style of jewelry created by the American Indians.
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