Color of the Month
It’s a color, it’s a gemstone.
It’s revered as holding special properties by many Native American tribes.
It’s turquoise. And it’s April’s color of the month.
The word ‘turquoise’ is thought to have originated in the thirteenth century from the French ‘pierre tourques’ or ‘Turkish stone’ which lends credence to the belief that the gemstone was introduced to Europeans through sources originating in Turkey.
From the Middle East to countries and cultures in North and South America, this somewhat soft stone is believed to provide protection, promote healing, bring fortune and good luck, and help to clear a troubled mind. Among some ancient peoples, it was considered a commodity more valuable than gold.
The Aztec, Navajo, Zuni, and Hopi tribes all believed the beautiful blue-green stone to be sacred and reserved its use for the most important people and ceremonies.
And you only have to take one look at the indescribable funerary mask of the Egyptian boy king, Tutankhamen, to know how important it was to that early civilization.
There, inlaid in the gold, alongside lapis lazuli, carnelian, faience, and obsidian, among others, the cool light blue color of the turquoise makes a stunning contrast.
Leaving the gemstone aside for the moment and focusing on the color. Not quite blue, but not green, either.
If colors have ‘feeling’ to them then turquoise is the Zen of the kaleidoscope. The color is regarded as refreshing, calming, sophisticated, serene, creative, and balanced. On the cooler side of the color spectrum, it also brings thoughts of spring, lightness and rebirth.
I love the color and the gemstone. It’s a happy color, reminiscent of the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Barcelona, Spain, the slightly brighter than pastel hue of Fiesta tableware, and some of my favorite pieces of jewelry.
So let’s talk about some turquoise luxuries.
notebook/journal – This handy little bound notebook is the perfect size for your purse, tote, or backpack. Its adorable dotted design on faux leather contains 160 pristine lined pages for you to write, draw or doodle on-the-go. Markings by C.E. Gibson 3″x6″ leatherette journal, $6.
scarf – For the versatile summer accent you can’t do without, a lightweight linen or cotton scarf is ideal to throw around you in a chilly theater, add a pop of color to a neutral, monochromatic outfit, or to protect your bare shoulders from too much sun. Ombre Pashmina Scarf, $30.
earbuds – The search for comfortable earbuds that provide exceptional sound quality ends here. With 4 different sized tips, 2 sizes of comfort cushions, and a built-in microphone/remote control, this set from JLabs delivers a remarkable listening experience guaranteed to make the most of your music playlists. JLab Core Custom Fit Earbuds, $20.
nail polish – Keep your tootsies and fingers looking fabulous with environmentally friendly Zoya polish. Great coverage, high shine, and over 300 colors to choose from will make Zoya your go-to nail colors. Also check out their Earth Day Polish Exchange to get rid of old polishes you no longer wear. Zoya nail polish in Robyn, $10.
flip flops – Live in sandals in the summer? Then these extra cushioned flip flops from Coach are a must have. You can still pick up a pair for a decent price on eBay. Coach Judy Signature “C” Flip Flops, $60.
bracelet – No one creates silver and turquoise jewelry like Native American artists. Invest in an exquisite piece like this sterling cuff with 8 inlaid chunks of cabochon turquoise from Navajo craftsman Jimmie Patterson and dress up a casual look, or make a statement with a dressier feel. Navajo Silver & Turquoise Cuff Bracelet, $595.
bowl – Art pottery can be beautiful, functional, or both. Whether you’re perking up a room, or starting a collection, you can usually find an endless variety at local flea markets, antique malls, and junk shops. Uncertain about what pieces to get?? Buy what you like and you can’t go wrong. Van Briggle Oak Leaf and Acorn Bowl Ming Glaze, $71.
Turquoise remains a sought after and valuable gemstone, as well as a popular color, in favor far longer than the 1950s craze would suggest. And while it will always remind me of Easter Sundays and days spent walking through Santa Fe’s Plaza of the Governors, I’ll leave you with one final example of how personal it is to me. When I was little, my grandparents gave me a tiny navy velvet box containing a sterling silver ring in the shape of a flower with a small piece of cabochon cut turquoise in the middle. It was such a special thing to have and I always think of them in conjunction with it, as well. Something that made me feel so special and still brings lovely memories, even today.
Tell me about turquoise in your world in the comments.