This blue stone has been admired and adopted for its beauty for thousands of years, as proven by the ruins of ancient turquoise mines in the Egyptian desert of Sinai (4,000 years BC).
At that time turquoise was used for personal adornment (necklaces and rings) and, sculpted into a beetle shape or engraved with ritual inscriptions, worn as a talisman. It was even ground into a powder and used as eye makeup.
First adopted by ancient civilizations, its intense color (which varies from sky blue to green-blue depending on the amount of iron and copper it contains) has never ceased to seduce populations throughout the world.
For over fifteen hundred years the finest specimens have been mined in the Nishapur region of Iran, from where they were exported to Europe, India and Arabia, often via Turkey from which it took its name.
Other turquoise mines were exploited in Tibet, China, Mexico and North America. Nineteenth-century Europe, inspired by the Romantic movement then by Art Nouveau, adored the turquoise. The Art Deco style made particular use of matrix turquoise, which is crisscrossed with brown (limonite) or black (jasper) veins.
Turquoise entered into the subtle color combinations created by Cartier for its Egyptian-style creations in the 1910s, when it was matched with lapis-lazuli for contrasting shades of blue, then again in the 1920s for the jeweler's Art Deco-style creations, when Cartier took its favorite color combination of green and blue to new heights using turquoise, blue enamel, jade and lapis. Hydrous basic phosphate of aluminum, copper and iron. Hardness: 5.5 to 6. Birthstone of the month of December. Its planet is Mercury. Brazil, Chile, China, Iran, Mexico, Peru, Tibet.