Welcome, December, and your birthstone, the Turquoise.
The sublime blue-green stone has been mined and used decoratively for thousands of years although the modern(ish) name “Turquoise” dates back only to the 1600’s—from the French word “Turques” (after the “Turks” who first brought the stone to Europe from Persia). Some of the oldest turquoise mining occurred in Persia where the domes of palaces were clad in the beautiful mineral symbolizing “Heaven on Earth.” Turquoise was also found in the Southwest Sinai Peninsula (c. 3,000 BC) where the Egyptians mined and used it—quite famously on the golden mask of King Tutankhamen. In the New World, turquoise has been mined (and used) in the American Southwest and Mexico. Turquoise amulets, worn around the neck, were believed to ward-off and prevent the wearer’s unnatural death.
The English Arts & Crafts brooch, pictured above, is not true turquoise—it is crafted art glass, beautifully-rendered to emulate the semi-precious stone. The shield-form brooch itself is sterling-fronted and was made around 1910. It employs spiraling, angular Celtic line work—typical of Arts & Crafts design which sometimes referenced ancient local folklore and aesthetic history. Coincidentally, it also bears a resemblance to Ancient Mexican design.
And it's just right as a nice Hanakkah present—silver and blue! Please click upon the photo above to learn more about it.
LEO Design's Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed. While we contemplate our next shop location, please visit our on-line store which continues to operate (www.LEOdesignNYC.com).
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