How far back does turquoise go? The earliest evidence of turquoise gemstones has been found in ancient Egyptian tombs, containing elaborate turquoise jewelry dating back to 3000 BCE. King Tut’s iconic burial was extravagantly adorned with turquoise. The oldest known turquoise mines are in the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt. Egyptians called turquoise mefkat, meaning “joy” and “delight”

Ancient Persians decorated extensively with turquoise. Turquoise covered palace domes because its sky-blue color represented heaven. Later this inspired the use of turquoise in buildings such as the Taj Mahal. Persians believing turquoise guaranteed protection, they adorned their daggers and horses’ bridles. Their name for the stone meant “victory”. They believed it offered protection by changing color to warn off pending doom.

Turkish traders introduced this “Persian blue” stone to Europe via the Sild Road in the 13th century, which influenced the gemstone’s name. The word “turquoise” comes from the French pierre tourques for “Turkish stone”

Native American shamans used it in sacred ceremonies to commune with the spirit of the sky. Apache Indians believed that attaching turquoise to bows and later, firearms improved a hunter’s accuracy.
Turquoise became valuable in Native American trade, carrying the stone toward South America. Aztecs cherished turquoise for its protective power and used it on ceremonial masks, knives and shields. The turquoise and silver jewelry that’s commonly associated with Native American jewelry today originated in the 1880's.