Long prized for its intense color, turquoise is one of the world’s most ancient gemstones. It adorned Egyptian pharaohs, the Aztecs of Mexico, and early Native Americans. Many cultures have believed that this gem will guarantee its wearer good health, good fortune, and protection from evil. The word turquoise comes from the French name for Turkish stone, as this gemstone probably first arrived in Europe from Turkish sources.
Natural turquoise varies from sky blue to shades of green, and from opaque to semi-translucent. Most natural stones have veins, which are known as the matrix. Makers of fine jewelry usually avoid showing any matrix, but you’ll see that many designers of costume jewelry have produced both unlined sky-blue stones as well as the matrix type, with the web as an integral part of the design.
How to Wear It
If you associate turquoise jewelry only with a western- or bohemian-style of the 1960s/1970s, you’re in for a surprise: turquoise can be worn beautifully with a range of today’s styles. This color works especially well with black, white, and denim, so I’ve chosen a more casual look for this month’s styling tips. Each outfit is based on jeans, a white shirt, and a black or navy jacket. But don’t limit yourself to these combinations. Turquoise jewelry adds a pop of color to any neutral and makes a bolder statement when paired with contrasting colors such as purple, yellow, and coral.
1. If you follow my posts, you already know that I love to wear black and blue together. Here I’ve topped blue jeans with a black-and-white striped shirt and black jacket. These Turquoise & Sapphire 1950s Earrings by Alice Caviness each feature a large, textured, button-shaped turquoise glass stone surrounded by small turquoise and sapphire glass beads. Each center stone has a wonderful swirl of shades of blue, which resemble raw turquoise (pictured above) to some extent. These ear clips would go just as well with more formal business attire, in black, navy, grey, or other neutrals. A black bag and bright blue ballet flats, which I think are fun, complete the ensemble, but you could stick with black shoes.
2. Whether perched on jacket lapels, adorning berets, clipped onto shoes, scattered around collars, or fastened to handbags, brooches are the most versatile yet most underappreciated jewelry accessory. For this outfit, I’ve pinned this Turquoise & Silver Leaf 1950s Brooch by Marcel Boucher to the shoulder of a navy wool jacket, as this blazer has no lapels. The cabochon turquoise glass stones in robin’s egg blue with gold-tone veins imitate the real gemstone really well, and the textured, silver-tone leaves furl gracefully. If you wear earrings, you could wear silver hoops, balls, or textured knots (like the ones shown here). A fun denim bag and ankle boots complete this look.
3. I wear black jeans as often as blue ones, so I’ve put together a black-and-white jeans outfit that you can dress up or down, depending on the occasion. For a bit of dressing up, adorn a round-necked white top with this Turquoise Molded Glass Bead & Diamanté 1950s Necklace. The beads and rhinestone accents are wired onto a brass-colored link base, which is adjustable via the hook-and-tail clasp. Roll back your sleeves and add a matching bracelet. If you wear earrings, your faux or real diamond studs would coordinate perfectly with the sparkle in both pieces. I have the matching earrings, but I think simpler ones would work better. These flats are dressy (and I couldn’t resist the polka dots), but you could wear heels if you prefer.
4. Another brooch – this Turquoise, Diamanté & Gold Leaf 1950s Brooch by Hattie Carnegie – is the major jewel in this more casual ensemble. This time six turquoise stones and many rhinestones embellish a furled, textured gold-tone leaf. This piece is a great choice if you want a more subtle display of this birthstone. I’ve added textured gold ball earrings, but you could also wear diamond (real or faux) studs or simple gold hoops. This elegant brooch works just as well with dressier attire.
5. For a completely different look, here are Turquoise Drop French 1950s Earrings in the style of Louis Rousselet. A large turquoise glass nugget dangles from a large button-shaped stone that clips to the earlobe. The art glass resembles turquoise gems with veins. These earrings add a punch of color to another black-and-white with jeans ensemble.
For More Turquoise Jewels
Visit the boutique to see the December Birthstone collection here.