Not only is Native American turquoise jewelry known for its beauty and uniqueness, an array of legends and stories go along with owning a piece of this beautifully handcrafted jewelry. Although there are variations in Native American jewelry, much of it is composed of turquoise and silver, because they compliment one another nicely and because both minerals were readily available for Native American Indians.
Even though Native Americans are notorious for their crafty ways with turquoise, they are not the only culture to have used the stone to create turquoise jewelry. Since early 5000 B.C., turquoise has been considered a precious stone, and members of high ranking like King Tutankhamen and Queen Zer of Egypt were found in their burial tombs lush with turquoise jewelry. Native American Indians have been crafting this precious jewelry since the late 1800’s, leaving legacies for years after. Aztecs also appeared to have an appreciation for it, as they included the jewelry in their offerings to their almighty God. Legend suggests that not only is turquoise jewelry beautiful, it holds mysterious powers that have the ability to heal illnesses and prevent disease in anyone who owns them. Another legend that has been passed on is that of the protective power of this jewelry. Some say that if someone were wearing a turquoise ring, with a crack in it, that it would protect the person from receiving the injury that was originally meant for them.
Caring for a piece of turquoise jewelry is no easy task. It needs to be treated and watched very carefully, because even daily usage can break down a piece of turquoise to irreparability. Turquoise is a very soft mineral that scratches and breaks easily, and for that reason those who own it need to be careful that it doesn’t come into contact with harder metals that may scratch it, harsh soap, or grease that can ruin its luster with use. If taken care of properly, this jewelry can be an asset for many years, offering good fortune and health according to legend.
Joseph Paige © 2006