The Turquoise Stone in Native American Culture

Two Native Americans playing a traditional musical instrument

Like most gemstones, turquoise possesses mystical qualities that make it a highly valuable gem, especially to people who believe in the metaphysical nature of these stones. This alluring blue stone is chemically a hydrous sulfate of copper and aluminum, meaning it’s a mineral amalgamation of copper and aluminum sulfate with water. 

The Turquoise Stone: A Brief Overview of Significance

The turquoise stone holds immense significance in the world of alternative medicine. Many spiritual healers, chakra healers more than others, believe in the gem’s ability to nurse the human soul and use it in their therapeutic procedures. If you have ever been to a holistic therapy session, you may have seen various stones that the masters use throughout treatment, depending on the ailment. While many gems are used for alternative cures, turquoise is the top contender, especially when combating negative energies and evil spirits. 

This December birthstone is believed to bring serenity into a person’s life. They believe that people suffering from anxiety and exhaustion can also hugely benefit from the turquoise stone. 

The turquoise gemstone
Photo by Sophie Louisnard on Unsplash

This azure gem can supposedly prevent panic attacks and instill inner peace in people who feel lost and directionless.

Aside from the apparent extraterrestrial benefits of turquoise, plenty of physical gains are obtained from the stone.

For instance, many proponents of turquoise believe that it facilitates the absorption of food in the body and deals with various gut problems.

Moreover, the blue gem is considered a mystical cure for inflammation and toxicity. This mineral is widely recognized for its superior features, but not everyone is a fan. 

With that said, a large majority of traditionalists do believe in the supposed physical and metaphysical benefits of the turquoise stone, but none revere it more like the Native Americans. The indigenous people of America are said to have associated the turquoise stone with a lot more than just protection from evil.

Let’s take a look at the relationship between the blue gem and its number one admirers to acquire a better understanding of their belief in this precious gem. 

The Native Americans and the Turquoise Stone 

Native Americans believe that the earth is a living, breathing entity and everything inside it is precious and praiseworthy. Since the people venerate the world profoundly, they regard every natural element highly and the turquoise stone is no exception. 

However, it must be noted that this birthstone is not only valued because it’s a natural crystal; if that were the case, then native Americans would deem every naturally occurring mineral sacred. Although they consider all gemstones blessed to some extent, the turquoise mineral holds a superior status among all others, via a myth that is responsible for elevating the position of the stone in the eyes of Native Americans. 

The Turquoise Myth

Legend has it that the Navajo tribe of the indigenous community of America believed that after a long period of drought, when it finally rained, human tears would seep deep into the earth, becoming turquoise eventually. Many continue to believe the myth to this day.

For Native Americans, the stone represents life and nature. This belief stems partly from the widespread myth and the sky-blue color of the gem.

Since turquoise carries shades of blue that are reminiscent of the colors of the earth and sky, it becomes a manifestation of life in the form of crystals. Moreover, the Navajo also believed that a turquoise crystal was a piece of the sky falling on the earth as a blessing; therefore, it must be cherished and celebrated like no other stone. 

Mystical Properties of Turquoise Believed by Native Americans

Native Americans consisted of multiple communities, such as the Aztecs, Acoma Pueblo, Maya, and Navajos. All these tribes regarded turquoise as higher than most other gems and associated several metaphysical properties with it. Among all the commonly believed mystical powers, these were touted as undeniable. 

The Native Americans believed that the appealing blue stone brought good fortune and wealth to people. They would keep it close in hopes of acquiring money and status. Furthermore, they would exchange it as a gift frequently, as doing so was supposed to bring prosperity to the recipient. 

The Navajo tribe thought that the gods of rain liked the turquoise stone and would throw it in river water when trying to appease the deities.

According to the historical archives, the Navajos were the fondest of the turquoise stone among all Native American tribes. They would use the gem as a talisman and send it along with warriors to the battlefield to ensure victory. 

Another Navajo-related turquoise tradition that demonstrates how much the said tribe venerated the crystal is paying homage to Estsanatlehi, a goddess during all Navajo coming-of-age ceremonies. Legend has it that she was made with the turquoise stone; hence, possessed more extraordinary powers and the right to be worshipped. 

Apache, another Native American tribe, associated the December birthstone with rain and thought it came from the ends of a rainbow. The people of Apache would use it to stay safe from evil energies and gain strength, especially during war. 

The people of Pima regarded the stone as a source of skill learning. They would use it to gain expertise in any field as it was supposed to stimulate the mind’s creative ability. 

The Hopi thought that it was the waste product of lizards that traveled between the earth and heaven. The supposed transcendental nature of the stone made it all the more vulnerable for the said community. 

One property that was universally associated with the turquoise stone in the Native American population was its ability to keep the human soul protected from demons. Almost all tribes, big and small, including Maya, Aztec, Inca, and Zuni, believed that turquoise bearers would always be safe from evil spirits. Therefore, people would strive with all they had to get their hands on a piece of turquoise. They would travel far and wide to find turquoise to ward off evil spirits. 

Zunis believed that the different shades of cool colors featured on a turquoise stone, namely green and blue, represented females and males respectively-another connection between the crystal and life. 

Although there is no scientific proof to back the rampant theories related to the turquoise, people continue to believe in the mystical powers of the turquoise gemstone.



How to Pick the Right Gemstone

There are thousands of varieties of gemstones. When deciding on one, it can be quite an overwhelming task. That is why it is important that you are not impulsive and instead look at the various factors that can help you choose the right one. 

From color to cut, many different aspects come into play. Keep reading this gemstone reading guide that covers eight different factors that will influence your buying decision:


Assortment of gemstonesColor is of the utmost importance when it comes to gemstones. If you want to wear a gemstone, you should choose a color that suits you best and resonates with your personality. 

Every gemstone has its unique shades of colors and some even come in a variety of them. Colors can greatly affect your mood, emotions and attitude and therefore, the gemstone you pick should be a color that brings out positivity and good vibes. 

In addition to that, some believe that colors also have healing properties. For example, blue gemstones are known to have a calming effect and relax the body, whereas an orange gemstone is said to promote feelings of happiness, wisdom and creativity.


Most notable with diamonds, it is a term used to measure the weight of a particular stone. Carat is an important factor to consider when picking out the right gemstone. Most gemstones are available in various sizes; however, sometimes your options may be limited in certain stones. 

Carat is also important because it reflects the purity and rarity of a piece. This can come in use later if you’re going to sell the stone. Carats may vary from stone to stone. For example, when it comes to diamonds, size is less important than the quality of the diamond; people prefer larger carat weights due to their higher status and value.


Fine Cut DiamondProbably the most important factor of a gemstone, especially with diamonds. The cut is more significant than the shape and refers to the appearance of a gemstone. It refers to the way the proportions, polish and symmetry of the stone are put together, which includes a rating of excellent, very good, good, fair, and poor and references how much light is reflected from the stone. 

The way that a gem is cut can strongly affect its overall value due to its influence on color. Well-cut stones are known to bring out the beauty of a stone, therefore, enhancing its overall grade. On the other hand, poorly cut stones will cause the light to leak out of the stone instead of being brought back to the viewer’s eye.

The cut is that element that ties the stone’s color, clarity and carat weight together. Choose a stone that is visually appealing and one where light spreads evenly across it instead of it having lifeless dark areas.


Clarity or the absence of flaws is another crucial factor that will affect your buying decision. Choose a stone that is sparkling clean without any imperfections. Clarity is judged on the stone’s species and variety. This is done to keep in mind the differences in the formation of environments for different minerals. Different stones have different clarity grades, so you might want to do your research before choosing one.


Another determining factor for many people when picking a gemstone is their birthstone. If you’re wondering what this is, a birthstone is a gemstone that represents a person’s birth month and the personality traits associated with it. Even though it is considered to be a modern concept, the origin of birthstones dates back to biblical times. Many traditions and cultures continue to follow the tradition of the birthstone even today and for many, it is just a fashion statement. 

Here is the list below:

January- Garnet
February- Amethyst
March- Aquamarine
April- Diamond
May- Emerald
June- Alexandrite|
July- Ruby
August- Peridot
September- Sapphire
October- Pink Tourmaline
November- Topaz
December- Blue Topaz


Let’s not forget this one. The prices of gemstones vary and some can be ridiculously expensive, depending on their rarity and quality. Some, such as the pink diamond are said to be $1.19 million per carat! Before setting your heart on one, find out the price and see if it’s in your budget.


Apart from how it looks, the quality and durability of the stone are of utmost importance too. You want it to last, right? When looking at durability, you can check the hardness of the stone. The hardness is what will determine the ‘wear and tear’ of the stone. If your gemstone is likely to come into contact with surfaces, this is especially true for rings and bracelets, then remember to pick one that has a Mohs hardness rating of seven or higher. The hardness is essentially the stone’s resistance to scratching. You don’t want to wear a stone with scratches all over it.  The harder it is, the better.

Healing Properties

You must have heard of healing crystals as they are all the hype right now. If you’re wondering what they are, they are basically gemstones that are said to have different kinds of powers or healing properties for the mind, body and soul

As a result, lots of people buy them based on believing that they have many physical and emotional benefits and can help get rid of negative energy. Even though science has not yet provided evidence for healing crystals, they go way back in history where they were used as alternative forms of medicine. They also play a huge role in many religions, such as Hinduism and Buddhism. 

An example of a healing crystal is a clear quartz, which is known to be a master healer. It is said to balance the body and regulate the immune system. 

You now know the basics about how to pick the right gemstone. Remember, you have to be practical and look at a variety of factors and not just base it on appearance. Each stone has its beauty, but pick one that resonates the most with you.  Happy shopping!



11 Most Expensive Gemstones in the World

Ruby Necklass

In the movie The Titanic, a magnificent but fictional gem called The Heart of the Ocean, which is the origin of the story is based on the 45.52-carat Hope Diamond.

One of the world’s most valuable diamonds, it is said to be worth a whopping $350 million.

Its history is intriguing. Initially, it was 67.125-carat, blue colored diamond and is believed to have been curated in India. It made its way to French gem merchant Jean-Baptiste Tavernier in 1666 who then sold it to King Louis XIV in 1668. 

The king was eventually executed, along with Marie Antoinette, which led to the theft and disappearance of the gemstone. 

Experts believe that it was subsequently cut and the result was the 45.52-carat Hope Diamond. Interestingly enough, the Hope Diamond is now the property of the Smithsonian Institution.

With that said, let’s take a look at some of the other noteworthy and expensive gemstones in the world and  what makes them so expensive From ruby to emerald, here’s a list of the most expensive gemstones in the world:

1. Blue Diamond – $3.93 million per carat

The blue diamond holds the record for the most valuable price per carat at $3.93 million. This special gemstone is just as the name suggests, a diamond except that it is blue in color. Blue diamonds get their color from the amounts of boron that debase the structure of their crystalline mesh. They are part of a category called fancy color diamonds.

2. Emerald – $305,000 per carat

It is no surprise that this gorgeous green gemstone is one of the most expensive in the world. It gets its color from the amounts of chromium and sometimes vanadium that is embedded within it. Emeralds are found in all parts of the world, but the majority of the supply comes from Brazil, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Columbia.

Most emeralds have some kind of minor imperfection. So when a flawless natural emerald is found, it is sold at a ridiculously expensive price. An example of this is when John D. Rockefeller purchased one for his wife. Several years after the death of the couple, their son put it up for auction at Christie’s, where it sold for $5.5 million or $305,000 per carat. This made it the most expensive emerald ever sold.

3. Jadeite – $3 million per carat

This stone is one of the rare ones. It is the most vivid in the Jade family. Jadeite is found in a variety of colors, such as red, yellow and black; however, those that are green are the most famous. Jadeite was used in the Hutton-Mdivani Necklace, which is comprised of 27 huge jadeite beads. This necklace was then auctioned off and sold for $27.44 million to Cartier Jewelers. 

Mineral Taaffeite4. Taaffeite – $35,000 per carat

Another rare mineral, this one is commonly confused with spinel. It was first discovered in Dublin, Ireland in 1945 where it was already cut and polished. During this time, it was already being called spinel and when it was further inspected, they came to the conclusion that it was a new gem. This rare mineral can be found in alluvial deposits in Sri Lanka and Tanzania.

5. Pink Diamond – $1.19 million per carat

At this point, we can see that those gems that are of a high value are denoted by their color, so it is no surprise that another expensive set of gemstones are called pink diamonds and are among the rarest gemstones in the world. In fact, only 0.0001% of the diamonds that exist are pink.

The highest that this diamond ever sold for was a record-breaking $71.2 million, which amounts to $1.19 million per carat. This was at an auction in Hong Kong in 2017. It came to be known as the ‘Pink Star’ diamond which is the only pink diamond in existence that is totally flawless. No doubt its rarity and flawless cut are why this pink diamond is so expensive. 

6. Grandidierite – $20,000 per carat

This unique beauty of this marvel was first discovered in Madagascar in 1902. It is a rare piece that goes up to $20,000 per carat. It is most often located on aluminous boron rich rocks. 

7. Ruby—$1.18 million per carat

This delicious red gemstone is one of the most stunning gems there is. It is much sought after, so much so that the most expensive ruby ever sold was for $30 million at an auction. It is called ‘The Sunrise Ruby’ and is a 26 carat stone that comes close to being a perfect red.

8. Alexandrite – $12,000 per carat

Alexandrite Mineral
Alexandrite (variety of chrysoberyl)

First discovered in the Ural mountains in Russia during the 1830s, this beauty has the unique ability to change color, according to the light that shines on it. In the light, it appears to be emerald and in the darkness a ruby. Most of them are indigenous to Russia, however, they have also been found in Sri Lanka, Tanzania and even India. The biggest and most expensive one ever discovered was in the US. A 65.08-carat gemstone priced at $4 million.

9. Black Opal—$9,500 per carat

This stone is dark just as the name suggests and differs from its lighter sibling. It is also the more expensive opal. It is extremely rare, so much so that it is only found in one single region of the world, i.e. the Lightning Ridge of New South Wales in Australia.

The biggest and most valuable black opal called ‘the Royal One’ is 306 carats and is valued at just over $3 million. It was first found by a miner who kept it a secret and hid it at his home, for fourteen years until he came out with it. 

10. Red Diamond $1,000,000 per carat

You now know that diamonds are among the most expensive and valuable gemstones. We have looked at the blue and pink ones but the red diamond is one of the most expensive. It is sold for over $1 million per carat. The reason is that it is a rarity; there are less than 30 red diamonds across the globe and most of which are less than half a carat. It gets its red color from the plastic deformation of the crystal mesh. The largest red diamond in the world was the Moussaieff stone found in 2011 for $8 million.

11. Red Beryl – $10,000 per carat

Just as the name suggests, this gemstone is a variety of beryl. It is extremely rare and has only been found in very few locations. Some of these include Beaver County, Wah Wah Mountains, New Mexico, etc. It is sometimes also marketed as “red emerald “.

Each of these 11 gemstones is unique and absolutely stunning. There’s a reason that they have been sold for so much!