Blogs: On Your Market / Colored Stones

Turquoise Is Even Better When It’s Carved


July has come upon us rather quickly as the season of summer continues to fly by. All month, you’ll likely hear plenty about ruby—it’s sort of the headliner where birthstones are concerned—but I find turquoise, an alternate choice for July birthdays, to be far more compelling.

Brent Neale turquoise hamsa
Hamsa pendant in 18k yellow gold with carved turquoise, emerald, and blue sapphires, $7,750; Brent Neale
Lydia Courteille turquoise earrings
Earrings in 18k white gold with turquoise and diamonds, price on request; Lydia Courteille

For starters, it’s a perfect representation of the month. Hot and sticky, and often filled with travel and adventure (in normal times at least, and perhaps some flying this year at last), July is the ideal month to wear turquoise because the gemstone reflects a carefree vibe we all cling to this time of year. Plus it positively pops against any color sundress! I also love it with a floaty white frock or an orangy-red top. And it’s a no-brainer for a little black dress or casual or cocktail attire.

LAtelier Nawbar turquoise lapis ring
Ring in 18k yellow gold with carved turquoise, lapis lazuli, and diamonds, $2,050; L’Atelier Nawbar
Jane Win carved turquoise butterfly
Hand-carved butterfly necklace in 10k yellow gold with turquoise and pink tourmaline, $498; Jane Win

Turquoise in any and all forms is glorious, and there are indeed many options to choose from. But lately what most excites me are the carved variations, reflecting a range of images and symbols that can be not only beautiful but also meaningful.

Cicada Jewelry scarab cuff
Scarab bracelet in 18k yellow gold and enamel with carved turquoise and lapis lazuli, $40,850; Cicada Jewelry

Turquoise has a rich, multicultural history, down to the ancient Egyptians using it to carve the body of the scarab beetle—a symbol to which I’ve been especially drawn as of late. Maybe it’s because I’ve been looking for it, but it feels like more jewelers are offering carved turquoise scarabs recently, and it’s a wonderful thing.

Cathy Waterman clover turquoise
Clover charm in yellow gold with carved turquoise and pink sapphire, price on request; Cathy Waterman
Irene Neuwirth Tropical turquoise earrings
One-of-a-kind tropical flower earrings in 18k yellow gold with turquoise and diamonds, $8,800; Irene Neuwirth

From ancient Chinese artisans to Native American tribespeople, turquoise—notably carved turquoise—was regarded as a powerful and treasured gemstone. The same can be said today: A turquoise gem carved into a meaningful talisman has more influence than ever, offering a colorful, eye-catching alternative to the gemstone-accented precious metal amulets that are widely in demand.

Retrouvai carved turquoise lion
Lion signature padlock in 14k yellow gold with carved turquoise, $4,600; Retrouvaí
Jacquie Aiche turquoise scarab ring
Carved scarab ring in 14k yellow gold with turquoise, $5,375; Jacquie Aiche

Of course, such carvings don’t necessarily need to be lucky charms or amulets to achieve admiration, as can be seen by some of the examples pictured here. Chances are, if it’s turquoise, it’s going to be good.

Top: Queen ring in 18k yellow gold with hand-carved turquoise and diamonds, $3,000; Dima Jewellery

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By: Brittany Siminitz

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