New column "Stone of the Month" in the Photo Gallery of the Museum "Collection"

Each exhibit in our museum is an item with its own unique history, with its own character. The new column "Stone of the Month" will acquaint you with the exhibits of the collection, in which one or another precious stone was used.

The stone has always interested a human being. At first, a man was attracted only by the color, the perfect forms of the crystals and their brilliance. Later, people began to use the stones’ physical properties, such as hardness and firmness. In later times, stones began to be valued for their rarity and ageing resistance. With the development of the mining industry, the number of stones used in jewelry has increased dramatically.

Our first publication in the "Stone of the Month" column is about the December turquoise. This is one of the most beautiful gemstones known to humankind since ancient times. Turquoise jewelry and talismans were found during excavations of ancient cultures in Central America, Egypt, Central Asia already in the 3d millennium BC. The deposit of the best turquoise Nishapur in Iran was developed. The name of this stone comes from the Persian word "firuza", which means the stone of happiness. In Arabic, "firuzadj" - turquoise – is a stone that brings victory, good luck in business. Turquoise came to Europe from Persia and Turkey, hence its names turquoise (English), turkis (German) that means “brought from Turkey”. Among the first Europeans to describe turquoise were Marco Polo (the 13th century) and Jean-Baptiste Tavernier* (the 17th century).

In jewelry, turquoise as a rule is used in the form of cabochons, often of irregular shape; it goes well with other jewelry stones, as well as with silver and gold.
Some interesting facts about the mineral and a selection of photographs of museum exhibits, in the decor of which turquoise was used

In ancient Egypt, the figures of sacred scarab beetles were carved from turquoise

In Persia and Byzantium, turquoise jewelry was necessary for wedding ceremonies. In the present days, this stone is considered a talisman for the home and family hearth in many countries.

The color palette of the mineral is extremely diverse: from pale gray, typical of the most "young" samples, to dark blue-green, typical of the so-called "mature" turquoise. The most prized are the bright greenish blue stones.

The famous Tiffany jewelry company brand color appeared thanks to its founder Charles Lewis Tiffany. His wife Olivia was very fond of turquoise jewelry.

* Jean-Baptiste Tavernier (1605-1689) - French gem trader and traveler. Tavernier made six voyages to Persia and India between 1630 and 1668. In 1675, Tavernier, at the request of his patron Louis XIV, published The Six Travels of Jean-Baptiste Tavernier.

Source: Gemstones. N.I. Kornilov, Yu.P. Solodova. Moscow "Nedra". 1986