The Himalayas, 16,000 feet above sea level, are the world's tallest mountain range. Between these soaring mountains are two magical places; Tibet and China. Because of the geographical factors, the extreme weather and the harsh terrain, it is amazing that turquoise ever found its way into the culture.
It is thought that long ago turquoise came to Tibet and Western China by traders and explorers from Iran. From here Tibetan craftsmen took these beautiful stones and made stunning jewelry for decorative and religious purposes. And since this time turquoise has been known as the holy stone, because of its spectacular color and its belief for good fortune.
Turquoise is one of the earliest used gem stones in the world. It is treasured in Tibet and China and has been used for barter and trade for thousands of years. It is very popular with local people. It is also well known for its good luck and healing properties.
Through Tibet and Western China turquoise is frequently worn in people's hair through braids, especially on children. Turquoise stones are often seen in horse's manes, also in braids and on tied on to saddles for protection. Turquoise is even sometimes seen tied onto the yaks. This is also for protection because the yak is valued and treasured so much in Tibetan and Western China's culture. The most common place for turquoise stones is on the silver jewelry the people wear daily. If turquoise is worn around the wrist or neck it will is thought to protect the wearer from unnatural deaths, disasters and poverty.
Turquoise is believed in both Western China and Tibet to assure a safe journey. If it is worn in the ear it prevents reincarnation as a donkey. If you have a dream about turquoise it is very lucky and will bring you good luck and fortune. When you find turquoise it will bring you the best of luck and gives you new life. Most importantly it is believed to absorb the wearer's sins.
Turquoise is thought to be the symbol of friendship. If given to a friend it would protect the wearer from negative energy and also bring good fortune. It is also known to bring peace at home. Turquoise is the traditional jewelry in Tibet and many parts of China. If turquoise is left untreated for long periods of time, it can change from bright green and blue to dark brown and black color. To Tibetans, the changing colors represents the life cycle of birth, old age and death.
Today there are still many large turquoise mines in the world. The Southwestern United States is well known for its beautiful turquoise and so are parts of Iran. But, one of the largest turquoise mines in is the Northwest Hubei province of China. Since the Qing Dynasty, China has been mining large amounts of turquoise throughout China. There are hundreds of turquoise mines across the large country of China. The mine in Hubei province is still one of Chinas most popular mines.
About Author / Additional Info:
I have been living in China for the last five years and travelling Asia. I find China and Tibet fascinating, especially their jewelry. There are so many stories, myths and legends following each piece of jewelry.