The colour of the Caribbean Sea and jewelry of southwestern locales, it is no wonder turquoise is such a feel-good colour and so welcome in the middle of our Canadian winter.
The word turquoise is derived from the French for Turkish “turquois” as Turkey was the most likely entry point of the gemstone into Western Europe.
Throughout history turquoise has been held in high esteem. Among the first gems to be mined, turquoise was a talisman or holy stone to the ancient Egyptians, Persians, Mesopotamians and Aztecs and was believed to bring protection both to the living and in the afterlife. Perhaps the most well-known example of this is the burial mask of Tutankhamun.
In Persia and India, turquoise was used extensively to adorn buildings, both inside and out, most famously the Taj Mahal in India. In Iran turquoise was used on the ceilings or roofs of domes and palaces to symbolize heaven on earth.
In more modern times, the colour turquoise was prized by the Victorians and saw another surge in popularity in the Art Deco era and again in the 1950’s. It continues to appear in everything from fashion to home décor to corporate branding and pairs surprisingly well with many colours.
“In terms of color psychology, turquoise – because it sits on the color scale between blue and green – radiates the peace, calm and tranquility of blue; the balance and growth of green; and the uplifting energy of yellow. Turquoise is thought to enhance the ability to focus and concentrate, assisting with clear thinking and decision-making, and the development of good organizational skills. It is also thought to have a calming influence, helping to heal the emotions and restore depleted energies.” Sounds like a Caribbean vacation to me!
But for me the colour turquoise will always, first and foremost, be the colour of the vinyl covered banquette in my grandma’s kitchen when I was a little girl. Talk about a feel-good colour.