The word Turquoise means “Turkish stone” because its trade route to Europe came via Turkey. The best qualities are found in northeast Iran, however, the southwest United States is now the world leader in production. Colors in Turquoise range from sky blue (the most desirable color usually called robin’s egg blue) to blue green and apple green. The rarest and finest of this December birthstone has no “matrix,” or veining. Egyptian Turquoise graced the necks of Pharaohs, and Cleopatra probably ground up this gemstone for eye paint. Tutankhamen’s tomb was filled with examples of Turquoise inlay, beads, sculpture, and slabs used in everything from jewelry and furniture to the great sarcophagus. During the 16th century, Turquoise was used as currency by the Southwest Indians. They believed the gemstone could bring spoils to the warrior, animals to the hunter, and happiness and good fortune to all.