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Turquoise is a sky-blue or green translucent to opaque basic aluminum phosphate that contains copper. It has been prized as a gemstone for millennia. The name "turquoise" comes from the French "turqueise", meaning "Turkish stone", because it was first transported to Europe via a Turkish nation. The color that we recognize as turquoise was named after this gemstone.
Turquoise was used by the ancient Egyptians and Aztecs as a jewelry gemstone and decorative stone. King Tutankhamun's burial mask and tomb was inlaid with turquoise. The ancient Egyptians believed that the color blue was a symbol of regeneration, so turquoise was treasured for both decorative and superstitious purposes. The Mesoamericans created turquoise mosaics and the Chinese carved turquoise into ornaments. Turquoise was also used by Native Americans in works of art and jewelry, some of whom believed that it possessed protective properties. The Tibetans believe in the healing properties of turquoise and have valued turquoise jewelry for centuries.