Tag: gemstone myths

December birthstone: Turquoise

Cerrillos turquoise necklace from 1940s by Zuni jeweler Leekya Deyuse (Millicent Rogers Museum, Taos, NM)

December babies have as their birthstone a talisman imbued by ancient cultures with all the powers of sea and sky – two potent forces when you live off the land. Turquoise jewelry is as fashionable today as it was 7,000 years ago but the natural, untreated variety is getting harder to spot.

October’s birthstone: Opal

Opal pendant by Carolyn Tyler

Will wearing opal bring you bad luck if it isn’t your birthstone? Of all the ancient myths about gemstones, none endure like the superstitions surrounding opal. The bad-luck opal myth isn’t really ancient. It comes from 19th-century fiction.