Turquoise has got a bad rep I think. The general consensus being that most people wearing turquoise are to be avoided. Just think of sauvage and teary Johnny Depp guiltily trying to bury all his silvery turquoise hoard in the desert. Think of Aiden in Sex and The City. His fingers being overloaded with turquoise rings was costume design shorthand for “you don’t belong with this man”. Carrie just couldn’t align herself with a man wearing pseudo-Native American craft jewellery. Sadly this spells bad news for my own father who habitually sports a number of enormously heavy rings, some of them involving Turquoise stones.
Native American healers believe that turquoise is ‘life” as it represents the land and the water in elemental form and often keep a stone in their sacred bundle in order to benefit from its heath-giving properties and positive “healing” energy. Some people believe that turquoise could be their saviour. The theory being that a crack to their turquoise ring is a sign that they narrowly avoided a blow that the stone protected them from.
Turquoise has also been co-opted by embarrassing female sex-tourists travelling to Barbados to fulfill Mills & Boone fantasies, thus lowering its stock even further. These women are part of the unsettling part of society known as #peopleobsessedwithonecolour that I delight in seeing sometimes at bus stops decked out head to toe in varying shades of Aubergine, Fuschia or Mustard. There is a very specific type of woman who jets off to Negril on “romance safari” and stalks the coastline in flowing turquoise peasant skirts, aquamarine crocheted vests and dream catcher necklaces with baby blue feathers swinging in leathery cleavage. They rim their eyes with “cerulean” and get their nose pierced after a couple of “dirty bananas” at the beach bar. According to an estimate made by “researchers” (who ARE these people?) around 2007, there were as many as 600,000 of these hopeful “milk bottle” women visiting the Caribbean basin every year searching for “a big bamboo”. (oof)
Why does this colour have such a hold on them? As a mineral it is not often very valuable or hard to find. According to believers of colour psychology, turquoise carries associations of tranquility, love and friendship, feminine energy and “enjoying life”, but these are the people that believe that “too much turquoise can result in the wearer becoming fussy, analytical and ego-centric, (as opposed to just already being those things) so what do they know.
The bottom line is, it’s exotic. For men it feels masculine but mystical and heroic (as was reported by the New York Times!). For women captivated by the colour, it spells clear shimmering tropical paradise. The crystal azure water, the bright empty sky, the blue curacao cocktails. And presumably the women who wear it head to toe are momentarily transported to white sands and a warm breeze and imagine themselves into each scene of Aladdin as Princess Jasmine in her turquoise harem pants and matching top. As opposed the bracing realities of Stoke on Trent or Godalming, where once again you find yourself standing in line at The Co-op with a quiche for 1 and a bottle of Pinot Grigio blush in your basket, whilst at home your husband has fallen asleep in a chair.