The fashion and jewelry worlds fuse to create one of the most iconic yet fluid worlds of beauty.
And so, to many people, these rules of the fluid world of fashion can be broken, and after, you get to pick up the pieces and the elements that mean the most to you.
Often, this means picking bits and pieces from different parts of the world, cultures, and religions, as long as they match your style and aesthetic.
One of the jewelry pieces and the styles that most people pick up on over the years is turquoise jewelry, which is also one of the most popular jewelry styles.
But what is it about the turquoise jewelry that makes it infamous but also a style that is often appropriated?
And, can you inappropriate jewelry just because it is made of turquoise? And finally, what makes turquoise jewelry popular and/or special?
About turquoise jewelry
While jewelry comes in multiple styles, designs, and colors, turquoise jewelry is among the most popular styles of jewelry today, but what you may not know about this type of jewelry is that turquoise jewelry is an originally western-borne jewelry style staple that originated from the Native American regions.
The style has, for years, been the most celebrated and cherished jewelry style. And today, turquoise jewelry is considered the most versatile style of jewelry you can own.
Note that turquoise is the sky-blue-colored gemstone, a classic jewelry style. The style has been revered for centuries, especially thanks to the versatility and the diversity of the gemstone, which is often incorporated into bracelets, necklaces, earrings, and rings.
Other than this, turquoise is regarded as a very important stone in trade, religion, and art pieces. And if you believe in birthstones and the idea of birthstone jewelry, turquoise is a December birthstone that is also recommended for couples celebrating their 5-year marriage anniversary.
When buying turquoise jewelry made of authentic turquoise gemstones, you’d want to look for the gemstones boasting a high shine and more of a glassy look.
You also need to know that the turquoise gemstones in the higher grades are a lot harder, so they are shinier than lower-grade turquoise stones.
The other important thing you should know about turquoise is that the color of this gemstone is variable, ranging from deep green to variables in light blue.
They may also feature surrounding hues in black, brown, and white. So, consider all these factors when buying turquoise jewelry.
History of turquoise jewelry
Now that you know more about turquoise basics let’s look at the fascinating history of turquoise jewelry. For starters, it is important to know that turquoise jewelry is one of the oldest gemstones, highly treasured and regarded by man.
Also, Turquoise jewelry was first created and used by the Native American Cultures, which referred to turquoise jewelry as The Fallen Sky Stone.
To these ancient cultures, turquoise was regarded as a sacred stone because it was believed to bring power, protection, and luck to the wearer.
As a result, most Native Americans incorporated turquoise in burial sites, where it was believed to offer protection and also to call upon the spirits during burial ceremonies. The jewelry was also used to unite minds.
Is it cultural appropriation to wear turquoise jewelry? Why or why not
Although it was the standard type of jewelry for the Native Americans, anyone can wear turquoise jewelry today, and wearing the jewelry isn’t really a form of cultural appropriation.
However, with the increase in the use of fake turquoise that is passed off as real turquoise in jewelry and the fakes passed off as pieces dating back to Native America, it makes sense that many people now consider the stone a form of cultural appropriation.
While turquoise jewelry dates back to the earliest civilizations in Ancient Egypt and Ancient Chinese, and also Native Americans from the Southwest, turquoise jewelry is one of the most popular jewelry styles.
It has been used for more than 140 years and is believed to be a symbol of protection. By the 20th century, turquoise jewelry was a standard form of jewelry, and the pieces made were considered Indian Style.
The jewelry was taken to other parts of the world by Western-bound tourists. And so, for many people, turquoise jewelry is regarded as the best kind of jewelry that represents Indian and Native American lifestyles.
With that in mind, it’s worth noting that wearing turquoise jewelry as a way to disgrace the ancient cultures is not only repulsive but would also be considered a form of cultural appropriation.
But if you are wearing the jewelry as a form of decoration, a celebration, or as a way of honoring cultures of the world or for protection, then turquoise jewelry is not being culturally appropriated. This also means that anyone, whether a native American or not, can wear turquoise jewelry.
Tips for wearing turquoise jewelry for daily life
- Ideal colors for you to wear with turquoise jewelry– despite the versatility of this stone and the perfect pop of color, you should pair your turquoise jewelry with some rusty red and blush colors for a nice contrast. You could also pair it with tan and nude tones, and for a nice, modern look, pair it with something white.
- Wearing neutral colors with your turquoise jewelry– while bold colors don’t work for everyone because they may be deemed too costumey, you could pair it with a camel coat to refresh your look, or even some blacks and whites for a modern, refreshed look.
- Color contrast– to avoid a boring look, switch things up with a contrasting color like coral and purple, hence a trendy and modern look.
- Boho-inspired styles– thanks to the versatility of turquoise jewelry, you can enjoy a vibrant, boho-inspired look featuring several hues of turquoise for a casual, stylish look.
Turquoise jewelry is stunning and a style you would never go wrong with. It is elegant and looks great on everyone. And so, anyone can wear this type of jewelry.
However, it would be a form of cultural appropriation if someone wore the jewelry to make fun of or to disrespect the Native American culture.
Stephanie is a jewelry lover when she was a teenager. Her major was fashion design when she was in college. She is a jewelry designer at SOQ Jewelry and other design companies. Now she is also a writer for our website. She writes a lot of designs&brands posts with very actionable tips.