A pale blue, greenish-blue or pale green opaque gemstone, sometimes permeated with brown stains from iron compounds. The sky-blue variety, often referred to as robin’s egg is the form most desired for jewellery. Turquoise was named in the 14th century. The name of the gem apparently relates to the fact that it was brought to Europe from the Eastern Mediterranean by Levantine traders, generally known as Turks. Found in neckwear and bracelets recovered from old Egyptian tombs, it has been valued as an ornament since ancient times. Native American Indians valued it as a protective stone as well as a bestower of goodness and used it extensively to bring rain. It is sacred to the Pueblo Indians of New Mexico, symbolising strength and power. In ancient times it was used to heal eye problems, especially cataracts, and in medieval times it was used as a cure for malaria and heart complaints. It is still considered by many to be a master healer and is said to help in the absorption of nutrients, strengthening the entire anatomy and stimulating tissue regeneration. It is particularly good for the throat and lungs, and because of its high copper content, is a conductor for healing and good for rheumatism and arthritis. The stone is believed to enhance creative expression, peace of mind, communication, friendship and loyalty. Turquoise is one of the birthstones for December (with lapis lazuli), symbolizing prosperity.