Turquoise has been a treasured gemstone around the world for thousands of years. It was used for beads by the Egyptians as early as 5500 BC. In many cultures, Turquoise is regarded as a harbinger of good fortune, success and health. Aztecs and Egyptians considered it a symbol of prosperity. In India, one was to wear a Turquoise on the little finger and look at the gem after seeing the new moon to gain great wealth. According to American Indians, the stone brought together the spirits of sea and sky to bless warriors and hunters; a Turquoise arrowhead assured accurate aim. A Navajo belief is that a piece of Turquoise cast into a river will cause rainfall. Ancient doctors exploited the stone's medicinal potential by making it into paste to treat ailments of the hip. The Egyptians also mounted Turquoise in Silver to treat eyes suffering from cataracts.
From the thirteenth century comes the belief that Turquoise possessed the power to protect the wearer from injury by falling, especially from horseback; later, this was extended to cover falls from buildings or over a precipice. Turks often attached Turquoise to the bridles of their horses believing that it rendered the horse more sure-footed. As the horse was often regarded as a symbol of the sun in its rapid course through the heavens, the sky-blue color of Turquoise may have caused it to be associated in some way with the horse.
In Europe, Turquoise seems to have been worn almost exclusively by men at the beginning of the 17th century and was so highly regarded by them that no man considered his hand to be well adorned unless he wore a fine Turquoise.