Turquoise is thought to be one of the earliest gems to be cultivated, dating back nearly six thousand years to the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt. Native Americans are believed to have used the stone as far back as prehistoric times, and the stone became an extremely sought-after gift for Aztec rulers in the 12th and 13th centuries, right around the same time it began being used in China. Nonetheless, the stone’s name is simply French for ‘Turkish’ as it made its way via Turkey, and before that, Iran, where it was used in the construction of many religious buildings. It can be found all over the world, from the American Southwest where it is still prized by Native American artists, to Tibet, and the Middle East. The mineral is formed when water containing copper and aluminum leak through a rock, forming veins and then clumps of turquoise.