When considering traditional turquoise jewelry, your first thought might be: That’s so ’80s. Like, “Can’t Buy Me Love” ’80s. (Remember Cindy Mancini, the Tucson, Ariz., high school student who wore dangly Southwestern earrings with a white fringed leather jacket and a fluffy side part?)
Well, we’ve got news: Turquoise has grown up, and should be treated accordingly.
Try pairing the traditionally casual stone—say, a silver squash-blossom necklace—with a strapless gown for black tie or accessorizing a crisp white shirt and 1940s-style pencil skirt with a statement cuff and a giant mosaic cocktail ring, as turquoise enthusiast (and long-time Taos, N.M., resident) Millicent Rogers did.
You’ll find the stone adds a touch of can’t-pin-me-down magic. One of Ms. Rogers’s favorite pastimes was strolling from her adobe house to the nearby Pueblo villages to collect (and bargain for) baubles. Today, the Standard Oil heiress’s jewel box of turquoise—about 1,000 pieces—is housed in a museum in New Mexico bearing her name. If you start now, your collection might just add up.