December birthday Gemstones
December birthday gemstones are a choice of Turquoise, Zircon or Tanzanite? It just depends whether you prefer modern vs traditional.
The modern birthstones are Zircon and Tanzanite.
Turquoise gemstone is traditionally associated with December birthdays, and comes in a variety of beautiful shades of blue. The most prized being the bright robin’s egg blue of the Sleeping Beauty turquoise.
Turquoise is also the gemstone associated with the 11th wedding anniversary. In Europe if given as a gift in a ring it means “forget me not”.
The Sleeping Beauty Turquoise mine in Arizona has been closed now for a number of years, so it is hard to find good gem size pieces of this turquoise in new jewelry but there are plenty other turquoise gemstones to be found.
Turquoise has been around for thousands of years, as far back as 3000 BCE in ancient Egypt. Tutankhamun’s burial mask was inlaid with turquoise as well as other gemstones.
Many ancient cultures such as the Aztecs, Maya, Native Americans all prized turquoise considering it to be a stone of both valuable and cultural importance.
For thousands of years turquoise was also thought of as a holy stone, bringing good fortune and as such was used for talismans and in jewelry.
Turquoise is still mined in the South Western United States, mostly Arizona and Nevada. However, China is now the largest producer of gem quality turquoise.
Zircon comes in bright sparkling blue as well as a variety of other colors including reddish brown, green, yellow, clear and is a very affordable gemstone. Zircon has been around and treasured since ancient times. In the middle ages it was though to help promote sleep and scare off evil spirits.
Blue Zircon was favored by the Victorians and can be found in English Estate Jewelry from the late 1800’s. Zircon gemstone with a Cloudy or smoky appearance was popular in mourning jewelry of the period.
Clear Zircon is often used in jewelry in place of diamonds to make the piece more affordable.
Zircon should not be confused with Cubic Zirconia a lab created gemstone.
Tanzanite is a bluish purple and can display strong trichroism meaning that the stone displays more blue or purple depending on the type of light. It should have a deep saturated color.
For example, the blues become more evident under fluorescent lights.
The gemstone was given its name by Tiffany and Co after Tanzania where it was first discovered, it may also sometimes be referred to as Zoisite.
Tanzanite is associated with the 24th wedding anniversary.
More gemstone meanings can be found here
Care and Cleaning
Turquoise – is fairly soft stone at 5 – 6 on the Moh’s scale
Tanzanite – is a 6 – 7 on the Moh’s scale but is a durable stone best used in necklaces and earrings. Tanzanite can crack at high temperatures is should be kept away from hydrochloric and hydrofluoric acids.
Zircon – is usually heat treated to enhance the colored stone and though relatively stable, Ultrasonic cleaning is not recommended for this gem.
Simply clean all stones with warm soapy water, rinse and polish with a soft cloth.
Stuck for a special birthday gift, take a look at our colorful Gregorian Birthstone poems which center around the traditional birthstone as indicated in the Gregorian calendar.
These poems are of “unknown author”. Tiffany’s first printed them in a leaflet back in 1870. These are free printables and can be framed to suit individual taste.
These are a new item, so not all birthday months are available as yet, please check back regularly, or sign up for our newsletter (you will not be spammed). More details can be found here