December’s birthstone colours are tanzanite, zircon, and turquoise — a trio of impressive gemstones with their own unique histories and properties. Read on to learn more about these beautiful stones (and perhaps get some inspiration for your next gift).
There's something about tanzanite that just oozes wintertime glam. At a quick glance, it resembles a Blue Sapphire, but the hint of its difference is in its violet undertones.
Truly, the tanzanite birthstone is a one-of-a-kind gemstone, with colours ranging from deep blue with purple undertones to lavender-blue, almost violet. Its deep, intense colour is striking, especially when set in pendants or rings.
A relatively new gemstone, tanzanite was only discovered in 1967. To date, it can only be found in one place in the world, also its namesake: the East African country of Tanzania. This December birthstone is believed to be a stone of transformation and perception, encouraging progress in difficult times.
Tanzanite is a fairly soft stone, so it's often heat-treated to improve its hardness and durability — a process that permanently brings out the stone's dazzling blue-violet colour. The Tanzanite birthstone is also quite resistant to the effects of normal heat, light, and chemicals. However, extreme temperature changes or very high temperatures may still cause it to crack. To clean, use warm water (harsh chemicals can damage it) and gently wipe with a soft cloth.
Zircon is an often-overlooked birthstone, but it shouldn't be! This beautiful, natural December birthstone has been around for centuries, and is available in a wide range of colours — from the usual vivid blue and green hues to more unique shades of orange, red and yellow. This gemstone is believed to be a "stone of protection," warding off evil.
Zircons have a high refractive index and great dispersion, which gives them a brilliance — or fire — rivalling that of diamonds. In terms of hardness, the zircon birthstone ranges from 6 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale. In other words, while it may not be as hard as a stone such as sapphire, it's still plenty durable, and can be worn with all kinds of jewellery as long as it's handled carefully. However, you should definitely avoid wearing it in rough conditions, such as gardening or playing sports. When cleaning, simply use a soft cloth dipped in warm water with mild soap.
Turquoise is a semitranslucent to opaque stone, ranging in colour from robin's egg blue to greenish blue. The stone's surface resembles a veined matrix, made up of remnants of the rock from which it originated. The veins vary from black to silver, tan, and even gold.
In light of its remarkable visual qualities, it's no surprise that this December birthstone has long been cherished by Egyptian Pharaohs, ancient rulers, and Chinese artisans alike. In addition to its colourful past, the turquoise birthstone is believed to impartpeace upon those who wear it.
Turquoise is relatively soft, with a hardness of only 5 to 6 on the Mohs scale. Unfortunately, this does mean that your turquoise jewellery may scratch easily, so store with care. Like zircon, a soft cloth and warm soapy water is the best way to clean turquoise.
No matter what month you were born in, December's birthstones are sure to dazzle. From the deep blue depths of turquoise to the iridescent violet hues of tanzanite, these gemstones are the perfect way to add a touch of luxury to your everyday style. Visit DeGem to explore their range of precious gemstone jewellery today and find the perfect piece for you or a loved one.