Blue to green in color, turquoise is a semi-translucent to opaque gem that frequently has matrix veins (remains of the rock it formed in) running through it. For millennia, people have treasured the birthstone for December. It was used to embellish the pharaohs and other ancient Egyptian kings. It was sculpted by Chinese artists more than 3,000 years ago.
The birthstone of turquoise was believed to have numerous positive properties, such as ensuring health and fortune. It was thought, starting in the 13th century, that it would shatter into numerous pieces as tragedy approached and would shield the wearer from falling (particularly off horses). According to Hindu mystics, seeing a turquoise after viewing the new moon guaranteed incredible fortune.
Native Americans also placed a high value on this birthstone of turquoise. The Apache believed that by traveling to the end of a rainbow, one may find turquoise. Additionally, they thought that securing the birthstone for December to a bow or gun improved one’s marksmanship. The Hopi believed that lizards crawling across the earth generated the jewel, whereas the Pueblo insisted that turquoise’s color came from the sky.
What is the actual birthstone for December?
Turquoise. Since antiquity, turquoise has been prized for its distinctive color, which ranges from powdered blue to a robin’s egg green hue.
What are the December birthstones’ two names?
Turquoise, zircon, and tanzanite are the available birthstones if you were born in December. The soft gemstone turquoise, which is used in jewelry and ornamentation, has a long history that dates back to antiquity. Zircons are a less popular gemstone, but they produce the most beautiful jewelry. Only in Tanzania can you find tanzanite, a stunning pure blue-violet crystal.
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December birthstone: turquoise
Turquoise is known to chemists and geologists as copper aluminum phosphate. It is created when rainwater or melted snow percolates through copper porphyry deposits. An acidic solution is created when water reacts with the copper sulfides in the ore. When the aluminum and potassium in the rocks react with the copper-carrying acidic water, turquoise precipitates into the cracks. In dry regions, turquoise can be found in sedimentary rock and weathered volcanic rock.
With a Mohs scale hardness rating of five to six, turquoise is a moderately delicate gemstone. With modest force, turquoise can be scratched or broken. This porous opaque stone is easily stained by oil and paints. When some of its water content is lost, it also changes color.
The best-looking stones are compact, hard, and relatively non-porous because they may be finely polished.
Oil, paraffin, liquid plastic, or water glass are applied to softer, more porous kinds to increase their endurance and color.
Iron gives turquoise a more greenish tone, whereas copper gives it a sky-blue hue. The most expensive type of turquoise is a deep sky-blue shade that resembles the hue of a robin’s egg. The inclusions from the surrounding rock matrix are what give the gemstones their common ochre and brown-black veins.
Iran, which is renowned for its sky-blue stones from Neyshabur, produces some of the best turquoise in the world. Over 5,000 years ago, humans in Egypt began mining turquoise in the Sinai Peninsula. The southwestern states of the United StatesArizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, and Nevadaare rich in turquoise. Afghanistan, Australia, China, India, Tibet, Mexico, and Brazil are some places where this stone can be found.
The French phrase pierre turquoise, which translates to “Turkish stone,” is where the word turquoise first appeared. This is due to the fact that Venetian traders shipped the diamond to Europe after buying it from Turkish traders.
The governing classes of ancient civilizations in Africa, Asia, and the Americas wore turquoise jewelry. In ancient Iraq, beads from the late 6th millennium BCE have been discovered. The arm of a woman in the tomb of Zer, a pharaoh who ruled Egypt approximately 3000 BCE, was adorned with turquoise bracelets. In the tomb of a nobleman in central China found a 3,700-year-old dragon relic from the Xia Dynasty fashioned of more than 2,000 pieces of turquoise.
Turquoise in the Americas
The American Southwest has a long history with turquoise. For several thousand years, Native Americans have used this gemstone to make jewelry and ornaments. Particularly the Zuni, Navajo, Pueblo, and Apache are renowned for their turquoise jewelry.
The term “sky stone” in Zuni refers to turquoise. Pueblo dancers wear turquoise during the summer growing season to promote rainfall. The Navajo use turquoise in significant rites of passage because they believe it to be a stone of protection and good health. The Apache, however, thought that turquoise was located at the end of a rainbow and that having turquoise on a bow or pistol guaranteed accurate shooting.
Pre-Columbian societies in Mexico, Central America, and South America all used turquoise. Ancient cultures in Peru produced tiny items like beads, figurines, and artifacts with turquoise inlays. Turquoise was a popular adornment material among the Aztecs. It also served crucial ceremonial and religious purposes. A high priest who participated in human sacrifice, for instance, wore a turquoise pendant that hung from his lower lip. Complex turquoise mosaics, such as the turquoise mosaic mask used at a king’s burial, were a famous Aztec art form.
Turquoise is seen as a love charm by certain individuals. It is intended to represent a promise of love when given as a gift. Shakespeare employed this knowledge in “The Venetian Merchant. In it, Leah sent Shylock a turquoise ring when he was single in the hopes that it would capture his heart and prompt him to propose to her.
Numerous more superstitions are connected to turquoise. According to an Arabian literature from the eleventh century, “When the air is clear, the turquoise sparkles; when the air is murky, it turns pale. They also thought that the weather affected its color. People thought it would shield its wearer from harm if he fell off a horse in the 13th century.
According to The Curious Lore of Precious Stones by George Frederick Kunz, diamonds and turquoise are said to lose their magical properties when sold.
The spirit that inhabited the stone was believed to object to the idea of being purchased and sold and was expected to leave, leaving it to be reduced to a meaningless piece of material. However, the spirit was very than prepared to transfer its favor from one owner to another if the diamond (or turquoise) was given as a promise of love or friendship.
There were also bogus health claims regarding turquoise. People used to think that when a stone’s user was sick, the stone changed color. Some claimed it was a successful remedy for the pain caused by evil spirits and scorpion bites. The eyes are purportedly strengthened just by glancing at turquoise.
December birthstone: zircon
A mineral called zircon is created from the elements zirconium and silicon (zirconium silicate). In the majority of igneous rock, tiny crystals, only a few millimeters in size, are frequently discovered. Zircon is tough enough to withstand the geological processes that form metamorphic and sedimentary rock, with a Mohs scale hardness of 7.5. Large zircon crystals are uncommon, though. They are mostly generated in carbonatites and pegmatites, two types of coarse-grained igneous rock. But the majority of zircons are found in alluvial and beach deposits because gem-bearing rocks have weathered.
The Arabic word zarquin, which means red, may have been the source of the term zircon. Or possibly from the Persian word zargus, which means golden.
Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Sri Lanka are significant suppliers of zircon with gemstone-quality. The gemstones are also found in Canada, Australia, France, Norway, and Myanmar.
Colors of zircon
Forces have changed the chemical makeup and color of zirconium silicate crystals throughout long geologic epochs. Radiation emitted by uranium and thorium inclusions modifies the original crystal structure. A glass-like substance with hues ranging from red to brown, orange, and yellow is created. The most uncommon natural color is green. The majority of gemstones have been heated since the 1920s in order to enhance their colors. In addition to blue and yellow stones, this results in colorless zircons.
An intriguing tale about the origin of blue stones is told in “Gems and Crystals by Anna S. Sofianides and George E. Harlow:
A brand-new blue gemstone debuted on the market in the 1920s. It received extraordinary brilliance and became popular right away.
The creation of the blue zircon
Zircons, which are typically brown to green but had never before been blue, turned out to be the gems. The renowned Tiffany gemologist George F. Kunz immediately suspected fraud since remarkable stones were not only widely available but also in great supply. Upon Kunz’s request, a colleague conducted research while traveling to Siam, Thailand, and discovered that a significant amount of unsightly brown zircon had prompted local businesspeople to try with color enhancement. The dull substance was heated in an oxygen-free chamber to create “new blue stones,” which suppliers sent to retailers all around the world. The market merely accepted the information even after becoming aware of the fraud, and the demand for the new stones remained unabated.
Blue stones are unquestionably a client choice for zircons. Colors like red and green are also beneficial. Due to their blazing fire, colorless zircons are outstanding imitations of diamonds, but only in terms of appearance. Zircon can be fragile, thus cutting requires extreme caution. Due to intrinsic tensions in the crystal brought on by radiation damage and heat treatment, it breaks with a well-placed knock. However, its breathtaking beauty keeps it in high demand. Clarity and the absence of discernible inclusions are further criteria that influence gemstone pricing.
One of the stones of the Hindu Kalpa Tree, which symbolized the tree’s leaves, was green zircon. This tree served as a metaphorical sacrifice to the gods. Hindu poets of the 19th century spoke of it as a shining gem among sapphires, diamonds, and topaz in a dazzling group of priceless stones.
Ancient Arabs loved the reddish-brown and orange-red hyacinth and jacinth forms of zircon; they are even referenced in the well-known “Arabian Nights.”
Zircon gained popularity in the 14th century as a defense against the Black Death, a terrible plague that wiped off a fourth of Europe’s population. The stone was thought to have medicinal properties, including the ability to aid with digestion, induce sleep, and counteract poison.
December birthstone: tanzanite
A peculiar variation of the mineral zoisite is tanzanite (calcium aluminium hydroxyl sorosilicate). Due to the presence of vanadium in the zoisite crystals, it has blue and violet hues. This gemstone was created 585 million years ago, in a region that would one day become Mount Kilimanjaro in northern Tanzania, during a period of strong plate tectonic activity and tremendous heat.
Tanzanite is now exclusively found in the Merelani Hills, which are close to Mount Kilimanjaro.
Colors from different angles
Tanzanite flashes these hues depending on the angle from which it is viewed in its natural state, where it appears brown, yellowish green, blue, and violet. Pleochroism is a phenomena where several hues can be seen depending on how light strikes the gemstone.
Additionally, the type of lighting can have an impact. Tanzanite appears more blue in fluorescent lighting and more violet in incandescent lighting.
To eliminate the natural tanzanite’s brownish tint, heat treatments were commonly applied to crystals used in jewelry. Gems that are more vividly blue and violet are the end product. Rarely, heated stones can create a green gem with blue and violet secondary colors. Cutters can alter the general color of cut gems by how they make them.
Tanzanite’s recent history
The history of tanzanite began in 1967, as opposed to the hundreds or even thousands of years that most birthstones have had. A member of the Masai tribe discovered some extraordinary transparent violet-blue crystals in northern Tanzania’s Merelani Hills. He alerted a local prospector and tailor named Manuel d’Souza, who submitted the first of several mining claims after discovering the diamonds.
D’Souza at first thought they were sapphires. However, no one was certain. Geologists at the Gemological Institute of America received the stones and determined that they were an unusual variety of zoisite.
Tiffany & Company, a renowned jeweler, expressed interest in the stone. They started a marketing campaign in 1968. They changed the name of blue zoisite to tanzanite in honor of the country of origin in order to increase consumer interest in the jewels. The American Gem Trade Association chose tanzanite to join turquoise and zircon as the birthstones for December in 2002.
What color birthstone represents December?
Zircon, Tanzanite, and turquoise are the three gemstones that are associated with December birthdays. These gemstones all have distinctive blue tones, making them ideal December birthstones for Minnesota’s chilly winters. Zircon comes in a range of hues, but blue is by far the most popular.
Which three stones are December’s birthstones?
Because of their alluring bluish colour, many individuals adore birthstones for the month of December. Turquoise, blue zircon, and tanzanite are the three gemstones for December, and they all feature lovely blue sparkles instead of the conventional Christmas colors of red and green.
Is blue topaz the birthstone for December?
The most common color of topaz and the birthstone for December, blue topaz represents sincerity, intense emotional attachment, and emotional clarity. The fourth anniversary present idea is blue topaz, the birthstone for December. Because blue topaz is such a lovely stone, it makes everyone on your list feel radiant, even if you are stuck for a present idea to offer a friend or loved one or simply run out of ideas. We have a wide selection of blue topaz jewelry at Joseph’s Jewelry to suit every taste and price range.
What stone was my birthstone?
A birthstone is simply a gemstone that is linked to a person’s date of birth. Wearing a birthstone is thought to bring luck and good health. Depending on their connection to the planets, several gemstones are thought to possess supernatural abilities. Many societies used to associate a particular gemstone with births occurring during each sign of the zodiac, but throughout time, this custom was changed to correspond with calendar months.
Birthstones have their origins in ancient astrology, and over time, several different lists of birthstones have been employed. The one that is most widely used now is based on a list that the US jewelry industry initially made public in the 1950s.
According to calendar months, birthstones are categorized as follows:
This stone is thought to protect its wearer from harm. A garnet also represents unwavering loyalty and friendship. This stone has a long history of being connected to blood purification and is thought to ward off food poisoning, snake bites, and hemorrhaging.
This gemstone was thought to protect seafarers and ensure a safe journey. The calming hue of aquamarine is thought to soothe the temper, enabling the wearer to maintain composure and objectivity. Additionally, it is thought that this stone delays the effects of aging.
This stone symbolizes rebirth, and those who wear it are said to receive wisdom, luck, and youth. Some people think that wearing an emerald will grant them patience, progress, and wisdom. Furthermore, it is renowned for its capacity to convey deep love.
Rubies are thought to ensure health, intelligence, fortune, and success in love. They also excite the senses and the imagination. Ruby is thought to make the wearer intelligent and provide protection from all kinds of misfortunes.
According to legend, peridot possesses magical abilities and healing qualities that can ward off nightmares and grant the wearer strength, influence, and a happy year. Additionally, this diamond was worn to ward off evil spirits.
The wearer of sapphire and their loved ones are shielded from harm and enmity. Priests in antiquity thought sapphires were able to foretell the future. The gem is linked to contentment and calm.
Through the ages, opal has stood for optimism, innocence, and purity. It was said that wearing it would improve the wearer’s vision. Additionally, it was believed to drive away evil spirits and to favor kids, entertainment, friendships, and emotions.
The wearer’s hope, enthusiasm, and warmth are supposed to be encouraged and guided by this golden gemstone, which is also said to boost vitality and health. Citrines have also been employed as a talisman against the plague, bad skin, and evil thoughts, as well as an antidote for snake poison. They are thought to facilitate digestion and help the body get rid of impurities.
This gemstone is said to bring happiness and luck to the wearer. Turquoise was a hue that Native Americans connected to the blue sky and the green ground.
What birthstone has the lowest price?
A silica-based mineral called topaz is available in practically every hue. Its hardness of 8 makes it suitable for almost any sort of jewelry, and compared to some other birthstones, it is quite inexpensive. Red, blue, and orange topaz are extremely precious, but colorless topaz is practically worthless.
The most valuable topaz specimens, like with all gemstones, are those that are naturally vivid and highly colored, and their price rises with size. Natural topaz is currently produced primarily in Brazil, but there are additional mines in India, Pakistan, Russia, and China.
Are there two birthstones for each month?
Although each month has a single birthstone traditionally, certain months have numerous birthstones. This fact does cause some confusion, but the variety of possibilities for some months was developed to give customers a choice of less expensive selections in addition to the more typical, pricey stones.
December 26th’s birthstone is what?
Although not the only month with several recognized birthstones, December has the most birthstones overall. Traditional December birthstones included turquoise and lapis lazuli, another well-known blue gemstone. The most popular modern gemstones for December birthdays nowadays are zircon and the more brilliant blue topaz.