The December Birthstones: Zircon, Tanzanite & Turquoise
For December, we are highlighting three unique gemstones. Tanzanite, Zircon, and Turquoise are best known for their beautiful shades of blue. Very fitting for the winter month!
This stunning purple and blue gem is rarer than the other December stones due to its limited geographical origins.
Tanzanite’s namesake originates from the African country of Tanzania. Most of the Tanzanite found today is heat-treated to minimize the naturally-occurring brown colors within the gem. This process enhances and emphasizes the rich Tanzanite blue.
Turquoise has long been admired for its distinct powdery blue and green highlights. According to the American Gem Society, the word “turquoise” dates back to the 13th century, drawing from the French expression Pierre Torques, which referenced the “Turkish stone” brought to Europe from Turkey.
Turquoise is created in arid regions where rainwater dissolves copper in the soil. This process forms colorful deposits when it combines with aluminum and phosphorus. Places such as Nevada, New Mexico and California offer the best regions and terrain for Turquoise to form. Today, the United States is the largest Turquoise supplier.
Following the striking blue Tanzanite, and elegant Turquoise, we have a gemstone called a Zircon.
While this gemstone is more commonly known for its brown, reddish color, the blue Zircon is incredibly eye-catching. Some believe that this gem gets its name from the Persian word zargun, meaning “gold-colored.” Others trace it to the Arabic zarkun, meaning “vermillion.”
Of the three birthstones, Turquoise the most fragile. The toughest Turquoise measures only a six on the Mohs Scale of Hardness while the Zircon measures a 7.5, and Tanzanite measures between 6.5 to 7. These gems should be cared for gently and tenderly. We suggest removing your birthstone jewelry before washing your hands and accessorizing once hair and makeup are complete. As a best practice, always keep your jewelry in a protective case or box when not worn.
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