Not everyone is thrilled to celebrate their special day during the hustle and bustle of the holidays. But there is a benefit to having a birthday during this cold and busy month – the option of choosing from three beautiful December birthstones.
These three gemstones are the perfect way to fight off the winter blues. And even more appropriately, they are all lovely shades of blue themselves. If you struggle with buying a thoughtful gift for a December birthday, this provides the perfect present options.
The three birthstone choices range from the oldest on earth (zircon), to one of the first mined and first used in jewelry (turquoise) to one of the most recently discovered (tanzanite).
Long History of Zircon
Zircon’s name comes from the Arabic word zar (meaning gold) and gun (meaning color). While blue is its most popular color, it does come in many shades. It is found in several countries including Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Nigeria and Australia and has a long history full of symbolism and lore.
People used to believe that it would give the wearer power to relieve pain, increase appetite, and even protect travelers from injury and disease. It may also give a warm welcome to visitors and allow a peaceful night’s sleep without bad dreams.
This oldest material on earth has a good hardness level so it’s durable enough for daily wear. It is easy to care for, but can be damaged if treated carelessly. Zircon’s brilliant luster makes it a great gift for a birthday or even as a traditional 4th wedding anniversary present.
Turquoise, one of the most ancient gems, gets its name from a French expression meaning “Turkish Stone.” It is said that turquoise contains special healing power and promotes wealth and good fortune. Some also have thought that it fends off evil and brings good luck.
Turquoise is a very popular gemstone in the Southwest region of the United States among the Native American population. It is not only worn as jewelry, but the Apaches would attach it to a bow or other firearm as they believed it would increase the warrior’s accuracy. It is found in dry climates such as this area of the U.S., as well as in Iran, Mexico, Chile, China and Tibet.
Its colors can vary from white to powder blue to sky blue, and it has a hardness that is slightly harder than window glass. Even though turquoise is fairly durable, its wearer must be careful with perfumes and solvents (such as hair spray or sunscreen). Turquoise is a hydrated phosphate of copper and aluminum, so hair and skin products, and even oils from the skin can discolor it.
Unlike the long histories of zircon and turquoise, tanzanite was just discovered in the late 1960s in Tanzania. It is found exclusively in this area, mostly near the foothills of Mt. Kilimanjaro. The stone was introduced as tanzanite by Tiffany & Co. after deciding its original name, Blue Zoisite, was not consumer friendly.
Tanzanite’s deep and rich velvety blue has violet undertones and may be found in shades of purple. While its beautiful color makes it popular, so does all the ways it can be cut. It comes in a variety of sizes and shapes and is fairly affordable compared to the other December gemstone choices.
It is decently durable and good for everyday use, but can get surface damage if dropped or scratched.
Will Any Blue Do?
Because December Birthstones are typically associated with any blue gemstone, lapis and blue topaz are generally thought of as this month’s birthstones, as well. Blue topaz is the ancient Hindu December birthstone and is a symbol of love and affection. It is said to aid one’s disposition and sweetness. Luckily those who celebrate at the end of the year have many gorgeous choices.
These are all relatively inexpensive gifts but can still rival the beauty of other gems. It’s not difficult to find something for any budget or nearly any preference with the abundant options for a perfect gift.
- Birthstones. www.americangemsociety.org. (accessed Sept 24, 2018).
- www.gemrockauctions.com. (accessed Sept 24, 2018).