Those fortunate enough to have been born in December, have three stunning birthstones to choose from, namely tanzanite, zircon, or turquoise. These gems offer colours for everyone – from the blue to bluish/purple of tanzanite, to the vibrant greens and blues of turquoise, to the various rainbow shades of zircon.
Following is a guide to all three birthstones, to help you choose a December birthstone for you or your loved one, to suit your budget, style, and colour preferences.
Where It Is Found – turquoise has been mined for over 1000 years in Nishapur. New Mexico in the US was the largest producer until the 1920s when it was produced mainly in Nevada and Arizona. Today, Hube Province in China is the world’s largest producer of turquoise.
Turquoise Meaning And History – this semi-translucent to opaque birthstone ranges from blue to green and frequently has streaks of matrix (remains of the rock in which it was formed) running throughout it.
It was carved by Chinese craftsmen more than 3,000 years ago, and it was used in ancient Egypt by pharaohs and other rulers of that time to adorn themselves.
Turquoise was thought to have special powers, like fortune and good health. From the 13th century, was believed to protect the wearer from falling, especially from a horse and would shatter into pieces if a disaster were about to occur. According to Hindu mystics, if a turquoise were seen after the new moon, that person would become immensely wealthy.
In the USA, the Apache believed that turquoise could be found at a rainbow’s end, and if they attached the gem to a bow or firearm, their aim would be more accurate. The Hopi believed that the stone was created by lizards scuttling across the ground, and to the Pueblo, it was the sky that gave the gem its colour.
Turquoise is set in the funeral mask of King Tut, the ruler of Egypt more than 3,000 ago. The gem is also found in the jewellery of more modern royals, such as Wallace Simpson, the woman for whom King Edward renounced his throne.
Turquoise is the gem for the 11th wedding anniversary, and a turquoise ring symbolises “forget me not.”
In Tibetan culture, the stone ensures good fortune, protection from evil, and good health. Those who wear the gem convey peace to those around them.
Where It Is Found – tanzanite is only mined in Africa, in the Merelani Hills of northern Tanzania.
Tanzanite Meaning And History – named in honour of its country of origin, tanzanite was deemed one of the most thrilling gemstone discoveries in the 20th century. Due to its deep, saturated colours ranging from pure, rich blue to violet, tanzanite is frequently referred to as a “velvety” gem, with blue being the most valuable.
Tiffany & Co believed that tanzanite was popular throughout the world, and in 1968, became the primary distributor of the gem, and launched an enormous campaign to advertise and promote the stone. With its high clarity, potential for large cut stones, and spectacular colours, this December birthstone became a sensation in no time.
Tanzanite is not only the birthstone for December but is also the gemstone for 24th wedding anniversaries.
Where It Is Found – like several other gems, zircon is also found in Elahera, Sri Lanka, one of the most productive areas in the country, and is just as dramatic as the landscape of that area, with its jungles, restless streams, and mountains.
Yellow/brown, orange/brown, purple, and pink zircon are mined in Zircon Hill, situated in Harts Range in Australia, where the low-lying hills, dry riverbeds, and open savannahs meet the horizon.
Zircon is also found in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Myanmar, where sapphires are also mined.
Zircon Meaning And History – there is some confusion as to the origin of the word “zircon.” Some believe it to come from “zarkun,” the Arabic word for “cinnabar” or “vermilion” Others again, say that it is derived from the Persian words ”zargon” or “gold-coloured.” However, since the colour range of this December birthstone is so wide and varied, and includes shades like orange, red, blue, brown, green, and yellow, either derivation is possible.
Colourless zircon, often confused with diamonds through the centuries, is famous for its flashes of multicoloured lights and brilliance.
In the Middle Ages, it was believed that this birthstone could scare off evil spirits and lull the wearer into a deep and peaceful sleep. Zircon alternates with hessonite garnet, in the Hindu religion, as being one of the nine gems of the navaratna, and when worn together, gave the wearer protection and promoted wisdom, good health, and wealth.
Blue zircon was popular during the Victorian era, and some spectacular examples from the 1880s can be found in English estate jewellery.
As a December baby, you can also pick gemstones that are yellow, green, bright red, brown, and purple! With so many colours to choose from, you are almost guaranteed to find a December birthstone that reflects your personality perfectly!