December Delights

December Delights

December Birthstones

The perfect December birthstone for you depends on your preferences. December actually has SEVEN birthstones: turquoise, tanzanite, blue topaz, zircon, lapis lazuli, bloodstone and even ruby. They all share a rich blue color, clearly all leaning on the historical color. But each of these gemstones offers unique characteristics, giving you a lovely variety to choose from.



a nugget of natural light blue turquoise stone with fine black matrixThe most well-known birthstone for December is turquoise. The name “turquoise” comes from the French phrase for “Turkish stone,” which is “pierre turquois” (pronounced pee-yare turr-qwah).  Historians believe that turquoise first came to Europe through Turkey, hence the name. Turquoise gifts symbolized “forget me not.” Turquoise also represents the 11th wedding anniversary.

 Turquoise has a long, rich history across many ancient civilizations. Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt often wore turquoise. Chinese artisans carved turquoise more than 3,000 years ago. Turquoise also played an important role in the lives of Native Americans. It was commonly used in jewelry and adornments. The Apache believed that turquoise lay at the end of a rainbow. They often attached turquoise to bows and firearms, believing that the stone increased their accuracy.

***Turquoise is a stone of purification, and will dispel negative energy. It stabilizes mood swings and helps bring inner calm.



 four faceted tanzanite gemstones of varying degrees of blueTanzanite appears in a variety of hues from intense blue to violet, and can change with the light. It also represents the 24th wedding anniversary.

 Tanzanite is a newcomer to the birthstone scene. In 1967, Maasai herders found blue stones near Arusha, Tanzania. They showed the stones to a prospector who quickly started mining what he believed to be sapphires. They were eventually identified not as sapphires but as mineral zoisite. A year later Tiffany & Co. launched an advertising campaign about mineral zoisite, posing it as a competitor for the expensive sapphire. The name was eventually changed to Tanzanite in honor of its country of origin, but also because Tiffany believed the name to be stronger for marketing.

 Tanzanite is currently mined in the Merelani Hills in northern Tanzania under the shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro. A study from 2012 says that the tanzanite supply is dwindling causing prices to soar. Some experts believe that the current generation will be the last to purchase new tanzanite!

 ***Tanzanite’s meaning varies based on its color – the darker the stone, the more powerful the meaning. Violet hues represent majesty, mystery and magic, which are closely associated with the color purple throughout history. Darker tanzanite in both blue and purple also represent royalty because of the depth and richness of their color. Indigo stones symbolize the heart, intellect, intuition and purity.


 Blue Topaz

two faceted blue topaz gemstonesBlue topaz is a fairly new birthstone for December. This stunning stone has a beautiful ocean-like look with its blue shades. It is important to note that most blue topaz starts off as colorless topaz which turns blue when heated, either naturally or artificially. Nowadays the stone is often heat treated and irradiated to create the blue hues. The most common blue shades are Swiss blue (top left) and London blue (bottom right).

 The name “topaz” comes from the Sanskrit word ‘topaz,’ which means “fire.” It is a sacred stone in the Hindu religion. Blue topaz was first discovered on the Greek Islands by Romans over two thousand years ago. Egyptians used blue topaz to empower their god ‘Ra’, and Romans used it to empower their god ‘Jupiter.’  The ancient Greeks used blue topaz to give them mental and physical strength. From the 1300s to the 1600s, many people in Europe believed that topaz had many healing and magical properties.

 ***Blue topaz represents loyalty and is associated with truelove and trust. The stone helps dispel fear and worries.



a sparkling faceted blue topaz gemstoneZircon is the oldest mineral on earth, dating back 4.4 billion years. Zircon can be found in a rainbow of colors, including blue, brown, green, orange, yellow, red and even clear. Clear zircon is one of the most brilliant non-diamond gems and was often used as a diamond alternative in the nineteenth century. Zircon looks like other gems to the naked eye. It is regularly confused with cubic zirconia, which is a lab grown diamond simulant (lab grown diamonds are real, whereas simulants are fake). Colorless zircon looks like a diamond because of its brilliance.

 The origins of the word “zircon” are unclear, either to the Arabic “zakkrun” which means cinnabar or vermillion, or to the Persian “zargun” which means “gold-covered.” During the Middle Ages it was believed that zircons possessed many magical properties from warding off evil spirits to curing varicose veins. It is one of the nine gemstones from the navaratna, a Hindu jeweled pendant that represents the religion’s heavenly bodies. More recently, zircon was very popular during the Victorian period.

 Mining companies often produce zircon and sapphire in similar regions because the two gems tend to develop close to each other.

 ***Zircon represents the purity of the mind and a clear path to wisdom. It also symbolizes honor and prosperity while fostering self-confidence.


If these four are not enough for you, there are three more historical December birthstones. These are lapis lazuli, bloodstone and ruby.

a smooth oval cabochon of deep blue lapis lazuli gemstoneLapis lazuli was found 7500 years ago in Mehrgarh, now part of Pakistan. When kings went to battle they wore lapis lazuli pendants in gold engraved baskets. Egyptians wore only vintage and antique lapis lazuli jewelry in those times. People of ancient times believed Lapis Lazuli’s white colored lines symbolized preventing negative energy from entering the body.

 a smooth oval cabochon of deep green with dark red splotches bloodstone gemstoneBloodstone is the lesser-known of the three. A variety of jasper, it has a green body color with red flecks, derived from hematite. Bloodstone’s name comes from its red spots, as many think they resemble blood drops. Another name for bloodstone is heliotrope.

 a faceted oval deep red ruby gemstone The third historical birthstone, ruby, needs little introduction. One of the traditional precious stones, ruby has long been popular as a gem. While ruby was the conventional December birthstone, it is currently the modern birthstone for July. A variety of corundum, ruby and sapphire are from the same family. In the United States, there is a distinction between pink sapphire and ruby. Elsewhere in the world, however, they can be both be considered rubies.


So which do you choose? Happy Birthday, December!







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