For December birthdays, the holiday season provides extra reason to celebrate. If you’re looking for an extra-special gift to mark the occasion, birthstone jewelry is a sentimental and personal expression. To match December’s cooling temperatures and darkening skies, not one but four blue-hued gemstones are the month’s official birthstones, creating many opportunities to find the perfect match.
December birthdays have four beautiful stones to choose from: blue topaz, blue zircon, tanzanite, and turquoise. Turquoise was the original December birthstone, followed by blue zircon and blue topaz, and then tanzanite. While each is a shade of blue, they each have a different look and meaning. All four dazzle in rings, earrings and pendants.
December is the only month of the year with four different birthstones. Turquoise was the original birthstone, and, in the 1950s, blue zircon and blue topaz were added. Tanzanite was just discovered in 1967 and, in 2002, it was added as a December birthstone. Each one offers some novel properties.
Blue topaz comes in three colors: Sky blue, London Blue and Swiss blue.
With its deep indigo coloring, tanzanite is often mistaken for sapphire, but it is actually a member of the zoisite family. Upon closer inspection, many tanzanite stones have a purple or violet undertone.
Turquoise sometimes has gray or silver veining and an opaque and waxy appearance, in contrast to many other gems’ facets, cuts, and translucence.
Each of December’s stones boast unique details and properties. Ancient societies valued blue topaz for its calming properties, believing it could heal burns and reduce anger. More recently, blue topaz (which is related to popular yellow topaz) is representative of learning, communication, and creativity.
Turquoise is one of world’s oldest and most popular gemstones. The name is derived from the French word turquois meaning 'Turkish'. It was beloved by the Aztec people and Native American tribes, and represents luck, friendship, and protection, and is believed to have healing properties.
Blue zircons are one of the oldest minerals on Earth, tracing back 4 billion years. More recently, in a bid to boost sales, a buyer for iconic jeweler Tiffany’s attempted to change the name to “starlite,” but it didn’t stick.
As the newest December birthstone, tanzanite may not have the rich history of its fellow blue stones, but it is certainly a novelty. Tanzanite can only be found in a five-mile area of the Merelani region in northern Tanzania, making it one of the rarer valuable precious gems like diamonds.
These four stones need to all be handled with care. Blue zircon ranks between 6.5 to 7.5 on the Mohs hardness scale (Diamonds are a the hardest of all stones and have a 10 rating), while blue topaz ranges from a 6 to a 7. These two stones are moderate hardness, so should be handled carefully. Turquoise is a softer stone, rating between a 5 and a 6, and can scratch or chip, and shouldn’t be submerged in water. Blue topaz is the strongest December stone, with a rating of 8, making it the most suitable for everyday use.
With four stunning options to choose from, it might be hard to choose the perfect December birthstone jewelry, but Peter Franklin Jewelers is here to help. Our customer experience professionals can help you select the ideal birthstone item based on your loved one’s lifestyle and tastes. Visit our three northeast Indiana locations in New Haven, Angola, and Fort Wayne and let us help you select the perfect piece of fine jewelry for your December birthday.