December Birthstones: Tanzanite, Zircon, and Turquoise

Zircon Birthstone

Introduction to Tanzanite, Zircon, and Turquoise

December is unique in having three birthstones associated with it: tanzanite, zircon, and turquoise. Each of these gemstones carries a unique blue tone, making them perfect choices for December’s cool ambiance. Their variety also provides individuals born in December with a range of options to fit their personal tastes and styles.

Birthstone Month December
Birthstones Tanzanite, Zircon, and Turquoise
Symbolism Tanzanite: Transformation and Wisdom; Zircon: Honor and Wealth; Turquoise: Protection and Tranquility
Origins Tanzanite: Exclusive to Tanzania; Zircon: Found globally, with notable deposits in Cambodia and Australia; Turquoise: Sourced mainly from Iran and the Southwestern United States
Mythology and Beliefs Tanzanite: Connected to spiritual exploration and mindfulness; Zircon: Associated with honor, wealth, and long life; Turquoise: Seen as a holy stone bringing good fortune and protection
Physical Properties Tanzanite: Rates 6.5 on the Mohs scale; Zircon: Rates 7.5 on the Mohs scale; Turquoise: Rates 5-6 on the Mohs scale
Use in Jewelry Tanzanite: Often used in necklaces and earrings; Zircon: Cut into a variety of shapes for use in any jewelry piece; Turquoise: Popular in Native American jewelry, often cut into cabochons and beads
Care and Maintenance Tanzanite: Should be handled carefully due to its relative softness; Zircon: Resistant to most cleaning methods, but avoid ultrasonic cleaners; Turquoise: Clean with warm soapy water, avoid exposure to chemicals and cosmetics
Psychological and Emotional Significance Tanzanite: Encourages calmness and introspection; Zircon: Brings a sense of purpose and goal-oriented focus; Turquoise: Promotes leadership and clear communication
Choosing a Birthstone December boasts the dazzling hues of Tanzanite, Zircon, and Turquoise, each carrying unique symbolism and significance
Tanzanite Birthstone

Origin and History of Tanzanite, Zircon, and Turquoise

Tanzanite, named after Tanzania, its country of discovery, is one of the newest gemstones, discovered only in 1967. This gemstone is found exclusively in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Zircon has a much longer history, dating back over 4.4 billion years. Its name comes from the Arabic word “zarqun,” meaning “vermillion.”

Turquoise, one of the oldest known gemstones, has adorned the rulers of Ancient Egypt, the Aztecs, Persia, Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley, and China. Its name means “Turkish stone” as it entered Europe from Turkey.

The Mythology and Symbolism of Tanzanite, Zircon, and Turquoise

Tanzanite is often associated with calming and soothing qualities. It is said to transform negative thoughts and energies into positive ones.

Zircon, in Hindu mythology, is associated with the planet Uranus. It’s believed to bring prosperity, honor, and name and fame in the political sphere.

Turquoise, in many cultures, is seen as a symbol of wealth and prosperity, believed to bring good fortune and protect against evil.

Turquoise Birthstone

The Various Facets of Tanzanite, Zircon, and Turquoise

Tanzanite comes in a variety of blues, from light to dark and from lavender blue to deep, intense royal blue. The most valuable tanzanites are deep blue with a slight purple hue around the edges.

Zircon is available in a variety of colors, but blue zircon, with a bright and lively blue hue, is the most popular color for December.

Turquoise ranges in color from powdery blue to greenish robin’s egg blue. It’s prized for its attractive color and is often cut into cabochons or beads.

The Physical Properties of Tanzanite, Zircon, and Turquoise

Tanzanite ranks 6 to 7 on the Mohs scale of hardness, meaning it’s less durable than other gemstones. Therefore, tanzanite jewelry should be worn with care.

Zircon, ranking 7.5 on the Mohs scale, is suitable for most types of jewelry, including rings. However, its brittleness means it must be treated with care to prevent facets from chipping.

Turquoise, being relatively soft with a hardness of 5 to 6, is often treated to improve its durability for use in jewelry.

Zircon Birthstone

Tanzanite, Zircon, and Turquoise in Jewelry Design

Tanzanite’s high clarity and strong intensity make it a beloved gemstone in various jewelry designs, from earrings to statement necklaces.

Zircon is often cut into rounds and ovals to display its brilliant fire. Blue zircon, in particular, is popular in jewelry designs due to its high refractive index and strong dispersion.

Turquoise’s unique color and texture make it a favorite for designers, often seen in southwestern and Native American jewelry.

How to Care for and Clean Tanzanite, Zircon, and Turquoise Jewelry

All three stones should be treated with care to avoid scratching or cracking. Cleaning should be done with warm, soapy water and a soft brush. Ultrasonic and steam cleaners should be avoided.

Conclusion: The Lasting Appeal of Tanzanite, Zircon, and Turquoise

The trio of December birthstones offers a unique choice of attractive blue gems to suit a variety of tastes. From the intense blues of tanzanite and zircon to the intriguing hue and texture of turquoise, December’s birthstones are sure to enchant their wearers, making them a wonderful choice for a December birthday or other special occasions.