Gift-giving is a meaningful way to celebrate a loved one's birthday, and for those born in December, understanding the symbols of this month can help you select the ideal present.
December babies have two distinct astrological signs that shape their personalities: Sagittarius (born between December 1 and 21) and Capricorn (born between December 22 and 31). Additionally, the narcissus flower is symbolic of December, carrying its special significance.
But what is the birthstone for December?Much like every other month, December possesses its unique gemstones, each with its own story to tell. In this article, we will explore the fascinating world of December's birthstones, uncovering their colors, symbolism, and much more. So, if you're on a quest to find the perfect December birthday gift, keep reading to unveil the hidden treasures of this enchanting month.
Although December isn't the only month with more than one official birthstone, it does have the most. The traditional December birthstones were turquoiseand lapis lazuli, two well-known blue gemstones. Blue topazand Zircon, two of the most dazzling gemstones, have surpassed diamondsas the most popular present for a December birthday in recent years.
Turquoise, one of the first recognized gemstones, comes in a wide range of colors, from vivid robin's egg blue to softer shades of blue and bluish-green. The ancient Aztecs, the Egyptians (who used it to adorn King Tut's tomb), and the Persians all placed a high value on this December birthstone.
Turquoise has been revered for its supposed magical properties since ancient times. Historically, Native Americans in the Southwest used Turquoise as an amulet to fend off evil, and this belief persists today in ancient Persia (and modern-day Iran). Turquoise jewelryhas been thought to ward off bad luck for generations.
Despite the gem's antiquity, its name is more recent: the phrase "turquoise," meaning "stone from Turkey," dates back to the thirteenth century France, when the stones were first carried from Turkey to Western Europe. Antique jewelry from the Victorian and Edwardian periods commonly include turquoise cabochons, and Queen Victoria famously gifted turquoise-encrusted brooches to her bridesmaids.
The Nishapur region of Iran has been a turquoise mining center for over a thousand years. This area produces the highly sought-after "robin's egg blue," "sky blue," and "Persian blue" turquoise. The gemstone trade has used these words to refer to the Turquoise of this hue universally. Turquoise, the December birthstone, is mined in the Nishapur area of Iran, where the landscape seen above may be found.
The majority of American Turquoise is mined in Arizona and Nevada now, but before the 1920s, New Mexico was the leading producer of this December birthstone. Names like Dry Creek, Easter Blue, Emerald Valley, and Fox evoke the natural beauty surrounding these mines.
Turquoise with exceptional intensity of color comes from the famous Kingman mine in Arizona. The Sleeping Beauty mine in Arizona was a significant source of Turquoise for more than 40 years until it was shut down. The majority of the world's supply of this December birthstone now comes from China. Most of China's gem-quality turquoise comes from Hubei Province in the country's central region.
High-copper Turquoise tends to have a much more azure hue. Greener than usual stones have higher iron content. Turquoise, which is less frequent, is a good source of zinc. The color of the diamondwill shift toward yellow under these conditions. Identifying a gemstone is frequently as simple as looking at its matrix, a thin, detailed, vein-like structure that runs through the stone. It's like cracks in the Earth, yet it flows through the rock.
While some gemologists and collectors see these inclusions as adding character and value to the stone, others see them as imperfections that detract from its overall worth; on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, turquoise ranks between 5 and 6. The gem may sometimes have a low score, even 3. That is to say, Turquoise is easily damaged.
The color spectrum for turquoise spans from azure to apple green. The traditional robin egg blue hue is the most sought-after. Pure blue "Sleeping Beauty Turquoise" is highly prized for its beauty and rarity. The 'Sleeping Beauty Mine' in Arizona, USA, was where it was extracted. However, it is now defunct. Turquoise from the Persian Gulf is also a brilliant blue-green. Many types of Turquoise, including Chinese Turquoise, include a matrix, which consists of the host rock and appears as brown, black, or gray veins.
Turquoise was thought to have magical properties and significant importance in most civilizations. The gem was often used in the construction of weapons, crowns, jewelry, and even structures. It was also carved into many forms by Native Americans and utilized as heirlooms and ceremonial objects.
The stone's protective qualities were paired with claims that it promoted well-being, peace, and harmony. Because of this, Turquoise was a popular present for weddings and birthdays. It was thought that this gem had cleansing and anti-inflammatory properties. In ancient societies, Turquoise was utilized to treat viral infections and alleviate mental healthissues, including despair and anxiety.
Turquoise is thought to be a helpful stone for those who suffer from physical symptoms of stress, sadness, or panic attacks. It's said to cure the whole body by boosting the immune system (both the mental and physical ones) and helping the body absorb nutrients more efficiently.
Rare Tanzanite is a form of the mineral zoisitein which strontium atoms provide a pinkish-purple hue. Pleochroism is a unique and powerful property of Tanzanite that causes it to display dual coloration.
Its sole known occurrence on land is in the Merelani Hills of Tanzania, close to the peak of Kilimanjaro. It appears in a wide range of colors, including yellow, golden brown, green, blue, and purple. The color-changing capabilities of this gem contributed to its rapid rise to fame after its discovery in 1967.
The tanzanite birthstone has just recently become popular. Maasai nomads in the area of Arusha, Tanzania, discovered blue stones in 1967. They alerted prospector Manuel d'Souza, who thought the rocks might be sapphires and set to work extracting them. D'Souza determined that the stones were really the mineral zoisite rather than sapphires.
A year later, Tiffany & Co. debuted a marketing push for the zoisite mineral. They promoted it as a cheaper alternative to sapphires. During the campaign, the birthstone's transparency, color saturation, and size flexibility were pushed. Almost immediately, Tanzanite became Tiffany & Co.'s primary product. The blue gemwas given the new name "tanzanite" to reflect its place of origin in Tanzania. As a marketing tool, "tanzanite" was also preferred by Tiffany & Co.
As was previously noted, Tanzania is the only place on Earth where the rare gemstone tanzanite can be found in nature. Tanzania is the only country where you may find Tanzanite. The unique stones were discovered after a massive fire in 1967 destroyed most of the vegetation and soil around Mount Kilimanjaro. They became an eye-catching blue-violet color.
On the Mohs scale, Tanzanite is around 6.5. Although it can withstand being dropped and scraped, its surface is nonetheless fragile. The stone's color palette includes blues and violets. For this reason, you may use them as suitable substitutes for sapphires, aquamarines, and blue topaz. The gemstone tanzanite is very pleochroic, reflecting a variety of hues depending on the viewing angle. It also absorbs distinct colors of light in varying degrees, making it dichromatic.
As a pleochroic crystal, tanzanite shifts from blue to violet depending on the intensity of the light hitting it and the angle at which it's being seen. Dark blue, brown-yellow, and red-purple all coexist in the same stone in its natural state. To produce its deep violet-blue hue, Tanzanite is often heated after being cut. This treatment is universally recognized as long-lasting and fade-proof in the industry. Tanzanite's vibrant color may be maintained without any extra treatment. The purple and violet hues are more visible in daylight. The blues are particularly noticeable under fluorescent lighting. Inclusion-free tanzanites are the norm.
The most desirable color for Tanzanite is a vivid blue-violet. Lighter shades tend to cost less. A Tanzanite must be cut correctly. A poorly cut stone will reflect less light, making the hue seem dull. In order to maximize a stone's value, lapidaries will frequently create intricate cuts that highlight the bluer hues. The value of Tanzanite is drastically reduced when inclusions are evident. Most stones with a blue hue weigh more than five carats. The color saturation of smaller rocks tends to be lower.
Tanzanite gemstones have a reputation for having vital crystal energy and may be helpful tools for metaphysical healing. They can reverse negative energy into good ones and heal those suffering from stress-related ailments. They also can conquer worry and fear. Some claim they are very inspirational, while others think they are excellent for meditation due to their ability to heighten one's awareness of one's spiritual self.
Zircon is an exceptional gem that has been misunderstood for a long time. This December birthstone is significant in both geological and cultural history, making it a valuable collectible. Zircon, however, seems to be any other precious stone to the untrained eye.
Zirconia, a synthetic diamond alternative, is often misunderstood as Zircon. Diamond stimulants are imitations, but diamonds created in a laboratory are the genuine deal. Because of its high brightness, colorless Zircon may be mistaken for a diamond. This might give the impression that the birthstone has twice as many facets as it really does.
The history of the name "zircon" has been the subject of heated discussion. Scholars are divided on its origin, although many point to the Arabic term zarkun, which means "cinnabar" or "vermilion." Some have suggested that the term comes from the Persian word zargun, which means "gold-colored." Given that this December birthstone may be found in a broad spectrum of colors, including red, orange, yellow, brown, green, and blue, either origin is plausible.
Colorless Zircon has been mistaken for a diamond for ages due to its brightness and bursts of multicolored light, known as fire. This December birthstone was formerly believed to put its wearer to sleepand ward off evil spirits. Zircon is one of the nine stones of the navaratna in Hinduism, alternating with hessonite garnet. All nine jewels work together to safeguard their bearer and provide riches, knowledge, and health.
Natural zirconization occurs. The formation process still needs to be better understood since it takes place so far underground. Many "what if" research and observations of Zircon on other planets have led scientists to the conclusion that it is generated when tectonic plates collide.
Zircon was formed in part because the early Earth's environment was so hostile. Zircon is often confused with Cubic Zirconia, an artificial diamond alternative. The two are entirely unrelated to one another. The synthetic imitation is less beautiful than the genuine December Birthstone zircon.
Zircon also stands out from the crowd because its physical qualities span a considerably broader spectrum than those of other gemstones. Zircon, for instance, may have a hardness of between 6 and 7 on the Mohs scale. The stone has a durability similar to that of steel. Diamonds, which are higher on the hardness scale, might still harm it.
Zircon is a beautiful gemstone because of its high refractive index, dispersion rating, and robust pleochroism. This implies the stone is as reflective as a fine diamond and has the same fire and brightness. It's well-documented that its hue changes depending on the viewer's perspective. As a result, the zircon gemstone may command a premium above comparable semi-precious stones.
Zircon, a popular gemstone, is available in a rainbow of hues, including rich reds, oranges, greens, yellows, and golden browns. Without any color at all!
Zircon of this hue is often treated with heat. Zircon was formerly often mistaken for diamond due to its striking similarities in appearance. Zircon, on the other hand, will lose its luster over time, and it won't take a gemologist to see the difference.
The blue Zircon is my all-time favorite mermaid stone. Blue Zircon, which is often heated from brown or colorless Zircon, has a lively, vivid appearance, somewhat unlike the tropical ocean on a sunny day. Some have even gone so far as to call blue Zircon more brilliant than sapphires, the most well-known blue gemstone.
Golden Zircon, sometimes called honey zircon, is a kind of Zircon that is highly sought after for its intricate brilliance. Brown Zircon that has been heated is a common source of this.
This Zircon, which emits a blazing red light, may be discovered in the wild. This is a heat-resistant color in Zircon.
A wide range of pink tones may be found in rose zircon. Rose zircon's multifaceted brightness, which ranges from dusty pink to fuschia, is evocative of royal topaz. Pink Zircon is usually produced by heat treatment. However, there are some examples of natural pink Zircon.
This is a very unusual hue for Zircon, being chemically distinct from the other colors (save brown). It's the oldest of the bunch. Therefore, it's usually murky and brownish ('low zircon' is the proper term for this). Clarity and color may be significantly enhanced with heat treatment.
Zircon was worn as a sleep aid and carried to bring its owner wealth and wisdom in the Middle Ages. It was also used to treat testicular issues, blisters, and varicose veins.
December birthstones, primarily Turquoise, Tanzanite, and Zircon, are often used in jewelry to create beautiful and meaningful pieces. Here are some examples of December birthstone jewelry:
Turquoise earringscome in various styles, including studs, dangles, and hoops. They add a pop of color to any outfit.
Turquoise beaded braceletsor bangles are stylish and can be stacked with other bracelets for a trendy look.
Large, smooth-cut Turquoise cabochons are often used in brooches or statement jewelry pieces.
Tanzanite rings are popular choices for December birthstone jewelry. The unique violet-blue color of Tanzanite can make for exquisite and eye-catching engagement rings, fashion rings, or statement pieces.
Tanzanite pendantsand necklaces come in various styles, from solitaire charms to multi-stone designs. They can be paired with white gold or platinum settings for an elegant look.
Tanzanite earrings, whether studs, drops, or hoops, can add a touch of luxury to any outfit. They complement both formal and casual attire.
Tanzanite is sometimes used in bracelets, often combined with diamonds or other gemstones to create dazzling pieces of jewelry.
Zircon gemstones come in a range of colors, but blue Zircon is the most popular choice for December birthstone rings. These rings can be adorned with diamonds or other gemstones for added sparkle.
Zircon can be set in pendants and necklaces, often in simple and classic designs to highlight the gem's beauty.
Zircon earrings, whether studs or dangles, can be versatile and complement various styles and outfits.
Zircon is less commonly used in bracelets but can add a touch of elegance when it is.
Cleaning December birthstones like Turquoise, Zircon, and Tanzanite requires a delicate touch, as these gemstones can be relatively softer compared to diamonds or sapphires. Here's how to clean and care for each of these birthstones:
- Turquoise is a porous gemstone that can absorb liquids and become discolored. It is also relatively soft, with a Mohs hardness of 5-6.
- To clean Turquoise jewelry, use a soft, damp cloth or a soft brush (like a toothbrush) to gently remove dust and dirt. Be very gentle to avoid scratching or damaging the stone.
- Avoid using harsh chemicals, ultrasonic cleaners, or steam cleaners, as they can harm Turquoise.
- Store Turquoise jewelry separately to prevent scratching, and keep it away from direct sunlight and heat to avoid color fading.
- Tanzanite is a moderately soft gemstone with a Mohs hardness of 6.5 - 7. It can be sensitive to temperature changes and impacts.
- Clean Tanzanite jewelry with mild, soapy water and a soft brush. Gently scrub the stone to remove dirt and then rinse it in clean water.
- Avoid using ultrasonic cleaners, as they can cause fractures in Tanzanite.
- Store Tanzanite jewelry in a soft pouch or separate compartment to prevent scratching and avoid exposing it to extreme temperature changes.
- Zircon is a relatively hard gemstone with a Mohs hardness of 6.5 - 7.5, but it can still be sensitive to heat and light.
- To clean Zircon jewelry, use a mild, soapy water solution and a soft brush or cloth. Gently scrub the stone to remove dirt and grime, and then rinse with clean water.
- Do not use ultrasonic or steam cleaners, as they may damage the stone.
- Avoid exposing Zircon to high temperatures or prolonged sunlight, as it can cause color changes.
Turquoise is associated with wisdom, protection, and love. It's believed to bring calm and balance to those born in December.
Yes, you can absolutely wear Turquoise jewelry regardless of your birth month. Turquoise is treasured for its beauty and symbolism, and it's a popular gemstone in jewelry.
Yes, many jewelers create pieces that feature multiple December birthstones, such as combining Turquoise, Zircon, and Tanzanite in one design for a unique and meaningful work.
This article aims to explain the answer to what is the birthstone for December. The birthstone for December holds a special place in the world of gemstones and jewelry. Whether it's the serene beauty of Turquoise, the brilliant hues of Zircon, or the luxurious charm of Tanzanite, each gem offers a unique story and significance. December birthstones are not just symbols of one's birth month; they represent wisdom, love, transformation, and protection.