December birthstone

Awesome news for people born in December – you have three gemstone options to pick for your birthstone jewelry. Meet tanzanite, turquoise, and zircon, the truly beautiful jewels and long-term jewelry bestsellers! And what’s more important: all of them will gain even more brilliance and importance as your December birthstone.
Our short guide for each December birthstone option
In fact, tanzanite, turquoise, and zircon hide many surprises upon further acquaintance. Although we commonly associate the first month of winter with red, white, and green Christmas palette, the colors of zircon go far beyond these limits. In their turn, tanzanite and turquoise make it straight – the best color for those born in the first winter month is deep and intense blue.
If you’re interested in the specifics of each gemstone and want to look beyond their appearance, here is our short guide for each December birthstone option. Read all the descriptions, and be sure you’ll make an informed decision about your birthstone jewelry choice!
Tanzanite, the most valuable December birthstone
Tanzanite is an official December birthstone #1. Believe it or not, but this gemstone was found in the 20th century only! Thus, we can trace its history year by year today.
Tanzanite is recognizable thanks to its unique velvet blue color with a purple overtone. With this one-of-a-kind appearance, the gemstone can come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. In terms of color, the shades of blue can differ from lavender to ultramarine tones – but the purple signature should always remain.
Here is the timeline of how tanzanite entered the jewelry world:
In 1962, tanzanite as a mineral was first discovered by Manuel de Sousa. It was believed that this December birthstone appeared after the first eruption of Mount Kilimanjaro. Tanzanite got the title ‘zoisite’ then.
Among the healing attributes of tanzanite, many people recognize the positive effect of birthstone jewelry on body detoxification, vitality enhancement, and youthfulness preservation. Another belief about tanzanite says it’s capable of calming body and soul. If these things concern you, come and pick your tanzanite!
Tanzanite is a jewelry gift for the 24th wedding anniversary.
In 1968, the gemstone “blue-violet zoisite” was titled “tanzanite” (because it was found in Tanzania) and entered the jewelry market. Tiffany & Co. believed in the commercial future of tanzanite and launched a grand promotion campaign for it. And it didn’t make a mistake with this decision – all the tanzanite jewelry introduced to the wide public gained instant success. Since then, Tiffany & Co. claims itself as an official distributor of tanzanite on the world jewelry market. They even made a slogan, “Tanzanite can only be found in two places, Tanzania and Tiffany’s.”
Pleochroism is a feature that makes birthstone jewelry featuring tanzanite more valuable. Precisely, it means that the gemstone can change its hues under different angles. Generally, this transformation in tanzanite happens as switching from purple to violet. Also, tanzanite is dictomatic, meaning that this jewel can absorb light rays in different amounts.
Sometimes, people called tanzanite “velvety.” That’s because jewelry designers commonly use tanzanite of violet or purple tones. Without these overtones, tanzanite can be easily taken for a sapphire!
In 2002, tanzanite became an official December birthstone, being the youngest on this list made by American Gem Trade Association. Also, tanzanite was unknown for so long that any jewelry legend about it had time to appear. Nevertheless, tanzanite managed to become a symbol of greater self-awareness, stimulated intuition, and sharper perception.
There is one and only mine of tanzanite in the world. It’s The Merelani Hills in Northern Tanzania, near Mount Kilimanjaro. Maybe, tanzanite can be found in another country someday. But its title will always indicate that Tanzanian origin is what makes tanzanite true!
Turquoise, the long-term idol of the public
As an alternative December birthstone option, turquoise is a gemstone that became a national treasure of Tibet and a symbol of peace and good health. Also, this jewel is a wise choice for those striving to find robust support to their bright side. Originally, the word “turquoise” means “stone from Turkey,” establishing the semantic link very similar to the one between tanzanite and Tanzania.
Turquoise is a rare example of an opaque gemstone of extreme beauty. Also, it has a distinctive appearance, featuring blue and green hues with an additional network of brownish veins. The latter form a matrix, or “a spider’s web.” The shade of turquoise is splendid enough to be included in the Pantone line under the title “turquoise blue.” These days, it’s very popular in commercial advertising and graphic design. In a stone, the intensity of this iconic color heavily depends on the amount of copper in its content.
What is remarkable about turquoise? Here are some top facts:
Excavations on the territory of Ancient Egypt revealed pieces of massive turquoise jewelry that belonged to pharaohs. For instance, King Tut, the ruler of Ancient Egypt, made a funeral mask from this gemstone.
Turquoise was widely used in the traditional jewelry of Native Americans of Southwest. They used it to decorate ceremonial dresses or in protection amulets from demons. Actually, different tribes had different beliefs about turquoise. For example, Apache believed that you could find a turquoise at the end of a rainbow. For Pueblo, the gemstone was a reflection of a blue sky. In their turn, the Hopi saw in this December birthstone the traces left by lizards.
You can predict a disaster by seeing a piece of turquoise cracking in front of your eyes.
In Ancient China, people used turquoise as the basis for art craft materials.
Among the typical attributes of turquoise, its wearer can get greater wealth, outstanding healing abilities, and better strength and luck. As a practical perk, turquoise can protect its owner from falling off the horse. In addition to this, the horses themselves can stay healthy and not overheat if they have this gemstone attached to their bridles.
Wallace Simpson, Duchess of Windsor, was the most famous admirer of turquoise. Her birthstone jewelry pick was an amethyst and turquoise necklace from Cartier. Queen Victoria was also among other big fans of this gemstone.
Hindu mystics said a person seeing turquoise during the new moon should expect significant income in the near future. As for the convictions of Europeans, gifting turquoise birthstone jewelry delivers a message “forget me not” to a person.
Before its recent closure, one of mines in Arizona had been storing a special type of turquoise. It had a dreamy title Sleeping Beauty because a mountain where this turquoise was stored looks like a woman who is sleeping on her back with arms crossed. However, the gemstone itself doesn’t look like an image of this fairytale creature. Turquoise from Arizona mine appeared as a pure blue sky with insufficient webbing.
For centuries, turquoise mining happened in Nishapur, an area in Iran. This mine is still a birthplace for the most appraised turquoise types - “robin’s egg blue,” “sky blue,” and “Persian blue.” Within the USA, the most common places to trace this gemstone are New Mexico, Arizona, and Nevada. These days, the biggest producers of turquoise are in Hubei province in China. In all these countries, dry areas of previous volcanic activity became the perfect place to find this December birthstone.
Zircon, a multicolored beauty
Actually, the very origin of the word “zircon” causes debates. It may come from the Arabic word ‘zarkun’ that refers to an intense red tone. Alternatively, the Persian word ‘zargun’ means ‘being gold-colored.'
Both versions can be true. Zircon can come in a variety of colors, including colorless, red, orange, brown, green, and blue. At the same time, the most appraised zircon options are Caribbean Sea and vivid blue. Another remarkable thing about zircon is that it may contain traces of radioactive elements like uranium and thorium.
Here are some interesting things to consider about zircon:
The oldest zircon has the same age as our planet Earth. It was found in Australia.
When colorless, zircon can be easily taken for a diamond. This happens because of the brilliance and multicolored flashes of light on its surface. That’s the reason why zircon was a common gemstone to replace diamond in the nineteenth century.
Medieval people believed that zircon is capable of bringing sapience and prosperity. Also, looking into the gemstone can hoodoo the spirits and cure insomnia.
Englishmen became fond of zircon in the 1880s, massively using it in jewelry.
In the Hindu religion, zircon is among nine gemstones of the navaratna. When combined with diamond, emerald, ruby, pearl, coral, yellow sapphire, blue sapphire, and cat’s-eye chrysoberyl, zircon empowers not only December people but also any wearer with outstanding wealth, wisdom, and health.
The mining of zircon happens in Elahera, the region in Sri Lanka. Also, the gemstone is stored in the Harts Range, Australia. This country is a source of “warm-colored” zircons – yellow, orange, pink, and brown ones. Also, the gemstone can be found in other parts of the world, including Myanmar, Vietnam, and Cambodia.
How to store and wear your birthstone jewelry
When featured in jewelry, different variants of December birthstone require different care. Here are some useful tips:
  • Turquoise has 5.5 Mohs of hardness. So, this birthstone jewelry is not the best option for everyday wear, although durable enough for special occasions. In its turn, tanzanite is a more practical choice, having almost 7 Mohs of durability. Thus, it’s more stable in front of normal heat, light, and moderate chemicals. However, it’s still better to keep your tanzanite jewelry away from diamonds, rubies, and emeralds. These jewels can scratch and damage any precious stone, even relatively hard tanzanite.
  • To ensure your tanzanite will serve you long, keep it away from high heat and sudden temperature changes. Also, hydrochloric and hydrofluoric acids possess a great threat to tanzanite jewelry.
  • The best choice to wear tanzanite in jewelry is a set of earrings or a pendant. Unfortunately, a tanzanite ring is too fragile to be worn daily. Also, the jewel is a bad choice for engagement jewelry – tanzanite is simply incapable of symbolizing the long-term and stable link between two people. However, if you really dream of a tanzanite ring, here is a trick for you: select a setting with large protective prongs that cover the edges of your precious stone.
  • For better color, you can dye or add acrylic resin to your turquoise. Nevertheless, keep this birthstone jewelry away from high heat and acids – they can decolorate and destroy your precious jewel. It’s better to check the contents of your cosmetics and skin oils before putting this December birthstone on them.
  • The presence of a crisscrossed “matrix” can significantly reduce the value of your turquoise. So, you can find really beautiful birthstone jewelry with such gemstone for a reasonable price.
  • Always clean any December gemstone in warm soapy water with a brush – ultrasonic cleaners are destructive for tanzanite, zircon, and turquoise in a similar manner.
  • The hardness of zircon can be from 6 to 7.5 Mohs, which makes it possible to heat the gemstone. However, be careful with that – sometimes, your birthstone jewelry can revert to the natural hue (which is light brown) unexpectedly because of that.
  • Zircon birthstone jewelry is perfect to wear it every day. However, the gemstone tends to abrade, so we recommend taking it off while doing physical exercises or completing intense household tasks.
Do you still have some questions about precious jewels left? Contact Diamond Registry experts in the form below, and we’ll be happy to help you make an informed decision on any valuable purchase!
CONTACT US
Read about other birthstones
View all