December has three birthstones, all of which are a blueish color:
Tanzanite was formed nearly 585 million years ago, but was discovered in Tanzania less than 40 years ago and is fast becoming one of the most popular gemstones available today. Tanzanite is an exotic blue-purple stone that combines the regal purple color of a fine Amethyst and the alluring blue of a Sapphire.
Most Tanzanite mined today is often heat-treated to remove unwanted colors. This process turns dusty brown stones permanently into the mesmerizing blue-purple stones so sought after today. Tanzanite was enthusiastically celebrated after its discovery in 1967 as the "Gemstone of the 20th Century."
Tanzanite is a very special and unique gemstone. Gemstone experts literally held their breath when they were shown the first deep blue crystals which were mined in the Merelani Hills near Arusha in the north of Tanzania.
Tiffany & Co. heard about the discovery of a new gemstone in Tanzania and were first to introduce it to the world. They named the new find "Tanzanite" after its country of origin and declared it to be "the most beautiful blue stone to be discovered in 2000 years."
Zircon in its unchanged natural form appears colorless to pale yellow, or green. In the 1920s a new blue color for Zircon, called "starlight blue," was created by the heating golden brown or yellow Zircon. The name Zircon is derived from the Arabic words "zar" and "gun", meaning "gold" and "color."
When blue Zircon was first introduced to the jewelry world, some gemologists suspected trickery and investigated the gemstone. It was discovered that if the once brown Zircon was heated in an oxygen-free environment, it would turn into a "new" blue stone. When the deception was revealed, the market simply accepted the information, and the demand for the new gems continued regardless.
Zircon was regarded as the amulet for travelers in the Eleventh century. It was said to protect them from disease, injury, and insomnia, as well as assuring a cordial welcome wherever their travels would take them.
Turquoise is one of the earliest known stones to be used in jewelry and is considered by some to be a symbol of:
- Good fortune
Turquoise is often found in weathered igneous rock that contains copper minerals, where it crystallizes in veins and nodules. The gemstone usually develops in rock near water tables, located in semiarid and arid environments. A sky blue shade in turquoise is due to the presence of copper, while iron gives it a greener tone.
Turquoise has a rich history in the American southwest. Native Americans have been using this gemstone to create magnificent jewelry and ornamental pieces for the past several thousand years. The American southwest - Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and California - are the primary producers of turquoise.
Turquoise is also considered by some as a love charm. When received as a gift, Turquoise symbolizes a pledge of love and affection.