December Birthstone gems are as beautiful as the calmest sky. December’s birthstones offer three ways to admire the peaceful firmament: tanzanite, zircon, and turquoise, all of them appropriately known for beautiful shades of blue. These gems range from the oldest on earth (zircon) to one of the first mined and used in jewelry (turquoise), to one of the most recently discovered (tanzanite). But gems, in general, are like the ornaments in a house, they need to found their place. And not always the well-known sapphire, diamond, ruby, and emerald are the ones needed to give life to creation.
December Birthstone gems are so beautiful that can compete with the most precious gems. The colorless zircon always underestimated gives a wide range possibility of colors (not just blue), making us forget about the diamond, for casual occasions. Tanzanite competes with the sapphire and in many pieces has been the favorite for its beautiful violet color. And let’s not forget about the turquoise, for some the symbol of good fortune and prosperity, is unmatched in its blue hue in a cabochon cut. So for the people born in December, do not be afraid to use these December Birthstones just because they look humble when in the end it might be just the perfect elegant accessory for the holidays, and the one very appreciated for the connoisseur of jewelry.
“Jewelry needs to fulfill the function for which it came into being. The only way that a Jewelry Designer will see its art in LIFE is with the eyes, the mind, and the heart of the Spectator.
The viewer in the last stroke in any jewelry piece”. – Ines Arenas Jewelry Gallery
The origin of December Birthstone is believed to date back to the times of the high priest Aaron (Moises prophet’s brother) which contained twelve gemstones representing the twelve tribes of Israel.
Remember this point because it is important, it is powerful to know why we do what we do, the meaning, the nobility of our acts, for know to where we are going!
The December Birthstones: turquoise, tanzanite, and zircon are the mesmerizing shimmering December birthstones. They share a common characteristic: the blue color, which reminds us that spring is never too far ahead, for reminding us that whatever we couldn’t found this year we must keep looking for it the next one until we find it. It’s not blue the color of Hope? It’s not said that blue it’s the closest color to the truth? If we see these gems closely we will see ourselves submerging in this deep blue sea color of hope.
December Birthstone is the oldest gem on earth: the zircon, is often confused with synthetic “cubic zirconia,” but zircon is the oldest natural mineral on Earth, dating back 4.4 billion years. The gem is available in many colors, with blue the most popular and most often associated with December’s birthstone. The colorless variety is less valuable, but due to its brilliance, it is a popular substitute for a diamond.
December Birthstone Turquoise one of the first mined stones in history used in jewelry, is found most often in very dry areas where volcanic activity has occurred, is fairly soft and porous, and is often treated to add strength. Finally, the most recently finding: the tanzanite, discovered in 1967 in Tanzania (Africa) is available only in that small area and it is likely to be depleted in the next few decades. Remember this too, the truly special things in life fade fast!
This December the most important aspect is to have ourselves and give back the gaze like the colorless zircon that can replace without hesitation the diamond, as the African tanzanite that can substitute the velvet sapphire, and the turquoise unmatched in its hue of robin’s egg blue. All these stones are relatively inexpensive, but as you can see they are fearless beauty rivals even for the most precious gems. Why? the essence that they have and the power that we can give them for shine. I’m telling you to be like these gems true to your essence and you will not have rivals.
December Birthstone The zircon’s not special for its value, it’s because is the oldest stone on earth, oldest than the diamond, the tanzanite brings you the purple lights of the African nights the only one place where you will find the Masais, in Tanzania, and the victorious turquoise “firozah” will bring you the Persian blue sky reflected in the face of a good friend or in a perfect polish turquoise as Persians say.
A jewel waits for the next generation because is the inheritance, represents the next age, the next step, the next new year, the next NEW STONE AGE, a family together like these gems, without rivals. Happy Birthday to those who can hold these noble gems as their birthstones!
Best Option For December Birthstone
Turquoise: hardness is #5 to #6 on the Mohs scale, and generally fair to good in toughness. Sources are China, Iran, and the US. Turquoise can be translucent to opaque, with a color that usually ranges from light to medium blue or greenish-blue.
Zircon: is #6 to #7.5 hardness on Mohs scale, and fair to good toughness, yet it can be brittle and might be easily abraded. Sources are Australia, Cambodia, China, Myanmar(Burma), Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Tanzanite: is #6 to #7 hardness on Mohs scale, and fair to poor toughness due to cleavage and sensitivity to thermal shock. The source is Tanzania.
How To Choose the Best December Birthstone?
Understand your Turquoise varieties meaning the location where the turquoise was found. For example, famous Persian turquoise is not as porous as other types and so has a better polish while American and Mexican varieties are quite porous and have lighter green-blue colors.
In terms of value, color and saturation are critical factors of turquoise. Although the word turquoise evokes a certain color in mind, there are actually several shades of blue and green under this range. You can find the stone in light sky blue, mid-range blues, deep blue, blue-green, vivid green, sea green, and leaf green. In terms of value, evenly distributed, mid-range blue colors (which in trade are referred to as Persian blue) are the most valuable turquoises.
The cut in turquoise can be made in many shapes, the most popular of which are cabochons, ovals, beads, and chips. And the cut of course is chosen considering the Turquoise Clarity.
Turquoise is opaque, although you can find the rarer translucent turquoise as well. Typically, the stone has a matte appearance and is not a sparkly gemstone. Most turquoise contain included matrix which refers to dark spidery inclusions, which can range from dense to light.
Clients generally prefer clear and glossy turquoise-free of any inclusions, turquoise with inclusions can have intriguing designs that make it attractive and increase the value of the stone.
Turquoise can find it in a variety of sizes, although stones of about 4-8 carats usually work well for jewelry. Larger stones would be more favorable for ornamental pieces with a lot of personalities. In our personal taste setting in silver. The most valuable turquoise is an even medium blue, with no matrix, and the ability to take a good polish.
Tanzanite: is one of the rarest gemstones on the planet. In fact, it is about 1000 times rarer than diamonds. And is a relatively affordable gemstone. This makes it an excellent addition to any jewelry collection.
Be aware that it is estimated that the supply of tanzanite will run out in the next couple of decades, which is why it is called ‘the gemstone of a generation. Tanzanite is a “geological phenomenon” and the chances that another mine will be found are about a million to one!
In its raw form, tanzanite contains three colors which means it is trichroic. These colors are brown, violet, and blue. As tanzanite is heated, whether underground by natural metamorphic occurrences or in a furnace, it becomes dichroic, meaning it exhibits two colors simultaneously. A proper Cut of your tanzanite is very important because this one will reflect light and display the colors in your stone with great brilliance. It plays a critical role in adding beauty and value to the tanzanite stone.
There is not an ideal cut for tanzanite. It is really up to the client’s taste. All the types of gemstones cuts available, such as princess, marquise, emerald, round, heart, radiant, or pear, will make the Tanzanite color and brilliance quite spectacular.
Some things to look for when searching for your perfect piece of tanzanite is an asymmetrical cut that will expertly display your stone’s shine and the way light is reflected in your stone.
Regarding to clarity the more flawless the stone, the higher its value and beauty., because with tanzanite, visible inclusions will appear as small blemishes residing inside the stone. The clarity of tanzanite is graded on whether or not the stone is eye-clean. This means that if there are no inclusions visible to the naked eye, the stone will be graded flawless. Pure, inclusion-free stones are rarer and will oftentimes be more expensive.
And finally chose the carat that is right for you, while carat weight may not affect the cut or color of your stone, it will definitely affect the cost. All things being equal, larger stones will be more expensive than smaller pieces.
Zircon: the most popularly used zircon varieties include blue, pink, yellow, and colorless, you can find this stone in almost every color. Colorless zircon is the purest form of the mineral and high-quality, diamond-like stones can be very rare. In fact, it is much rarer than diamonds but is considerably less valuable.
Blue is the most valuable zircon variety and among the most sought after. However, natural blue zircon is difficult to come by, so many blue stones on the market have been heat-treated to obtain the signature zircon pastel blue shades.
Of all the zircon colors, green is highly coveted because they happen to be the rarest variety of zircon in fact it is a collector’s item and is very rare to come by.
Some zircon stones can also display pleochroism. This is the ability of the stone to display two or more colors, depending on the angle at which the stone is viewed. Blue and green are the two commonly exhibited colors, resulting in a teal-like color.
Because Zircons have high dispersion and light performance, cutting colorless zircon into a brilliant shape usually maximizes its luster and makes it appear very similar to diamonds. Faceting is another way to enhance the light performance of zircon and client often find these stones expertly faceted in a number of angles. Other popular shapes for zircon are emerald, ovals, rounds, pears, marquises, trilliants, and radiants.
Zircon generally has very high levels of clarity. Most zircon on the market is eye-clean. However, it is a natural gemstone and as such, slight impurities and flaws are common, often visible via magnification lens.
Most zircon gemstones are found in small sizes. Larger stones are rare to come by and can command higher prices. Interestingly, zircon happens to be one of the densest gemstones of all. What this means is that it will be smaller in size than another gemstone of the same weight, as it is much heavier. If you compare the weight of zircon and a same-sized diamond, you’ll find that the zircon weighs approximately 50% more than the diamond.
From our humble point of view, this is a beautiful stone underestimated by history and society.
How To Take Care of Your December Birthstone Jewelry?
Turquoise is a fairly hard gemstone with a ranking of 5-6 on the Mohs hardness scale. What this means is that other stones that are harder than turquoise can damage it when they come in contact in a harsh manner. If turquoise is stored together with harder stones such as diamonds.
The outer surface of turquoise is very permeable, meaning that it can absorb liquids or gases it comes in contact with. Wearing turquoise jewelry while doing household chores such as cleaning with harsh chemicals, using soaps, harsh shampoos, or applying makeup, can sometimes permanently damage it. Even chlorine in the swimming pool can discolor turquoise. Make sure you remove all pieces of turquoise jewelry when doing these activities.
Wiping the surface of the stone with a cloth that is dipped in hot water is the ideal method for cleaning the stone. But the stone should be dried immediately and use of any kind of soaps is strictly not recommended since they contain oils that can damage the stone. Never use an ultrasonic cleaner.
Caring for Tanzanite is important to maintain its value through the ages. Remember that tanzanite is a one-generation stone. How much more valuable and special will it be in the future when the stores of tanzanite are depleted! Tanzanite is a special-care gem for two reasons: sensitive to thermal shock, and the potential for cleavage. Sometimes the temperature change between the hot lights of the display case and the chilly glass countertop in an air-conditioned showroom can be enough to develop cleavages in tanzanite. When looking for tanzanite jewelry, earrings and pendants are good choices for everyday wear. Tanzanite shouldn’t be handled carelessly.
While the tanzanite looks like a sapphire, remember it is not very hard. When you wear tanzanite, take care not to expose it to too hard knocks or shocks. Keep it safe from harsh chemicals, such as detergents, bleach, or make-up.
Over time, dirt and grime buildup can cause the stone to appear cloudy and to lose its sparkle and luster. To clean your stone take an ultra-soft toothbrush and make a warm soapy mixture using distilled water and mild soap. Gently scrub your stone clean paying special attention to the stone and the surrounding setting. When you feel your stone is adequately clean, use distilled water to rinse your stone and then dry with a soft cloth.
Zircon may look very much like a diamond, but it is a much softer stone at 6 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale. Incidentally, 7 is the most important number on the Mohs scale because that is the hardness rating of silica, commonly found in dust particles. This means that a zircon below 7 can be easily scratched by dust.
Zircon is also a very brittle stone, and is easily damaged or chipped if exposed to hard knocks and rough wear. Keep zircon away from chemicals such as harsh detergents, bleach, and cosmetics. It is always better to take off zircon jewelry when applying makeup and when doing household or outdoor activities that will expose it to chemicals.
It is recommended to avoid using ultrasonic or steam cleaners when cleaning zircon. Instead, use a commercial jewelry cleaner or soap and warm water with a soft brush. Once washed, rinse the zircon stone in clean water and dry it well.
When storing zircon, wrap in a cotton or velvet cloth. This keeps it free from dust and from being scratched by other items. Zircon is extremely sensitive to sunlight and other sources of ultraviolet light. Avoid exposing your zircon jewelry to these types of light as it can cause the color of the stone to fade or change.