The three gems of December have a wide enough range to cover just about every shade of blue. While all three are beautiful in their own right, their histories vary. One of these stones dates back 4.4 billion years ago, while another was discovered just over 50 years ago. One is considered a valuable gemstone, while another is incredibly cheap and often included in gift shops.
This week we’ll be taking a look at Zircon, Tanzanite and Turquoise, the blue trio that make up December’s Gemstones:
Earth’s Oldest Gemstone
Previewed in several religious scriptures, Zircon is an incredibly old gemstone. It’s so ancient that it’s believed to be older than the moon. The gemstone is as versatile as it is ancient and has a wide range of hardness levels, a high refractive index, high dispersion rating and excellent reflection. This makes it a valuable gemstone, particularly when compared to the other two we’ll be looking at.
In jewelry, Zircon looks absolutely stunning. Stone cuts can create rectangular refraction lines and the light purple hue is very aesthetic.
Erupting Into Existence
Created by the fires of Mount Kilimanjaro, the aptly named Tanzanite comes exclusively from the country of Tanzania. It is equipped with a stunningly bold blue/violet color and is often so vivid that it does not need additional work other than what the earth has provided it.
While fairly soft (a 6.5 on the hardness scale), these stones make a great alternative to other, more expensive stones such as sapphires.
Tanzanite is tricky to deal with as there’s not much of it and a lot of it is wrapped up in licensing, though legislation in the area has improved the situation over the past few decades. Despite that, it’s an affordable and beautiful stone that will appeal to many people looking for their own custom jewelry piece.
Enacted as an official birthstone in 1912, Turquoise was interesting enough to give Rubies the boot as December’s gemstone (though Ruby has a different month now). Unlike many of the other gemstones we look at, Turquoise is not particularly valuable. It’s properties range so much and the gemstone is unstable enough that you’re much more likely to see it embedded in a necklace than you are an engagement ring. In fact, if you go into gift shops at museums then you’ve probably seen plenty of Turquoise.
Turquoise, despite being the name of a specific Color, can range in color. As confusing as that is, it matters heavily in the value of the gemstone, as most of the value is wrapped in the size and color (and not the carats). Turquoise is a fairly fragile gemstone, so it’s recommended to keep that in mind when deciding whether to use it.