The History and Meaning Behind December’s Birthstones
Those born in December are lucky enough to have four accepted birthstones: turquoise, zircon, blue topaz, and tanzanite. All of these gems are beautiful options for fine jewellery and give December babies a wide variety of styles and price ranges to choose from.
December isn’t the only month that has multiple accepted birthstones, but it does have more birthstones than any other month. Turquoise and another famous blue gemstone, lapis lazuli, were the traditional birthstones for December. Today, the more brilliant blue topaz and zircon have become the most popular modern gemstones for December birthdays.
Turquoise Birthstone History and Meaning
Ranging in color from bright robin’s egg to pastel blue and bluish green, turquoise is one of the oldest known gemstones. This December birthstone has been prized for thousands of years by cultures ranging from the Aztecs to the ancient Egyptians (who used it to decorate King Tut’s tomb) to the Persian empire. From ancient times to today, people have ascribed special powers to turquoise. Native American tribes of the Southwest wore turquoise as an amulet believed to offer protection, while in ancient Persia (and modern-day Iran) some believe wearing turquoise can ward off evil. Over the centuries, turquoise has acquired a reputation for protecting people from misfortune.
Although the gem itself is ancient, the name is relatively new: dating from thirteenth century France, the word “turquoise” meaning “stone from Turkey,” originated when the gems were brought from Turkey to Western Europe. Turquoise cabochons are often found in antique jewelry from the Victorian and Edwardian eras, and Queen Victoria gave her bridesmaids turquoise embellished brooches as gifts.
Zircon Birthstone History and Meaning
Zircon is another gem featured in dazzling December birthstone jewellery. Although Zircon isn’t as well-known as some other gems, this stone is a celebrity among geologists. The oldest rock ever discovered was a zircon found in Australia dating 4.4 billion years, nearly as old as the planet itself (the oldest diamonds are 3.3 billion years old). If you’re shopping for someone born in December, a piece of zircon jewelry would make for a timeless treasure!
Zircon can be found in a rainbow of colours, including blue, brown, green, orange, yellow, red and even clear. Clear zircon is one of the most brilliant non-diamond gems and was often used as a diamond alternative in the nineteenth century. According to the American Gemological Society, folk wisdom says that zircon has the power to relieve pain, protect travelers and prevent nightmares.
Topaz Birthstone History and Meaning
Topaz has been sought after for centuries, and many believe it got its name from the Island of Topazios in the Red Sea when it was discovered by ancient Romans. Topaz becomes blue when it is heated, either naturally or artificially, and can vary in intensity. Throughout history, this beautiful blue stone was thought to have healing properties
that brought peace and clarity and that could even dispel magic spells, sickness, and anger.
In more modern history, blue topaz has been a favorite among the European aristocracy. Catherine, Princess of Wales regularly wears a pair of blue topaz and diamond earrings for social occasions, and celebrities like Cate Blanchett, Katy Perry, Taylor Swift and Jennifer Lopez have all worn blue topaz on the red carpet. London Blue Topaz is one of the richest and beautifully unique shades of blue.