December’s Birthstones – Blue Topaz, Tanzanite, and Turquoise
Born in December? Lucky you! December is a month with both ‘traditional’ and ‘modern’ birthstone options – meaning you have three choices of birthstones – Blue Topaz, Tanzanite, and Turquoise. All of which are blue, the colour associated with your birth month. In this article, discover what these gemstones are, their meanings, characteristics, where they are found, their historical significance, and even some fun facts about the stones.
What are Blue Topaz, Tanzanite, and Turquoise?
- Blue Topaz: A beautiful gemstone renowned for its light blue hues, Blue Topaz belongs to the Topaz family and is a popular modern choice for December birthdays.
- Tanzanite: A gemstone showcasing deep blue, violet, or purple shades, Tanzanite is a variety of the mineral zoisite and was discovered in Tanzania. It’s one of the ‘classic’ December birthstones.
- Turquoise: An iconic gemstone celebrated for its striking blue-green colours. This is, again, one of the ‘traditional’ December birthstones, and has been used in jewellery for thousands of years.
What do Blue Topaz, Tanzanite and Turquoise mean?
- Blue Topaz: This stone symbolises calmness, communication, and emotional balance. Blue Topaz is believed to enhance self-expression and promote harmony in relationships, making it an excellent anniversary gift, as well as a birthday present.
- Tanzanite: Associated with spiritual growth, Tanzanite is thought to promote wisdom, clarity, and a deep connection to the self. This makes it an excellent gift for those on a healing or self-discovery journey.
- Turquoise: Known for its protective qualities, Turquoise is believed to bring good fortune, ward off ‘evil eyes’, and to foster positivity.
What are the characteristics of Blue Topaz, Tanzanite and Turquoise?
1. Blue Topaz:
- Hardness: 8 on the Mohs scale, ensuring durability for everyday wear.
- Colours: Ranging from light to deep blue, with sky blue being one of the most popular choices for jewellery.
- Clarity: Generally transparent, with minimal inclusions.
- Hardness: 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale, requiring gentle care to avoid damage.
- Colours: Primarily dark blue, violet-blue, and purple, with deep blues being the most valuable.
- Clarity: Often includes inclusions but can be heat-treated to enhance clarity and colour.
- Hardness: 5 to 6 on the Mohs scale, making it relatively soft and requiring careful handling.
- Colours: Vibrant blue-green hues are characteristic of Turquoise.
- Clarity: Turquoise often exhibits a distinctive web-like pattern known as a “matrix.”
Where are Blue Topaz, Tanzanite and Turquoise found?
- Blue Topaz: Found in various locations worldwide, including Brazil, Sri Lanka, and the United States. Some of the best-quality blue topaz comes from Brazil.
- Tanzanite: This stone is unique to Tanzania, specifically the Merelani Hills near Mount Kilimanjaro.
- Turquoise: Mined in several countries, including the United States (Arizona and New Mexico), Iran, and China.
What is the history of Blue Topaz, Tanzanite and Turquoise?
- Blue Topaz: In ancient times, Blue Topaz was believed to have cooling properties, calming tempers and reducing anger. It has also been associated with courage and protection.
- Tanzanite: This stone is a relatively recent discovery, as it was first found in the 1960s, Tanzanite quickly gained popularity due to its rare beauty.
- Turquoise: This gem was valued by ancient civilizations such as the Egyptians and Native Americans, Turquoise has a long history of use in jewellery and as a protective amulet.
Fun facts about the gemstones:
1. Blue Topaz:
- Often gifted on 4th and 19th wedding anniversaries.
- Blue topaz can be found in various shades, from pale, light blue to deep blue.
- Tiffany & Co. played a significant role in popularizing Tanzanite by naming it after Tanzania and incorporating it into their jewellery collections.
- Tanzanite is rarer than diamonds, making it a prized gemstone, and an excellent choice for those who want something a little ‘different’.
- Used for centuries in Native American jewellery and art, Turquoise has deep cultural significance in Native American communities.
- The name “Turquoise” is derived from the French word “pierre turquoise,” meaning “Turkish stone,” as the gem was historically traded through Turkey.
What are the best December birthday gifts?
You have a range of meaningful jewellery choices to gift to a December baby – such as a beautiful turquoise pendant necklace, a tanzanite and diamond tennis bracelet, and a pair of blue topaz earrings.
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