Jewelry

December Birthstone – Your Complete Guide

December birthstone faqs

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People born in December have much to celebrate as they can choose between three beautiful birthstones: turquoise, tanzanite, and zircon. Each of these gemstones has a unique blue hue to mark a colder and snowy period typical for December in most parts of the world.

This is also a season of family traditions and holidays filled with happiness and joy, and the heartwarming and soothing colors of these three birthstones perfectly reflect this calming yet cheerful atmosphere.

In this article, you’ll have a chance to find out more about turquoise, tanzanite, and zircon, their colors, symbolic meaning, and jewelry you can find them in.

The Three Types of December Birthstones

As the color of the sky and ocean, blue is a calming color often associated with serenity and wisdom. Therefore, it’s the perfect color to represent wintery December. Each of the birthstone for this month has its unique take on this beautiful shade.

From the tanzanite’s deep blue and the turquoise’s vivid blue and green to the zircon’s colorless and rainbow variations, there’s a shade for everyone, and you can pick your birthstone according to your style and favorite color.

1- Turquoise

Turquoise pendant

Turquoise pendant by Briz Jewelry Design. See it here.

Traditionally, turquoise has always been known and admired for its distinct color, ranging from a powdery baby blue to greenish eggshell blue. It’s an opaque mineral that has been treasured as a precious stone for millennia.

It’s one of the few minerals with such a characteristic and impressive color, that its name turquoise became commonly used to denote this greenish-blue shade.

In the gemstone world, turquoise captured special attention because blue minerals are exceptionally rare. Sky blue is turquoise’s most desirable color. The high-quality sky-blue turquoise was mostly mined in today’s Iraq, and for this reason, its clear blue color is still commonly referred to as Persian blue, regardless of the stone’s origin.

The greenish eggshell blue of the mineral comes from traces of iron or zinc, which found its way into the turquoise’s aluminum structure.

You can also often find this gemstone with black or brown patches forming a spiderweb pattern. These inclusions happen due to the so-called matrix, or the remaining host rock found on the gemstone. The matrix can lower this birthstone’s value, although sometimes these inclusions can appear beautiful and attractive.

By looking at its specific color and appearance, experts are able to tell where the stone originated. For example, clear and light blue turquoise comes from the Sleeping Beauty mine just outside Globe, Arizona. Bright blue stones with black spiderweb matrix are produced in Kingman Mine, also in Arizona.

2- Tanzanite

Tanzanite December birthstone ring

Tanzanite ring with diamond halo. See it here.

Tanzanite is a blue colored mineral zoisite. It was discovered and popularized in the 1960s, and right after sapphire, tanzanite quickly became the second most loved blue gem. Its swift rise in popularity is primarily due to its beautiful blue hue and exceeding rarity.

Zoisite is a mineral that naturally occurs in various colors, including gray, green, blue, violet, yellow, brown, and pink. Blue and bluish-purple variations of this mineral are known as tanzanite and are named after Tanzania, the only part of the world this gemstone is found.

What’s interesting about this birthstone’s color is that it can show different shades from different angles due to pleochroism.

Traces of vanadium within the mineral’s structure bring that much sought-after blue color with violet undertones to the gemstone. Naturally found zoisite mineral often, however, has brownish hues. For this reason, most of the tanzanite gemstones in today’s market are heat-treated, enhancing the blue shades of the stone and minimizing the brown tones through oxidation of vanadium.

3- Zircon

Zircon studs for December Birthstone

Blue zircon studs by MS Jewelers. See them here.

Many people confuse this natural gemstone with cubic zirconia, a colorless synthetic crystalline material, which is popular as an inexpensive diamond alternative.

An authentic zircon gemstone is the oldest mineral on Earth, and it occurs naturally in a variety of colors. While the blue variety is the most popular, it’s somewhat rare in nature, as zircon most commonly occurs in brownish-red color with earthy undertones. To get a colorless, blue, or gold zircon, the gemstone needs to be heat treated.

Another popular variation is colorless zircon, which is known as Matura Diamond and shares a similar appearance and brilliance as a fine diamond. Zircon is, however, much more brittle than diamond.

Symbolism and Spiritual Meaning of December Birthstones

Much of the symbolic meaning behind December birthstones lies in their blues. Therefore, they are often thought to bring certain tranquil energy into the wearer’s life. These stones are also commonly associated with the qualities of December’s Zodiac sign, Sagittarius, such as optimism and kindness.

Turquoise:

From ancient times, this captivating sea-blue gemstone was particularly admired and praised. Native Americans believed the stone to be a conduit between Earth and sky, and shamans used it to channel the cosmos healing energy. To this day, turquoise gemstone remained a symbol of hope, protection, and good fortune. Some crystal experts believe it can bring serene energy into a person’s life as well as wisdom, harmony, enduring love, and self-acceptance.

Tanzanite:

This lovely blue gemstone with purple and violet undertones is known for its calming and soothing properties. Some people believe that wearing tanzanite can help activate the heart chakra, emphasizing positive energy and transformation. The violet energy of the stone is connected to healing and spiritual enlightenment.

Zircon:

As the oldest stone found on Earth, zircon represents a spiritual grounding and balancing vibration. It’s commonly known as the stone of virtue, bringing honor and integrity to the owner. Zircon connects all the body’s chakras and symbolizes spiritual healing. It’s also associated with happiness, spiritual protection, prosperity.

December Birthstones in Jewelry

Rustic tanzanite pendant December Birthstone

Rustic tanzanite pendant by Noga Seeds. See it here.

December blue gems are lovely, exquisite, and unique, and you can find a variety of rings, earrings, pendants, brooches, necklaces, bracelets, and watches, featuring turquoise, tanzanite, and zircon. Some of December birthstones jewelry designs are simple, others can be more elaborate, but these pieces will always look elegant and breathtaking.

  • These precious stones are generally quite affordable, but their beauty and charm match even the most precious gems. Zircon, especially colorless, can be a compelling substitute for diamonds, and deep blue tanzanite can serve as a sapphire replacement. On the other hand, turquoise is unmatched in its hue and beauty, and there’s no other stone with its unique robin’s egg blue.
  • If you wish to renew your vows with your partner or celebrate the 11th or 24th wedding anniversary, you can opt for something romantic with subtle beauty, such as this Turquoise Heart Necklace or this dazzling Rustic Bezel Pendant with tanzanite.
  • Zircon looks stunning when combined with diamonds and other precious stones. For example, you could surprise your loved ones on their December birthdays with a pendant that features blue zircon with glamorous diamonds cluster.
  • December birthstones are also comfortable to wear as rings. If you’re not a fan of flashy diamonds, you can always opt for promise rings, engagement rings, and even wedding rings that feature a charming blue gem. Any bride-to-be with a non-traditional and alternative style will surely appreciate a dash of color, as in this handcrafted and slightly different and unique sterling silver ring with a stunning turquoise in the center or this oval tanzanite ring surrounded by diamond petals with a more traditional appeal.

You can always go for a piece of jewelry with a December gem to mark the most memorable events in your life and celebrate the most special people around you. From deep blues to purplish blues and sea-greens, you can choose from a variety of colors and shades with a unique glimmer. These birthstones make gorgeous gems, and you can play with their different cuts, shapes, and hues.

To Wrap Up

The upcoming New Years and the heart-warming holidays such as Christmas and Hanukkah make December a month full of joy and cheerfulness, which is reflected in its beautiful blue gems. Turquoise, tanzanite, and zircon are, therefore, charming and elegant gems for all of those who are born in December, bringing happiness and serenity to their wearers. They also make a perfect present for the jolly approaching holidays as well as anniversaries and other important December events. Which one you choose, depends on your specific preferences.