Winter Blues: December’s Many Hues of Blue

December is a special month for obvious reasons like the holidays and time with family, but it’s also the month that has three variations of birthstones in a stunning range of the most spectacular blues.

Turquoise

Shah & Shah Turquoise

 

This month’s main birthstone, turquoise, is an enchanted stone, with history dating all the way back to ancient Egypt when it was considered to be a symbol of holiness. This birthstone ranges from green to blue and all shades in between, often colored with copper. The purest of turquoise is known as robin’s egg and is considered to be the finest quality. Persian, Indian and Ottoman cultures have used turquoise in valuable treasures and British aristocracy frequently includes it in their tiaras. The use of turquoise in Native American jewelry is probably the most common association people know of.

Tanzanite

Tanzanite

December’s second birthstone is Tanzanite, is also known for it’s vibrant shade of blue. Due to pleochroism, the stone can display different colors when viewed from different angles. For that reason, the gem must be cut properly to highlight it’s more attractive hues. Tanzanite is a variety of the mineral zoisite that is only found in one part of the world. The presence of Vanadium, mixed with extreme heat, causes the distinct blue color.  As it is only mined in one location, tanzanite is actually rarer than diamonds!Unlike Turquoise, Tanzanite is a more modern stone. The first crystals were discovered by a Masai tribesman in 1967. Tiffany & Co. saw the gem’s potential and are credited with giving the stone it’s name after it’s home country, Tanzania. Tanzanite is also the gem of the 24th anniversary.

Blue Zircon

 
The newest addition to the December birthstones, blue zircon is the most popular color of zircon, typically originating from Cambodia or Burma. Blue zircon is a special stone because of its outstanding brilliance and fire. In the middle ages, Zircon was said to aid in resting, induce sound sleep, drive away evil spirits, bring prosperity, and promote honor and wisdom in its owner.