Although the main colors associated with this time of the year are red and green, some are already feeling the winter blues; especially to those of you who aren’t used to the cold like us Montanans. If you spend any time researching how to cure the winter blues, there are three main remedies that are listed in every article: exercise, take vitamin D if the sun isn’t very reliable in your area, and get out of the house. We translate that last one into Shopping!
Those of you born in December are in luck, you have three different birthstones to represent your battle with the winter blues; which are tanzanite, zircon, and turquoise. The three of them each have special qualities that make them stand out among other gems. All are known for their intense shades of blue.
Zircon: one of the oldest gems on earth
Turquoise: one of the most used gems in jewelry
Tanzanite: one of the most recently discovered gem
Zircon is one of the oldest minerals on Earth! The mineral has been found in the Earth’s crust for over 4.4 billion years. Gems with this much history are so fun to research and learn about because of the range of legends, mystical properties, and trends the gem has curated over time and throughout different cultures. During the middle ages, people believed that zircon can induce sleep, promote prosperity, and even ward off evil. The gem was most popular, however, during the Victorian age, in English estate jewelry throughout the late 1800s.
The world Zircon, likely comes from the Persian word zargun, which means “gold-colored” This is because the gem most commonly occurs in a brownish-red, making the stone well known for its Earth tone colors. Not until the stone is heat-treated, do we get that intense, deep shades of blue that tie us back into winter. Today, zircon is thought of as the mother of all gems for increasing confidence and compassions.
Turquoise has been admired since ancient times and across TONS of cultures. The word, turquoise, dates back to the 13th century. It’s meaning: “Turkish Stone”. The stone was introduced to Europe by travelers from Turkey. With a powdery blue to robin’s egg green color, it’s an easily recognizable gem to trace back through cultures.
According to Persian legend, turquoise is made of bone of those who died of unhappy love. They also believed that the gem ensured protections, so they heavily adorned their daggers, warrior’s armor and horses’ bridles with the stone. Early Native Americans mine the stone and shamans used them in sacred ceremonies to commune with the spirit of the sky. Many other legends and artifacts show the gem was used in Aztec cultures, Ancient Egyptians, and kings and warriors throughout history.
The stone has been prized throughout the past for mystical and healing properties. The use of healing crystals is even totally trending in modern-day society. To this day, the gem is still one of the most-used stones in jewelry. The gem’s properties are said to reconcile all hostile forces, to stop quarrels, establish peace in the family, and to even take away anger. According to legend, those who looked at turquoise in the morning would be care-free and easy-going all day long. Listen to this myth: In the Medieval age, people believed that if a woman wished to win over the heart of a man, she should secretly sew a piece of turquoise into his clothes! (Does this really work? Asking for a friend….)
Tanzanite is one of the newest gem that people have discovered. It wasn’t until 1967, when livestock herders came across the blue gem in the country of Tanzania, in Africa. To this day, the gem can still only be found in a few square miles in Tanzania, right near Mount Kilimanjaro; and it can’t be found anywhere else in the world! Because of the stone’s deep blue color and its extremely limited supply, this gem is treasured by many. Almost all tanzanite stones on the market today are heat-treated to minimize brown and earth tone colors that are naturally found in the stone.
Almost immediately after the stone was introduced to the public, the infamous jewelry company based out of New York City
known as, Tiffany & Co. recognized the gem’s potential and agreed to become its main distributor. The company is actually who deemed the stone’s names as “Tanzanite” in order to highlight the stones exclusive geographic origin. They introduced the gem to the public with a promotional campaign in 1968.
Whatever your style or budget, at least one of December’s three birthstones will match your true-blue desires. All of them are relatively inexpensive, and they give those December babies a great selection of gems to choose from when shopping for a birthstone!