Although this time of year is strongly associated with holiday hues of red and green, there are many different colors to choose from when it comes to selecting birthstone jewelry for the December birthday in your life! From the light, bright blues of turquoise to the many shades of zircon, you’re sure to find the perfect gift.
Both of these beautiful stones can be found featured in our collection of one-of-a-kind vintage rings. Discover the fascinating background behind December’s brilliant birthstones:
Turquoise: Ancient Amulet and Victorian Favorite
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. Consider a one of a kind vintage turquoise ring to celebrate the December birthday in your life!
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.
Caring for Turquoise
As gemstones go, turquoise is a bit fragile, so we recommend taking special care when wearing turquoise fine jewelry. High heat can damage its surface or cause discoloration, and exposure to some chemicals, cosmetics and even skin oils can change its color. Clean turquoise with warm soapy water, but avoid steam or ultrasonic cleaners. Our jewelry specialists would be happy to answer any questions on how to properly care for your turquoise jewelry pieces!
Zircon: Beauty from the Earth’s Earliest Days
Zircon is another gem featured in dazzling December birthstone jewelry. 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 colors, 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.
Caring for Zircon
Zircon is fairly durable, but it’s not as strong as sapphires and diamonds so you should avoid wearing or storing it in harsh conditions. If a zircon has been heat-treated to produce a certain color (many blue zircon stones have been), prolonged exposure to light could lead to the gem changing back to its original hue. Clean zircon with warm water and gentle soap, but don’t use steam or ultrasonic cleaners with this gem.
If you’re a December baby, what do you think of your birthstones—do you have a favorite? Do you own any birthstone jewelry? Let us know your thoughts on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter or in the comments section!