If you’re lucky enough to celebrate a December birthday, there are three birthstones available. Tanzanite, Turquoise and Zircon all represent December.
Each year, we create many amazing jewellery designs to feature December’s Birthstones, set with either Tanzanite, Turquoise or Blue Zircon. Within this guide, we reveal the true meaning and beauty of December’s birthstones.
What is Tanzanite? Rather interestingly, this incredible gemstone derives from the mineral Zoisite. Tanzanite exists in a variety of shades ranging from blue to violet. To explain, the colouration occurs due to the presence of Vanadium within the mineral. As the name suggests, Tanzanite originates from Tanzania—a gemstone prized for its amazing colour and rarity. The crystalline trichroism causes the blue to violet colouration to vary in different situations. When mined, most Tanzanite has a brown tinge, removed by heat treatment to enhance the prevailing blue-violet colour of the gemstone.
Example of a round Tanzanite showing the distinctive blue-violet colouration associated with this type of gemstone.
Tanzanite was added to December’s birthstones as recently as 2002. Interestingly, the name ‘Zoisite’ was avoided. This was based on its similarity to the word ‘suicide.’ For this reason, the name Tanzanite was used as a more appropriate name for this incredible gemstone.
Eleanor halo ring design, set with an incredible blue Tanzanite surrounded by diamonds.
When it comes to jewellery designs, we recommend Tanzanite for both earrings and pendants. Take care of your Tanzanite engagement ring. For this reason, Tanzanite is more easily damaged when knocked.
Turquoise is an opaque gemstone in contrast with both Tanzanite and Zircon. It originates from many sources worldwide including Iran, Sinai, the United States and even China. The name derives from the 17th Century word meaning Turkish.
Example of a cabochon Turquoise ring. Photo courtesy of @angelecamp
The colour of Turquoise varies from white to pale blue. However, most people associate Turquoise with distinctive blue-green colouration. Highly polished, Turquoise features in both ancient and modern jewellery examples. For example, from ancient Egypt, we see Pharaonic treasures set with Turquoise.
Inexpensive Turquoise jewellery often features synthetic forms of this gemstone. By way of example, fashion jewellery set with synthetic varieties of Turquoise makes a popular and affordable accessory.
Highly-polished Cabochon examples of Turquoise feature across rings, pendants and earrings. Furthermore, with a hardness of 6 on the Mohs scale, we compare the durability of Turquoise to the hardness of glass. Aside from variations in colour, Turquoise often features dark flecks of limonite within the stone.
Zircon occurs in a variety of colours, including blue, yellow, orange and red. This transparent crystalline gemstone belongs to the mineral group of neosilicates. Also, the name comes from the German word ‘Zirkon.’ This, in turn, comes from the Persian word ‘Zargun,’ meaning Gold-hued.
Large Zircon crystals occur rarely in nature. Occasionally, we work with Blue Zircon. Moreover, we source each gemstone individually for each commission. Its beauty and rarity make it an expensive gemstone choice often requested by jewellery connoisseurs. For this reason, it makes one of the rarer choices for December’s birthstone.
Close up of an Oval cut Blue Zircon
Blue Zircon Jewellery
One of the fabulous Blue Zircon rings created by our team featured the above gemstone set into a halo ring. We handcrafted this bespoke ring design in 18ct Yellow Gold. In addition, the ring featured additional diamonds in the halo and across each shoulder of the ring.
Blue Zircon and diamond halo ring handcrafted by our team at Serendipity Diamonds, made in 18ct Yellow Gold.
Further help and guidance on December’s birthstone
Contact us for further help and guidance on any item of jewellery set with December’s birthstone choice. We provide a complete bespoke design service. This includes complimentary help and guidance with no obligation to purchase. Our team are on hand in our UK showroom to offer assistance Monday to Saturday.
About Mark Johnson
Mark attended Liverpool University and went on to pursue a career in the diamond industry. After more than a decade working in polished diamonds, Mark moved to the Isle of Wight where he launched Serendipity Diamonds. He works most days from their busy Ryde showroom, photographing jewellery and writing for the Serendipity Diamonds website.