If you had to pick one December birthstone, which would it be: tanzanite, turquoise or zircon?
From the blue to bluish purple of tanzanite, to the intense blue and green of turquoise, to the rainbow varieties of zircon – there’s a color for everyone. If blue is what you’re looking for, all three December birthstones have their own unique take on this favorite hue. Whatever your color, style or budget preferences may be, we can help you pick the right December birthstone for you or a loved one.
Turquoise is a semi-translucent to opaque gem that ranges from blue to green and often has veins of matrix (remnants of the rock in which it formed) running through it.
The turquoise birthstone was thought to possess many beneficial powers, like guaranteeing health and good fortune.
Some turquoise is treated to improve its durability (it has a Mohs hardness of 5 to 6), appearance and polish. Turquoise can be dyed or chemically enhanced by adding an epoxy or acrylic resin for greater hardness or better color. Also seen are cavities filled with a metal-loaded epoxy to imitate pyrite inclusions.
Tanzanite may be a relative newcomer to the world of colored stones, but it was one of the most exciting gem discoveries of the 20th century.
The tanzanite birthstone is often described as “velvety,” mostly because of its deep and saturated color, which ranges from a pure rich blue to violet, with the blue considered most valuable.
The Merelani Hills of northern Tanzania is the only place on earth where tanzanite is mined commercially.
This December birthstone (6 to 7 on the Mohs scale of harness) is resistant to the effects of normal heat, light and common chemicals. Still, the December birthstone may crack if exposed to very high temperatures or sudden temperature changes, and it abrades easily.
This December birthstone has a broad color palette of red, orange, yellow, brown, green and blue. Colorless zircon is known for its brilliance and flashes of multicolored light, called fire, which have resulted in centuries of confusion with diamond.
Zircon is often located near sapphire sources. In addition to Sri Lanka and Australia, countries where the two gems overlap include Myanmar, Vietnam and Cambodia.
Zircon ranges from 6 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale of hardness. It is commonly heat treated to produce blue and colorless varieties, as well as orange, yellow and red.