December sort of has the corner on birthstones nowadays. With the induction of another selection by the American Gem Trade Association in 2002, there are now three official birthstones for December: turquoise, zircon, and the newest, tanzanite. So which way do you go? Well, that depends on what’s important to you in a look, and how you wear your jewelry.
All three come in blue, but they’re all very different blues. But color isn’t all there is to it. If you’re like me, you like texture and the richness of the styles of Antiquity. Or do you like contemporary and clean cut with stark contrasts? Do you find intrinsic value in something with a storied history, or does the modern world and new discoveries peak your interest?
In short, I find December’s birthstones to be a wonderful example of the diversity of the colored gemstone world. Opaque gems fashioned into cabochons don’t get a lot of love, but turquoise shatters that stereotype. No other gem in that category is as popular or storied as turquoise.
Zircon encompasses every color, and it does so with a sparkle that literally only a handful of transparent gems in the world can match. Oh yeah, the study of zircon has also led to major breakthroughs in half-a-dozen fields of scientific research. Cool, right?
And then there’s tanzanite. It wasn’t even discovered fifty years ago, and it’s already one of the most desired gemstones in the world. With those kinds of blues and violets, it’s no surprise. The fact that’s it’s only been found in a patch of land that’s less than four square miles in area shoots its rarity factor to the sky.
But there’s so much more to consider – to know – about these gems. Allow me to guide you through December’s birthstones with a little about each over the next few blogs.