December's Birthstone - Turquoise

There are three birthstones for the month of December: tanzanite, zircon and turquoise. Your zodiac signs are Sagittarius (November 22-December 21) and Capricorn (December 22-January 19).

 

All three of these stones are a deep blue color and have their own history and chemical composition. One of the more interesting of the three is tanzanite, a gem you may not have heard of before. This rare gem is only found in Tanzania and was only recently discovered in 1967. Tanzanite gets its deep blue color from trace amounts of vanadium.

Tanzanite was discoveredby Maasai herders who were tending to the Merelani Hills around Arusha, Tanzania. These herders came across blue crystals and notified a prospector who then registered the area with the government to begin mining. The name Tanzanite was coined by Tiffany and Company who became the primary distributor of the gem and wanted to showcase the rare geographical source of this stone.

November's Birthstone

The perfect colors for a late fall birthday are the found in the November birthstones of citrine and topaz.

 
 

Topaz is the more common gemstone associated with November and comes in a variety of yellow hues. The name topaz comes from the Greek name for St. John's Island located in the Red Sea, Topazios. This is because yellow gems were mined on this island, however they were likely not topaz.

Topaz picks up its bright yellow color from impurities, as with most gems. In pure form, topaz is colorless but can take on a variety of colors dependent on certain impurities.

A large chunk of the topaz in the world comes from Brazil, and it's also produced in Australia, Russia, Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Nigeria, Mexico, Germany, and the United States. Although topaz has been used in many forms for thousands of years, the term was widely used for any light-yellow gem and hence most references to topaz in history could be other gems.