December Birthstone Story
December birthdays can celebrate their month with Tanzanite, Blue Zircon, or Turquoise birthstones. All stones famous for their varying shades of blue color, and each with a unique set of characteristics and structure.
Tanzanite was only discovered in the late 1960s in Tanzania and it remains an exclusive area for this stone to be found. The name "tanzanite" was given because the world's only known tanzanite deposit of commercial importance is in northern Tanzania. The name reflects the gem’s limited geographic origin. The mines are all located in an area of about eight square miles in the Merelani Hills, near the base of Mount Kilimanjaro and the city of Arush.
The mineral zoisite naturally occurs in a wide range of colors that include colorless, gray, yellow, brown, pink, green, blue, and violet. The name "tanzanite" is used for a color variety of zoisite that ranges from blue to bluish purple to bluish violet. Tanzanite forms as a brownish crystal and is trichroic — which means it shows three colors — brown, blue and violet concurrently. Heating — either occurring underground naturally by metamorphic processes, or above ground by man in a furnace removes the brown or burgundy color component to produce a stronger violet-blue color and makes the stone "dichroic" which means it only reflects blue and violet. Rarely, gem-quality tanzanite will heat to a green primary hue, almost always accompanied by a blue or violet secondary hue. These green tanzanite have some meaningful value in the collector market, but are seldom of interest to commercial buyers.
Turquoise is an opaque, blue-to-green mineral. It is rare and valuable in finer grades and has been prized as a gemstone and ornamental stone for thousands of years owing to its unique hue. The gemstone has been known by many names. Pliny the Elder referred to the mineral as callais (from Ancient Greek κάλαϊς) and the Aztecs knew it as chalchihuitl. The word turquoise dates to the 17th century and is derived from the French turquois meaning "Turkish" because the mineral was first brought to Europe through Turkey, from mines in the historical Khorasan of Persia. The pharaohs and other rulers of ancient Egypt adorned themselves with it. Chinese artisans carved it more than 3,000 years ago. In many cultures of the Old and New Worlds, this gemstone has been esteemed for thousands of years as a holy stone, a bringer of good fortune or a talisman.
Turqouise is found in Iran, China, Egypt, as well as the Southwest United States. Other notable localities include: Afghanistan, Australia (Victoria and Queensland), north India, northern Chile (Chuquicamata), Cornwall, Saxony, Silesia. The finest of turquoise reaches a maximum Mohs hardness of just under 6.
Zircon is among the most precious stone in the world. This beautiful stone is similar to diamond and because of this it is highly in demand. Though it resembles a lot with cubic zirconia because of the similar name, both are different as Cubic Zirconia is lab created stine, while Zircon is natural gemstone.
Zircons are widely found in South-east Asia, Africa. Tanzania is popular for red zircons, orange colour zircons are found in Cambodia region. Some yellow colour zircons are produced by the method of heating treatment. The name derives from the Persian zargun, meaning "gold-hued". This word is corrupted into "jargoon", a term applied to light-colored zircons. The English word "zircon" is derived from Zirkon, which is the German adaptation of this word. Zircon ranks 6 to 7.5 on the Mohs hardness scale.