If you're looking for a unique and meaningful gift for someone born in December, opt for one of the birthstones — tanzanite or turquoise. Consider treating yourself to a mother's gift by buying jewelry with the birthstones of your child born in December (or add this to a wish list for someone else to gift to you). Some people even choose to wear the birthstones of their significant other or another favorite person.
These two gemstones are both beautiful and rare, and they have a lot of history and symbolism behind them. Let’s explore the allure of December’s birthstones.
How Did Tanzanite and Turquoise Become December’s Birthstones?
The concept of birthstones dates back to ancient times, when people believed that certain gems had mystical powers. Even now, some people believe that gemstones can protect or enhance the wearer’s health, wealth, and happiness.
In 1912, the American National Association of Jewelers released the list of birthstones. However, they've updated it several times to reflect new discoveries and preferences. Tanzanite and turquoise are somewhat recent additions to the list of December birthstones.
Tanzanite was discovered in 1967 in Tanzania, hence its name. It was added to the list of December birthstones in 2002, making it the most recent gemstone to join the list.
Turquoise, on the other hand, is one of the oldest-known gemstones. It has been used for jewelry and art for thousands of years by various cultures around the world. This gem was added to the list of December birthstones in 2009, along with zircon.
What Are the Properties and Uniqueness of Tanzanite and Turquoise?
Tanzanite and turquoise are both blue gemstones, but besides their shared color, they're quite different—not only in appearance but also in composition.
Tanzanite is a variety of zoisite, a mineral that occurs in metamorphic rocks. Tanzanite reflects light very well, producing a brilliant sparkle. It also has a phenomenon called “pleochroism”, which means it can show different colors depending on the angle of view.
Tanzanite color ranges from blue to violet to purple, and sometimes even green or pink. It has quite a large color range, especially when compared to turquoise.
Additionally, tanzanite is a very rare and valuable gemstone. It's only found in one place in the world, the Merelani Hills of Tanzania, and gem experts estimate that the supply will run out in the next 20 to 30 years.
Turquoise is a hydrated copper-aluminum phosphate mineral. It's formed in arid regions where groundwater reacts with copper-bearing rocks. Contrary to tanzanite, turquoise has a low refractive index — it doesn't reflect light; it has a waxy luster. Its structure is porous, and for this reason, it's so important to properly care for your delicate turquoise jewels.
Turquoise can range from sky blue to green to yellow. Sometimes, it features brown or black veins or spots called “matrix.” Turquoise is found in many places around the world, but the most famous sources are in Iran, the United States, Mexico, China, and Tibet.
Because turquoise is fairly common, many cultures have associated it with various values. Some common meanings of turquoise are healing, protection, wisdom, and luck.
The Perfect Birthstone Gifts for December
Putting history aside, tanzanite and turquoise shine for their versatility. They can suit any style or preference. If you're looking for a unique and thoughtful gift for someone born in December, this is it. But, take a look at our tips for gifting and wearing the December birthstones.
#1 Choose a Matching Set
You can also make your gift more complete and harmonious by choosing a matching set. This example features a stylish, coordinated look, layering many turquoise necklaces: the Mini Revival, the Revival Midi Nouveau, and the Revival Teardrop Birthstone. We also added this precious toi et moi (turquoise and diamond) to balance out the color.
#2 Combine Multiple Birthstones in One Piece
Create a unique combination by mixing tanzanite and turquoise with other birthstones. For example, you can customize our Double Revival Ring with the recipient’s birthstone plus your own. You can learn more about the meaning of toi et moi rings in this blog post.
#3 Personalize Your Birthstone Gifts
You can add a personal touch to your birthstone gift by engraving the recipient’s name, initials, or a meaningful message. This will show them how much you care and appreciate them, and it will make the jewelry piece more memorable and sentimental.
We hope those tips help! Browse our birthstone collections to find more gifts that'll be loved and cherished forever.