December Birthstone Color and Meaning: Turquoise, Zircon and Tanzanite

December Birthstones: Turquoise, Zircon and Tanzanite Gemstone Meaning
  • Month: December
  • Birthstones: Turquoise, Zircon, Tanzanite
  • Color: Blue
  • Meanings: Growth, Healing

Discovered in Africa

Many people know that turquoise is December’s birthstone, but there are actually three of them. Another one is tanzanite, and unlike most other gems, tanzanite isn’t an ancient stone. It was discovered in 1967, so it doesn’t have much history. Manuel D’Souza, a prospector from India, is the man who unearthed tanzanite. While looking for stones in Tanzania, D’Souza came across an unknown mineral. Initially, he thought they were sapphires. Upon further research, he realized the stone had no name or official origin. D’Souza took it upon himself to continue mining, eventually putting tanzanite on the map.

Another Theory

Not everyone believes that D’Souza single-handedly discovered tanzanite. According to some, Malaysian herders were the first to encounter this mineral. Following a lightning strike in a nearby grassland, herders fled the scene. When they returned, blue stones covered their land and livestock. While some believe that this is an outlandish story, others uphold it as the truth.

Rough tanzanite stone isolated on white background

Tiffany & Co.’s Involvement

As a notable jeweler, Tiffany & Co. quickly got in on the action. When word of this discovery spread, Henry Platt, the great-great-grandson of Tiffany & Co.’s founder, named it tanzanite. To give this stone the attention it deserved, the company created a marketing campaign. Before too long, tanzanite became the talk of both American and European markets.

An Unfortunate Twist

Some people didn’t take kindly to Tiffany & Co.’s commercialization of tanzanite. They wanted it to remain a pure and precious gem. In the hopes of ending this exploitation, a car accident was staged. This fake collision left D’Souza “dead,” which effectively stopped the production of tanzanite. With little supply coming their way, Tiffany & Co. was forced to bring their advertising efforts to a halt.

Turns Negative Into Positive

Tanzanite is thought to turn negative energies into positive ones. It does just that by encouraging us to change our perspective. If you’re prone to anger or sorrow, tanzanite can turn your mood around. In the presence of tanzanite, love, hope, and light prevail. By leading with positivity, tanzanite believes that a fulfilling life is sure to follow.

Promotes Good Health

From strengthening the immune system to regenerating cells, tanzanite is said to work numerous medical wonders. It is also thought to keep the liver, heart, and spleen healthy. Best of all, tanzanite is believed to detoxify the body. It should wash away our impurities while keeping us healthy and happy and treat inflammation and acidification. If you’re struggling with any physical or mental health issues, tanzanite is thought to be helpful.

The Story of Turquoise

Touted as one of the first gems to ever be mined, turquoise was discovered around 6000 B.C. Turquoise is a French word that means Turkish, which makes sense since the stone arrived in Europe through Turkey. However, the stone originated in Iran. For 3,000 years, turquoise has been mined in Iran. With that said, it has strong ties to this Middle Eastern country.

Rough turquoise stone isolated on white background

Treasured by Egyptians, Aztecs, and Native Americans

Ancient Egyptians adored turquoise so much that they buried them. This was their way of making turquoise last forever. Mummies, specifically, would have turquoise in their tombs. Meanwhile, Aztecs designed elaborate masks using turquoise. These creations were beautiful and highlighted their timeless style. Native Americans took a more traditional approach by making turquoise necklaces, bracelets, and pendants.

Used for Protection

Much like many stones, turquoise was used for protection. Legend has it that turquoise safeguards against evil forces. Warriors and soldiers were especially fond of this stone for this reason. If danger was near, turquoise would provide comfort. Wearing the stone proved more effective than holding it.

Provides Spiritual Grounding

Those in need of spiritual enlightenment are encouraged to consult with turquoise. If you can’t find peace with your God, turquoise will smoothe things over. What’s more, it provides insight and, in turn, sheds light on otherwise tricky situations. Turquoise blends the mind with the body, which makes way for awareness and understanding.

Eases Chaotic Thoughts

When our thoughts run amok, they can be draining. If your sanity is slipping away, find solace in turquoise. This gem has the ability to silence negativity. When we rein in our doubts and fears, optimism follows. In essence, turquoise sets us up for success by providing moments of quietude that are desperately needed.

A Gem as Old as Time

Regarded as the oldest mineral in the world, zircon is found in the Earth’s crust. Having been around since the beginning of time, zircon is found in many elements. These include igneous rocks, sedimentary rocks, and sand. Deriving from the Persian word zargun, zircon loosely translates to gold-like. This meaning is somewhat mysterious because zircon comes in a variety of colors.

Zircon gemstone isolated on white background

Meet Zircon’s Doppelgänger

Cubic zirconia bears a striking resemblance to zircon, but they’re far from the same. The two are often confused, but zircon is more authentic than cubic zirconia. In fact, cubic zirconia is grown in labs and was created to imitate diamonds. Unfortunately, this has left zircon in the shadows. As a natural stone, zircon is far more prestigious than its doppelgänger.

Popular Among Jewelry Collectors

With its unmatched beauty and elegance, zircon is held in high regard by jewelers and collectors. Its rarity makes it all the more appealing. Moreover, compared to other stones, zircon is an affordable alternative. Most notably, zircon is offered in a variety of shapes and colors. This diversity makes zircon agreeable to various tastes and preferences.

Indicative of Good Fortune

If you’re down on your luck, zircon is thought to bring good fortune. Those who confide in zircon are believed to experience enduring prosperity and luck. Zircon also bolsters confidence, which bodes well for future greatness. If you’re in a rut and are desperate for change, zircon can provide the answers and guidance that you’re after.

Facts About December’s Three Birthstones

  • The colors of zircon can change with heat.
  • Zircon is found in the city walls of Jerusalem.
  • Tanzanite is a member of the zoisite family.
  • The largest tanzanite in the world is over 16,000 carats.
  • The most valuable turquoise stones are located in Iran.
  • Turquoise is often used as a wedding anniversary gift.

Birthstones by Month

If you want to learn more about birthstone colors and their meanings, here’s an overview of birthstones by month.

Turquoise gem watercolor illustration