There are two birthstones for the month of December, turquoise and zircon. However, no matter which gem you pick, the generally accepted December birthstone color is light blue. Of the two stones, turquoise is the more common birthstone for this month.
Turquoise typically develops in rock located near water tables. It is found in arid and semi-arid environments. The chemicals of the mineral come from the adjacent rock; they are leached out by groundwater and rain. It is a relatively soft gemstone and can easily be broken or scratched. Oil and pigments can easily discolor the stone and change its color when water is lost. Copper that is present in the stone will turn it a sky blue and iron will provide a more green tone.
Turquoise is considered to be a symbol of success and good fortune by some. It is thought to bring prosperity to those who wear it.
History of Turquoise and Zircon
The name turquoise is thought to come from Pierre turquoise, which is a French phrase that means Turkish stone. The stone was first brought to Europe from merchants that got it from Turkish Bazaars.
Some people consider it a love charm. When it is received as a gift the turquoise symbolizes affection. Shakespeare used this belief in his “The Merchant of Venice.” In this story Leah provided a turquoise ring to Shylock when he was single in hopes that it would win his affection so that he could ask her for her hand in marriage. Turquoise is popular in wedding rings in Russia.
It is one of the earliest known stones to be used to make jewelry. In early Egypt pharaohs would wear the stone. Queen Zer, who ruled during 5500 BC, was found in her tomb wearing 4 magnificent bracelets made out of turquoise.
Turquoise has a rich history in native American culture as well. The stone was used to make jewelry, swords, knives, pottery, as well as many other items.
Zircon is the alternate birthstone of the month. The stone appears to be a pale green or yellow or colorless in its natural state. uranium and thorium emit radiations that will alter the original structure of the crystal and create a material that is glass like and has colors of orange, yellow, and red to brown. The red gemstone is the most prized as it is very rare.
The name zircon probably comes from Arabic zar and gun which means gold and color. The stone was used by travelers during the 11th century as an amulet to protect against injury, disease and insomnia.
December Birth Flower
The narcissus is the birth flower for December. Daffodil is another name for the flower. This is a bulbous plant that has tall linear leaves with white or yellow flowers. It is said that the flower represents sweetness. It is native in the Mediterranean with some types in China and other parts of Asia.
The narcissus is the national flower for the Kurdish culture and symbolizes the new year. It is also the most popular flower of Germany. It is cultivated in Great Britain, Holland, and the Channel Islands and the Isles of Sicily.