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What you need to know about December birthstones

What you need to know about December birthstones

Birthstones are linked to the months of the year and were selected based on when each stone was believed to have certain powers or special properties, if worn at the right time.

Nowadays birthstone jewellery makes for a beautiful, unique and personalised gift.

December is famed for three gorgeous stones, each with a beautiful blue hue.

Until 2002, the December birthstones were Zircon and Turquoise. However, the rising popularity of Tanzanite, discovered by Tiffany & Co in 1967 in Tanzania, saw it added to the December birthstone line-up.

What special properties can I expect from these stones?

The gorgeous blue hue is the only thing these stones have in common as they possess different properties for the wearer.

Turquoise

Success and fortune

Often thought of as the ‘love charm’, turquoise is also thought to bring success, good fortune and relaxation to the wearer.

Turquoise is usually cut as a cabochon (not faceted like diamonds), beaded or carved because it is an opaque gem.

Wearing and caring for your Turquoise pieces

Be careful when cleaning and caring for your turquoise gems. Turquoise are porous, which means you should never clean them in an ultrasonic cleaning machine or with soap, detergents or cleaning solutions.

You can clean your turquoise items by simply wiping them with a damp cloth and wiping it dry immediately.

Blue Zircon

Protection and wisdom

Not to be confused with the man-made cubic zirconia, zircons are a versatile gemstone.

Zircons have good durability, although they are not as hard as a diamond, and are believed to ward off evil, induce sleep and evoke wisdom.

Wearing and caring for Zircon jewellery pieces

As blue zircons are heat treated they can also be prone to nicks and chipping on the facets if they are knocked, so be sure to be careful when wearing your zircon - especially when doing housework, or manual labour.

Zircon jewellery can be discoloured by UV light so keep them out of direct sunlight and remove zircon jewellery if you are getting acrylic nails done. The blue colour can turn brown within minutes of UV light exposure.

Zircon jewellery can be cleaned with warm water, detergent and a soft brush.

Tanzanite

Stress relief and security

Tanzanites were only added as a birthstone for December in 2002 due to their increasing popularity.

These beautiful stones were discovered in the late 1960s, which explains their late addition as a birthstone. Tanzanites are thought to be healing for stress and stress-related illnesses, such as high blood pressure. In addition to calming stresses, these stones are also supposed to be protective and evoke a sense of security.

Although the tanzanites you see set in jewellery are a beautiful blue-violet hue, raw tanzanites have flecks of brown in them which are removed through heat treatment.

Wearing and caring for tanzanite gemstones

Due to the heat treatment used to evoke the vibrant blue-violet hue, tanzanites are relatively fragile and are sensitive to heat and vibrations.

Tanzanites should never be cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaner. Instead, use warm water, detergent and a soft brush.

There you have it. This should make selecting a December gem easier based on what properties are most important to you.

At Cashies, we have a unique and ever-changing range of beautiful gemstone jewellery. Check out what we have below.