December Stone Of The Month...Or Should I Say Stones?
Happy birthday December babies! Christmas and a birthday all in the same month. Some will argue that's a blessing, and some a curse. That's an argument for another time. Today we are all about the birthstone for my favourite month of the year. Or should I say birthstones? Plural. That's right, December is flexing as the month with the most options for birthstones with a whopping FOUR varieties that are commonly recognised.
Why so many? Traditionally, each month was associated with one particular stone. Over time, some stones became more of a rarity or exceedingly expensive, so some alternative stones were used as a substitute. Usually, the alternative stones will be the same or a similar colour to the traditional option. For example, as yellow topaz became rarer and more expensive, the similarly coloured but easily obtained citrine became the alternative stone for November.
Turquoise, a hydrated copper aluminium phosphate mineral, is one of the oldest known stones in the history of humankind. Historically, it was the stone of kings, warriors, and high priests. Most ancient civilizations have highly prized it, especially the Egyptians and the Native Americans, who used it frequently in their sacred rituals.
Buyer beware with turquoise as there are so many fakes on the market that are either dyed versions of another, cheaper stone or a mixed resin compound of low-grade turquoise dust, mixed and then dyed to form a cheap, composite version.
Turquoise is a good travel stone to protect against loss or attack while on your journey. It is an excellent healing stone to alleviate panic and exhaustion. Wearing turquoise provides you with a powerful talisman for luck and success, and protection from evil intent.
Zircon, a zirconium silicate mineral, is a stone whose name bears an unfortunate resemblance to cubic zirconia. Zircon is a natural stone that can be pretty valuable, whereas cubic zirconias are low-value artificial stones. Found all over the world, the range of colours available in zircon is breathtaking. From earthy shades of red, brown, yellow, and orange to bright and lively blue, the zircon has a colour tone to suit every season. The impressive light dispersion from a well-cut zircon has made the colourless zircon a popular choice as a diamond alternative. Blue zircon is the colour associated with December.
Metaphysically, zircon is a stone that represents happiness, integrity, self-respect, dignity, and prosperity.
Topaz is an interesting stone with an aluminium silicate fluoride hydroxide composition. It is found in a variety of colours, including white (transparent), yellow, orange, pink, and various shades of blue. Many topaz on today's market is treated using heat or irradiation to achieve the vibrant hues we are used to seeing. It is a hard and durable stone with a hardness of 8 on the Mohs scale, similar to that of aquamarine and the other stones in the beryl family but without the inherent brittleness of beryl.
Blue topaz is a modern birthstone for December. Metaphysically, it is a stone of self-confidence, creativity, and communication. It is said to exude deeply calming energy that is good for meditation.
Tanzanite is the blue-violet variety of the mineral zoisite, with calcium aluminium silicate composition. It is found only in a tiny locality in Tanzania. It was only recently discovered in the late 1960s and hit the main stage when it was featured in jewellery designs by Tiffany & co. Ever since then, tanzanite has gained popularity and risen sharply in price.
Tanzanite is a stone that is quite brittle and requires extreme caution when being worn in jewellery. It is very easily damaged, scratched, chipped. It is so delicate that even cleaning it using the standard methods of an ultrasonic cleaner can cause it to break into many pieces.
Be wary when buying tanzanite as an investment stone. Generally, if it is already set into a piece of jewellery, it is not considered an investment stone. Investment tanzanites are sold loose and facetted in a small gemstone display box, and this is how they should remain. The mine is separated into different areas called blocks, and some dealers argue that "D-block" tanzanite is of superior quality and fetches a higher price. There is no objective evidence to suggest that the material from this particular mine area is any better than the other areas.
Tanzanite is a deeply spiritual stone that is said to be helpful to those who want to develop their psychic and clairvoyant abilities. It is a protective stone that raises the spiritual vibration of those who wear or carry it. It is said to have calming and tranquil energy. It was added as a birthstone option for December in 2002, making it a modern birthstone rather than a traditional one.