December Birthstone December 01 2017
It's hard to believe it's December already! Where did the year go?!
The traditional birthstone for December is turquoise. The traditional gregorian birthstone poem for December is;
'If cold December gave you birth
The month of snow and ice and mirth
Place on your hand a turquoise blue;
Success will bless whate'er you do.'
Turquoise is thought to have been named after the french phrase 'pierre turquoise' meaning Turkish stone because it was first brought to Europe from Turkey by Venetian merchants.
Bluer stones get their colour from copper whilst greener stones have iron in them. Brown veins which appear in some stones are caused by oxides.
Turquoise is quite a soft stone so care must be taken not to scratch it and it can easily be discoloured with oils and pigments.
The modern alternative birthstone is Tanzanite which is a beautiful clear blue/purple stone which was discovered in Tanzania in the shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro by a gold prospector and is only found there. It was introduced to the UK in the late 60's by Tiffany.
It is also a soft stone so tends to be used mainly for necklaces and earrings.