Semi-precious gemstones


December Birthstones

There are 3 birthstones for this month: Turquoise, Tanzanite and Zircon. Turquoise and Tanzanite and predominantly blue. Zircon comes in many shades but for the December birthstone the colour used tends to be also blue.

Turquoise

This semi-precious stone is opaque and blue-green in colour. It is a mineral based gemstone and is made up of  copper and aluminium phosphate. Turquoise can be quite soft so is often stabilised with wax or synthetic resin.

Turquoise is mined predominantly in the USA, Mexico, Israel, Iran, Afghanistan and China. The most beautiful turquoises, in a splendid light blue, come from deposits in the north of Iran.

In many cultures of the Old and New Worlds, this gemstone has been treasured as a talisman or holy stone. It is perhaps most well known as used in jewellery in Egypt, Persia and South America.

In the ancient Persian kingdom, the sky-blue gemstones were earlier worn round the neck or wrist as protection against unnatural death.

In jewellery making, Turquoise looks great when used with Lapis Lazuli and Carnelian with copper or iron pyrites for a Egyptian inspired theme. Or teamed with silver for an Aztec design.

The stones are not faceted but tend to be turned into cabochons and beads for use in necklaces, bracelets and rings.

 

Raw Turquoise   cropped-turquoise-beads-large1.jpg

Photo credit: www.metaphoricalplatypus.com / Foter.com / CC BY

Photo credit: www.metaphoricalplatypus.com / Foter.com / CC BY