December is a magical time of year for all but even more so if you are born in this festive month. There are three birthstones for December: Tanzanite, Zircon and Turquoise.

All of these gemstones are known for their individual, unique shades of blue. These gemstones range in age of discovery with the oldest on earth, Zircon followed by one of the first to be mined and used in jewellery, Turquoise to the most recent to be discovered, Tanzanite.

Each gemstone range massively in price but their beauty rivals even the most popular gemstones.

Whatever your preference or budget, one of Decembers three birthstones will match your winter blues!


Tanzanite is a modern gemstone, only being discovered in 1967 in a few square miles of land near Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

Tanzanite is a variety of the mineral Zoisite which has been around more than a century and a half before this rare blue, violet shade was discovered.

Tanzanite measures 6.5 to 7 on the mohs scale of hardness, meaning it is not nearly as hard as sapphire it’s closed coloured gemstone rival. This also means it’s not ideal for daily wear in a ring or bracelet as it is prone to scratches and abrasion.

Tiffany & Co recognised the true beauty and potential of this blue, violet gemstone and agreed to become its main distributor. Tiffany promoted the gemstone with a campaign to the world under a new name, Tanzanite to reinforce its rare and exclusive origin in 1968.

An independent study from 2012 suggested at the rate of mining production, tanzanite deposits may deplete in as soon as 30 years times.

The beauty and limited supply has meant this gemstone is a prized item for anyone’s jewellery box.

Tanzanite and Diamond ring by W.E. Clark and Son


Zircon is a very under rated gemstone and one that gets confused with the synthetic cubic zirconia due to the similar name but Zircon is the oldest mineral on earth having first been discovered in Australia 4.4 billion years ago, due to its chemical makeup this is one of the only gemstones to have survived ages of geologic changes and events.
To date Australia is still the main source of Zircon, mining a third of the world’s supply. Other countries that mine Zircon are Thailand, Sri Lanka, USA, Canada, Cambodia and Tanzania.

Zircon can be found in a variety of colours; yellow, green, red but it mainly occurs naturally in a brownish red colour but like pretty much all gemstones is heat treated. Colourless Zircon is known for its brilliance and multi-coloured flashes called ‘fire’ because of this for century’s it was confused with diamond as their properties are so similar.
Zircon can also come in gold or blue colour. Blue is the most popular and also the colour of the alternative December birthstone.

Zircon is a 7.5on the mohs scale of hardness so although it is harder and more durable than Tanzanite it is still a gemstone to be careful about wearing daily in a ring.

Zircon and Diamond ring by W.E. Clark and Son


Turquoise has a very distinctive colour, powdery blue to robin’s egg blue. This unique gemstone dates back to the 13th century brought to Europe from Turkey. Ancient Persia now known as Iran was the original source for the sky blue turquoise known as ‘Persian blue’ today.

The USA is now the world’s largest Turquoise supplier, Arizona leads the way in quantity, value and quality although it can be found in Nevada, New Mexico, California and Colorado.
The USA has lots of arid regions perfect for Turquoise, where rain water dissolves the copper rich soil which creates the blue colour and the iron and chrome add the green hues.

Some Turquoise contains pieces of host rock called matrix which appears as spiders webs over the stone, this lowers the stones value although looks very beautiful on some colour shades.

Even the hardest Turquoise only measures 6 on the mohs scale of hardness, usually cut into beads and cabochons; the softness of this stone makes it very popular for carving talisman throughout history.

Turquoise necklace by Kit Heath at W.E. Clark and Son

All three is these gemstones has a very interesting history with a very different and unique source of origin.
You can never struggle with buying a gift for a December birthday, with a wide array of the shades of blue, styles and price tag there is something for everyone’s taste and budget.