Prior to the 1912 JA birthstone list, Bloodstone and Ruby were considered December birthstones.

However, the Jewelers of America changed that and assigned the month of December a unicolor and blue was chosen to represent December. Today, December birthstones comprise of Blue Zircon, Turquoise and Blue Tanzanite. Turquoise and Tanzanite are recent additions to the December birthstones list.

Blue is the color of heaven and of the ocean. Thus, it is considered sacred since ancient times.

Turquoise comes in a variety of blues, though the sky-blue Turquoise is the most sought after. It also comes in light-blue, dark turquoise and green.

Tanzanite is of a reddish-brown color, but when heated a very lovely blue is obtained. Tanzanite comes in royal blue, indigo and violet-purple.

Tanzanite displays a color change known as trichroism (three colors). It changes colors from sapphire blue to violet and burgundy when viewed from different angles.

Blue Zircon which is an original December Birthstone, is the second most sought after gemstone today.

Blue Zircon is produced by heating some brown specimen of Zircon. A Zircon that is found only in South East Asia such as Cambodia and Myanmar (Burma).

Turquoise is one of those stones that has been considered sacred by different civilizations around the world. The Greeks called it CALLAIS which means Green Stone, and the Aztecs called it CHALCHIHUILT which means Precious Green Stone or Heart of the Earth. Turquoise is derived from the French Pierre Turquois meaning Turkish Stone because it was first introduced to Europe via Turkey.

Turquoise has been found in Egyptian tombs, either as an amulet for protection of the dead or as an inlay decoration of tombs. The death mask of Tutankhamun, for example, is inlaid with turquoise.

Aztecs, too, used Turquoise to decorate the death mask of their leaders and also of the masks representing their gods, their knives and shields. North Native Americans like the Navajo, Apache, Zuni and Pueblo also considered Turquoise sacred and put a tremendous value to it as a powerful amulet and used it on their arrows to ensure a perfect aim, and as a stone for protection from evil. It becomes more powerful if a turquoise is received from the hands of a true friend. This not only activates the power to ward off evil but also it bonds the friendship further. Turquoise was also put on bridles of horses and this was in order to keep the rider from falling and getting injured. It also gives strength to the horse and protect it from exhaustion and thirst.

Turquoise became popular in China during the Shang Dynasty when turquoise was carved into sacred ornaments and figurines.

Tanzanite derives its name from its only mining source, Tanzania in Africa. Tanzanite is the rare mineral variety of Zoisite.

Zircon derives its name from the Persian word Zargum meaning Golden Hued. When it was adapted to German, it became Zirkon or Zircon in English. It is one of the oldest minerals on earth that goes back 4 billion years of Earth’s geological history.

In the middle ages Zircon was known as Jacinth or Hyacinth and was used as an amulet to help fight insomnia, bring prosperity and wealth, promote honor and wisdom.

Unfortunately, during the 1900’s, it was used as a diamond imitation and since then, the label Fake was stuck to it.

Turquoise gives good luck, inner calmness, balance and creativity. It is said to be able to cure depression. It is the gemstone for the Zodiac sign for Sagittarius and has the qualities of Sagittarius which are optimism, kindness and adventurousness.

Turquoise is given as the 5th and 11th wedding gift anniversary.

The blue of Tanzanite represents calmness and a soothing energy conveying trust and sanctuary. It is given as the 24th wedding gift anniversary. It is the second most popular gemstone in the United States.

Zircon brings balance, grounding and healing. Blue Zircon is linked with prosperity and honor and is given as the 4th wedding gift anniversary.

Gemstones are measured on the Mohs hardness scale for its resistance to scratching, chipping, cracking and breakage, and its resistance to chemical or thermal shock. Turquoise's ranges from 5 to 6 on the Mohs hardness sclae. This means that even dust, which usually carries particles of quartz, may scratch a Turquoise as its hardness is lower than quartz's 7. Thus, special care must be taken when wearing or storing Turquoise gemstones.

Turquoise also has a perfect cleavage. This means it is very prone to breakage. Hence, it should be set in protective metal mountings and bezels.

Intense heat can discolor the lovely hue of Turquoise and it can also be damaged by household chemicals, cosmetics, skin oils and perspiration.

Tanzanite ranges from 6 to 7 on the Mohs hardness scale. Its toughness rates from good to fair.

Tanzanite surface can be damaged by hydrochloric and hydrofluoric acids (chemicals found in metal polishes and stain removers). Moreover, it can also be damaged permanently by thermal shock (a rapid change in temperature).

Zircon has a hardness ranging from 6 - 7.5 on the Mohs scale and it has a good to fair toughness. Zircon is heat treated to create its lovely blue. Nonetheless, intense light and ultraviolet radiation can cause the colors to fade or change altogether.

It is recommended that all three of these December birthstones be cleaned with warm, soapy water and a soft cloth.