mineraliety: Happy December, friends! How are we already in the…


Happy December, friends! How are we already in the last month of 2016? December likes to play the field and has three birthstones: Tanzanite, Zircon, and Turquoise.

Tanzanite is named after the country of Tanzania in Sub-Saharan Africa. It was found near Mt. Kilimanjaro in 1967. The stone is simultaneously three colors, brown, blue and violet. Exposure to heat increases the blue and violet colors. The Tanzanite mineral was named the new birthstone for December by the American Gem Trade Association in 2002.

Zircon is a yellowish stone found all throughout the earth’s crust (however blue Zircon is used for December’s birthstone). There can be radioactive elements in it including, uranium and thorium. If these radioactive elements break down to a certain degree it creates a color change in the Zircon. Often Zircon is heat treated to purposely enhance its color and transparency. The stone is considered safe to handle. The name comes from a Persian word which means “golden colored.“

A highly prized stone by many ancient cultures, Turquoise’s color comes from copper in its chemical composition. The word Turquoise is actually connected to the word Turkish because the stone was imported from Turkey into France. The stone is famous for its use by Native Tribes of the Desert Southwestern United States in jewelry.



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