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December Birthstones: Tanzanite, Zircon and TurquoiseDecember 13, 2017 - Jewelry Articles
Tanzanite is a blue variety of the mineral zoisite only found in Tanzania. Since its discovery in 1967, tanzanite has quickly gained popularity. This stone can appear to have different colors depending on the angle it is viewed from. To best highlight its attractive blue hues and diminish its brown tones, tanzanite must be cut with great precision. Most of the tanzanite in today’s market is heat treated in order to minimalize its brown colors while enhancing its blue shades.
Often substituted for sapphire because of its brilliant hue, Tanzanite is only found within a few square miles of Tanzania. In 1967, the Maasai found blue crystals while tending to livestock. When a prospector named d’Souza was notified about this discovery, he mistook the stone for sapphire. Tiffany & Co. quickly realized that tanzanite had the potential to compete against sapphire, which was much more expensive. The brand became tanzanite’s main distributor and introduced it to the market with a promotional campaign in 1968. Tiffany & Co. named the gem tanzanite to highlight its exclusive origin in Tanzania.
This stone is rumored to help its wearers unite their mind and heart, letting them live a life of compassion and wisdom. Tanzanite is also believed to help to promote calmness, making it a great gift for someone with a stressful job.
Tanzanite as a Birthstone
Major qualities tanzanite is believed to possess include:
Zircon is the oldest mineral on Earth with the oldest located in Australia and dates back 4.4 billion years. This mineral is commonly found in sand, sedimentary deposits, metamorphic rocks and crystalized magma. The origin of zircon’s name is still debated. Some trace its origin to the Persian word “zargun” which means “gold-colored.” Others believe that its name from the Arabic word “zarkun”, meaning “vermillion.” Since zircon is available in a range of colors, including orange, yellow, red, green and blue, both origins for its name are plausible.
Zircon’s varying colors result from impurities in the minerals, some of which are radioactive, such as uranium. Heat treatment is used to stabilize any radioactivity within the mineral. During the 1920s, heat treatment was frequently used to enhance the color of zircon. Colorless zircon, known as Matura Diamond, is a convincing replacement for diamonds, however it is much more brittle. White zircon was often used as a diamond alternative in the nineteenth century. Blue zircon was popular in the Victorian area and was frequently used in estate jewelry.
Zircon has been used since the Middle Ages to treat various ailments. During this time people believed that this stone could cure insomnia, grant prosperity, enhance wisdom and ward off evil. Since then, Zircon has also been used to protect travelers, prevent disease and relieve pain.
Today, people use zircon to help increase their compassion, self-love and confidence. Zircon is also believed to give their wearers guidance and motivation. If you know someone who needs a little nudge when it comes to achieving their goals, zircon can make a great gift.
Zircon as a Birthstone
Zircon is believed to grant its wearer:
Turquoise’s color ranges from a soft sky blue to a greenish blue, depending on the amounts of iron and copper within it. The oldest turquoise mines are in the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt. One mine was near a temple dedicated to Hathor, the Greek goddess of love, joy and mining. The Egyptians referred to turquoise as “mefkat,” meaning “joy and delight.” Egyptian tombs contained intricate turquoise jewelry, even King Tut’s burial mask was greatly decorated with turquoise.
The name Turquoise dates back to the 13th century, originating from the French expression “pierre tourques,” meaning “Turkish stone,” as the stone was brought from Turkey to Europe. Turquoise is sometimes referred to as “Persian blue” because Ancient Persia was the original source for light blue turquoise. Queen Victoria was such a fan of turquoise that she gifted her bridesmaids turquoise embellished brooches. Today, America is the world’s largest supplier of turquoise, making it a staple in Native American jewelry.
Turquoise has been celebrated throughout history as a symbol of power, nobility and immortality. Rulers and warriors have utilized turquoise since ancient Egypt because of the powers they believed the stone to possess. Turquoise has been crafted into weapons, ceremonial items and jewelry to access its power.
Persians, in particular, greatly relied on turquoise for decoration. They used turquoise on palace domes because the stone’s blue color was thought to represent heaven. Persians also wore turquoise jewelry as they believed that the stone would change color to alert them of danger. Native American shamans chose turquoise in ceremonies to communicate with the spirit of the sky. Today, turquoise is used to promote healing, wealth and good fortune. This stone is said to help their wear become more honest, creative and eloquent.
Turquoise as a Birthstone:
Traits turquoise are believed to possess are:
December Birthstones: How to Sell Tanzanite, Zircon and Turquoise Designer Jewelry
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