December Birthstone

My turquoise necklace

Last Day of December – What is your birthstone?

According to current birthstone “assignments,” the fabulous turquoise is the stone for December. And who would quarrel with that? Blue Zircon was December’s stone for many years, but it may have been its elusive deep sea blue color that cost this lovely stone its position in contemporary fashion. Zircon, of course, is found in many colors, but the blue of Zircon is somewhere between a Capri blue and the marine blue of dark Apatite.

From the Smithsonian website

Here is a story:
In 2007 I took a detour from teaching and writing, and worked at the renowned store for everything in New York City, ABC Carpet & Home. One of the team of people who organized displays in the store– let’s call her Frannie– had a keen eye for color, though she tended to talk about 3 different subjects at once.
She liked my jewelry designs, and asked me to make her a necklace with amethyst and gold.
“Because I hate my birthstone,” she said. I puzzled over the thread of her conversation.
“My husband gave me a blue zircon anniversary ring.” Hmm, I thought. I have no idea what she’s talking about.
“So, you were born in December,” I said.
“Right,” she brightened. “And I hated the color! It didn’t go with anything, so I wanted to choose my own birthstone. I choose Amethyst.”

Soon after Frannie wore her new amethyst necklace to work, Lila was hired.
“I hate my birthstone, too!”
She was beaming a smile, telling me I was the answer to all her problems.
“Can you fix mine? I want green earrings!”

And so, Lila got Peridot earrings, while a third December native commissioned a garnet bracelet.
That’s how I became the designer who could “fix” your birthstone.
Perhaps there are many people who had ambivalent feelings about blue zircons, and even though they are truly beautiful stones, influential jewelers in the industry have succeeded in changing the birthstone charts! Have you noticed?
Perhaps turquoise will enjoy renewed appreciation for its beauty and soothing qualities, as it has already had an impact in fashion. What I think is that we should all be able to choose our own stones, the ones that speak to us, and make us feel happy to wear them.

Here are photos of gems and stones I took at the Smithsonian for my little grandson, Jack, who loooves them! (I used my iPhone and shot through the display glass case. Thank you, Steve Jobs!)

Crown with Turquoise and Diamonds
Turquoise Ore – Trad. turquoise on silver top right
Zircon Varietes

2 responses to “December Birthstone

  1. Wow, I'm a December baby (Ha! to the baby) also and have always loved the stones assigned. Much to dislike about a December birthday but not the stones!

  2. True, and it's fascinating how we came to have gemstones signify something about ourselves– which inspires me to write about it for January!Thanks, Barbra.

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