Stone of the Month for December: Turquoise

Birthstones are gems  – precious and semi precious – that are assigned to the birth month of an individual. These colourful stones are often associated with good fortune, and hold significant meaning for the wearer.  The modern birthstone assigned to December borns is the blue-green opaque stone called Turquoise.

The Origins of Turquoise

Back in the 17th Century, this blue-green mineral stone was first brought into Europe from the Iranian mines. Since the mineral arrived through Turkey, the French referred to the stone as turquois which means Turkish and hence the stone derived its name – turquoise. Owing to its unique hue, the mineral has been classified as a gemstone and considered valuable in finer grades. While many of the historical sites where the mineral occurred have been depleted now, the Khorasan region of Iran has continued to be an important source for 2000 years. Apart from Iran, Egypt and Southwest US are also significant sources of turquoise.

Value and Significant Properties of Turquoise

Fine turquoise can have a Mohs hardness of upto 6 which happens to be a little more than that  of glass. It has a waxy, sometimes subvitreous lustre and is often found peppered with dark limonite veins and flecks of pyrite. This gemstone has been esteemed as a holy stone by many cultures – a talisman considered to bring good fortune. It is associated with the heart, throat and third eye chakra. Used as a purification stone, it is known to dispel negative energies and provide protection against pollutants. By aligning all the chakras, turquoise can instill inner calm and in turn help battle anxiety and depression. The gemstone also aids in enhancing the immune system and stimulates tissue regeneration, alleviates cramps, clears sore throats and heals  eye related problems.

Superior grade turquoise can cost upto $1000 per carat whereas it is possible to acquire high quality turquoise in the range of $10-$50 as well. If it seems too cheap to be true, then it’s most likely a fabricated variety of the stone which is not uncommon at all.

How to best wear Turquoise

If turquoise is your birthstone and you’d like to incorporate the gem in your daily style in order to best harness its energies then the ideal way would be to wear it as a ring or a pendant necklace. For more occasional usage, turquoise bracelets make for great accessories particularly for a stylish Boho look.

Alternative Birthstone: Tanzanite

A popular alternative to turquoise as the birthstone for December is Tanzanite. This stone, mined only in Tanzania, was given its name by Tiffany & Co. to make it more consumer friendly as compared to calling it the blue-violet variety of zoisite. Tanzanite has a Mohs hardness of upto 6.5 and a vitreous luster. While it stimulates the throat  chakra, third-eye  chakra and crown chakra it is known to enhance healing at all levels. Similar to turquoise, it is best  adorned as a ring or pendant necklace for those who wish to wear it daily.

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