If you have a friend or loved one that is born in December … firstly, remember not to combine their birthday and Christmas gift! With around 6 December born friends and relatives, as well as a December born daughter, I’ve often been in the middle of discussions about how much they ‘hate’ that! Then afterwards, rejoice in the choice of birthstones that you have for December-baby loved ones. Turquoise is probably the most widely accepted birthstone for December currently, being listed on both modern and traditional charts. However scarce as turquoise jewelry is, there are plenty of other alternatives for December birthstones. Come with us on an adventure through the halls of December!
Turquoise may be the main mineral considered a birthstone for December, but it certainly is not the only one! There are both traditional and modern birthstones to consider (sometimes lists will include a couple of alternatives, too), as well as the Mystical birthstone chart and the Ayurvedic birthstone chart. Turquoise is inherently vulnerable to solvents, the alcohol in perfumes and deodorants, etc, and prolonged sun exposure may discolour it. It is generally difficult to keep looking good – so you can understand why many jewellers don’t stock it. Your alternatives include:
• Blue topaz, considered a modern birthstone
• Tanzanite, also a modern birthstone, added to the list by the American Gem Trade Association in 2002
• Black onyx, the mystical birthstone
• Ruby, the Ayurvedic birthstone
• Zircon, a traditional birthstone. There is little zircon jewelry available, also.
• Lapis lazuli, considered a traditional birthstone
Turquoise does end up gorgeous in jewelry (as you can see at the beginning of the article), but the fragility and difficult care means that alternative birthstones are usually used. The mystical and Ayurvedic birthstones are those least often substituted for turquoise – blue topaz, tanzanite and lapis retain some of the character (at least a vague semblance of the color!) of turquoise and are more generally used. The Pandora earring pendant at right is a lovely example, with its light blue topaz feature in the center. These are part of the Mix n Match earring collection, Pandora’s way of personalizing earrings to suit their customers, just like they can with bracelets and necklaces. These dainty earring drops are light enough to be comfortable on every lady’s ears (sized at 1.7cm long), and made of quality 14ct gold.
Tanzanite may be a relatively new addition to the list of birthstones for December, but a worthwhile one in our opinion! This beautiful delicately colored purple stone makes for great jewelry, and Pandora is one of the brands to recognize that best. The tanzanite and black pearl necklace at right is a favorite product that has been in the range for quite a long time. The necklace is a 14ct gold base, and features one tanzanite and three black pearls. There is plenty if matching jewelry available – just select the product from within its category using the search refinement box, and scroll down to see the matching pieces. One of the most beautiful and interchangeable ones is the bubble design ring with tanzanite flower at the front, a design which Pandora has truly picked up and run with.
Lapis lazuli is another December birthstone – a more classical type stone than tanzanite or even blue topaz, and one with a ton of character. The lapis birthstone charm at right fits on Pandora bracelets and necklaces – you can actually get a turquoise colored leather necklace that highlights the deep blue beautifully. It is set on oxidized sterling silver, and so is one of the most affordable and easy to coordinate pieces in the range.
The mystical birthstone list is a Tibetan system of working out birthstones by month. You’ll find plenty of Asian-inspired gemstones in the list, exotic Oriental types like bloodstone, jasper, jade, moonstone, and of course onyx for December. The onyx set in the Hot Diamonds cufflinks at right is a stark but stunning contrast to the glossy, sleek sterling silver that Hot Diamonds are known for producing. There are two tiny, sparkling diamonds set in the curved top of the cufflinks themselves, and at 1.4cm these are sized slightly larger than many other links, but still very reasonably priced.
The traditions of Ayuveda are not well known outside of the holistic medicine and day spa circuit, but the use of birthstones is actually a part of this Indian medicine tradition dating from 3500 years ago. The Ayurvedic birthstone for December is ruby – choose a small set of natural rubies for your loved one, like these ruby stud earrings. They are actually quite well sized, at 3.5mm wide by 4mm high, and the borderless prong setting helps the stone’s richness shine. The color is a beautiful deep red one, and the gems are set in 18ct white gold.
You have an amazing amount of choice in your December birthstone jewelry gifts – this is only the tip of the iceberg. The blue topaz jewelry section has an especially large range, and there are neat little collections of black onyx, tanzanite and ruby jewelry on site also. If you’d like help searching or selecting, just click the Live Help link at the right of screen and we’ll be there to assist.