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A Brief Guide to December Birthstones

Because of the contrast, December's birthstones not only make excellent birthday gifts, they also can be combined into jewelry that represents all the nuances of love and hate in a passionate romantic relationship. Combine ruby with blue zircon to capture the differences between fire and ice, or place it with turquoise or lapis lazuli for even greater contrast. But however you blend it, however you give it, however you wear it, few birthstones can rival December's for sheer emotional power, endurance, and desirability.

December Modern and Traditional Birthstone: Blue Topaz

December Birthstone Blue TopazPerhaps no birthstones show a wider range as far as color and character goes than December's birthstones. All the smooth, cool blue of artic ice caves and deep, frigid water is bound up in the modern December birthstone, turquoise, which seems brushed with winter's cool hues. Similarly, opaque lapis lazuli, one of the alternate modern birthstones, plays its blues in rich and frosty shades. And while translucent tanzanite is found in both cool blue and warm lavendar, only its clearest blues are generally accepted as the second alternate birthstone for December. Similarly, the blue zircon, the first of two traditional birthstones for December, while paler than its tanzanite counterpart, is as clear and icy blue as a winter's day. At first glance, it would seem that December's birthstones were chosen solely for their similarity to the frosty month whose name they bear, and that those who prefer warmer colors should seek elsewhere for their gemstones.


December Alternate Birthstone: Tanzanite

And yet, we find in the second traditional birthstone for December, the ruby, such a contrast of color and character that it hardly seems possible it should belong to the same month as turquoise, lapis lazuli, tanzanite and blue zircon. But what could be more natural? If out-of-doors is a chill and frosty place in the middle of December, it only makes the warmth inside contrast more sharply. If turquoise and lapis lazuli, tanzanite and blue zircon, contain all winter's ice and snow, then the ruby contains firelight and family, warmth and laughter, Christmas and love. Like December itself, December's birthstones blend cool and warm, fire and ice, for a dazzling effect reminiscent of watching snowflakes falling outside a warm kitchen window.