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Basics of December Birthstones

A birthstone is always a perfect and safe choice for a gift. It is actually a precious and semi-precious stone which have been associated with birth dates for centuries. As for those birthstones, they come in varying colors, textures, sizes and shapes.

Specific gemstones are endowed with each month among different cultures, which is based on the zodiac until there came a time when a specific gemstone was assigned for each of the month. There are different sets of twelve semi-precious and precious stones in different cultures. Although the choice of stones to represent each month differ from culture to culture, one thing is certain. That is, wearing birthstones effectively bring good luck and health. Some people also believe that these stones have special powers

As a tradition, Birthstones are deeply embedded in modern culture. Birthstone jewelry is also widely gaining popularity nowadays.

However, in the United States, there are numerous birthstones for each of the twelve months, making the job of choosing a December birthstone become a much difficult task.

Of all the December birthstones, turquoise may be the most popular, thanks to its value and unique color. As the modern December birthstone, tturquoise is also one of the most valuable non-transparent minerals that is often used in making jewelry.

Turquoise’s value was first discovered by Egyptians in 6000 BC. This stone is considered sacred by the North American Indians and Tibetans. As it is believed to promote spiritual and mental clarity, it is used in rituals and ceremonies officiated by shamans. In addition, it is also believed to enhance one's trust, understanding, kindness and wisdom.

Turquoise usually come in hues of green blue and light sky blue. Hardness of turquoise stones is between 5- 6. Literally means stone of Turkey in French, however, turquoise of finest quality are sourced from Iran. But high-grade stones can also be found in the southwestern parts of United States, such as in Arizona and New Mexico. Some poor-qualified turquoise is often dyed or applied with coatings of various resins.

Besides turquoise, zircon is another December birthstone, which could be mistaken for a diamond owing to its luster and fire. Generally, zircon is in hues of browns and greens while being heat-treated, it will attain a beautiful blue or golden hue.

There is blue topaz among several modern December birthstones. Topaz, literally means fire and symbolizes love and fidelity, is the hardest of silicate minerals that is believedd to possess healing powers. When in its pure form, Topaz appears colorless. But it can turn into a variety of colors such as pink, red, green, yellow and blue with minor treatments. This mineral can be mostly found in Sri Lanka, Pakistan, China, Nigeria, Brazil, Mexico and the United States.

Apart from the above December birthstones, there are still other less popular ones, including tanzanite, lapis or lapiz lasuli, ruby, onyx and chrysoprase.

You must make sure the birthstones you purchase is the real thing, which is true of December birthstones. There are many categories of gemstones either called genuine, natural, synthetic, simulated, treated or a combination of these. On the other hand, there exists synthetic gemstones that cost less than natural gemstones. When treated, birthstones of low quality can look like stones of high quality, thus you should be wary of it.

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