Tanzanite, Turquoise & Zircon
Tanzanite is a one-of-a-kind gemstone unlike any other and can only be found in one place on Earth: the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro. This gem possesses an exotic velvety blue with a rich overtone of purple, a color unlike any other.
One of today’s most popular blue gemstones, Tanzanite comes in a variety of shapes, sizes and striking assortments of blue tones. Rarely pure blue, Tanzanite almost always displays its signature overtones of purple. In smaller sizes, Tanzanite usually contains lighter tones and the lavender color is more common. While in larger sizes, Tanzanite typically displays a deeper, richer and beautiful blue.
Turquoise signifies wisdom, balance and truth. It is said to be the stone of protection, possessing the power to prevent injury. For this reason, many travelers carry turquoise amulets.
Known and valued as a gemstone for thousands of years, the turquoise stone’s original sources, Egypt and Sinai, have exhausted their production and so most of today’s turquoise stones come from Iran. The stones were originally sent to Europe through Turkey. This explains the stone’s name, which means Turkish in French. The great appeal of this stone is its sky blue color, but because it is relatively soft, only 5 to 6 on the Mohs scale, it requires special care.
The origins of the word “zircon” have elicited colorful debate. Some scholars believe it comes from the Arabic word zarkun, meaning “cinnabar” or “vermilion.” Others think the source is the Persian word zargun, or “gold colored.” Considering the broad color palette for this December birthstone – red, orange, yellow, brown, green and blue – either derivation seems possible. Colorless zircon is known for its brilliance and flashes of multicolored light, called fire, which have resulted in centuries of confusion with diamond.
During the Middle Ages, this December birthstone was thought to lull one into a deep sleep and scare off evil spirits. In the Hindu religion, zircon alternates with hessonite garnet as one of the nine gems of the navaratna. When worn together, the nine gems protect the wearer and bring wealth, wisdom and good health.
Victorians had a fondness for blue zircon. Fine specimens can be found in English estate jewelry from the 1880s.