December birthstone

Teal Zircon: The December Birthstone Guide

Kim Hartman Bracelets & Interchangeable Bracelets, Earrings & Interchangeable Earrings, Gemstones, Crystals, and Birthstones, Necklaces & Interchangeable Necklaces, Rings & Interchangeable Rings Leave a Comment

What Is the December Birthstone?

The December birthstone is teal zirconTurquoise and tanzanite are also December birthstones.

What Are the Characteristics of the December Birthstone?

People often confuse zircon with cubic zirconia because (1) their names are similar; and (2) they were both used as simulated diamonds. But zircon is actually a “spectacular natural gemstone available in a variety of colors” (“Zircon Overview”).

While zircon usually comes in a brownish red, most zircon are heat treated. Once they’re heat treated, they’re colorless, gold, or teal (the most popular color). Teal zircon is actually the December birthstone.

Impurities cause the color differences in zircon, some of which are radioactive; for example, uranium. So zircon is also heat treated to stabilize the radioactivity (“Zircon Overview”).

What Is the History of the December Birthstone?

Zircon is the oldest mineral on Earth, dating back more than 4.4 billion years! Earth itself is approximately 4.56 billion years old (“Zircon Chronology”). Magma crystallizes to form zircon. Zircon is so durable that it rarely goes away. It can survive many geologic events. These events are recorded in the rings of the zircon that grow around the original crystal, like rings in a tree (“Zircon Chronology”).

Many people have heard of zircon, but not many have seen it. That’s because colorless zircon was so often used in the early 1900s as a simulated diamond. Thus, many people think “zircon” is just a cheap imitation. But the colored stone is beautiful in its own right and has its own wonderful history and lore (“Zircon History and Lore”).

Some scholars believe the name zircon comes from the Arabic word zarkun, meaning “cinnabar” or “vermillion.” Others think the name comes from the Persian word zargun, which means “gold colored.” Because zircon comes in so many colors, either origin could be possible (“Zircon Overview”).

In the Middle Ages, people believed that zircon could help them sleep and ward off evil. They also believed zircon could bring them riches and wisdom. In Victorian times, the people loved teal zircon; they featured it in their English estate jewelry dating from the 1880s. George Kunz, Tiffany’s famed gem buyer, famously loved zircon. He wanted to change the name to “starlite” because of zircon’s fiery nature. But the name never caught on (“Zircon History and Lore”).

Where Is the December Birthstone Found?

The first Zircon was found in Australia and dates back 4.4 billion years! Australia is still the top zircon producer, providing 37 percent of the world’s supply. Other zircon sources include Thailand, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Cambodia, Canada, and the United States (“Zircon Overview”).

To find your perfect December birthstone, visit today!

Learn more about birthstones in our Birthstone Guide.