Monday, November 30, 2009

December Birthstones - Blue Zircon, Turquoise & Ruby

December Birthstones: Blue Zircon, Turquoise & Ruby

Blue Zircon is the traditional birthstone for December. Zircon occurs in many different colors, including red, pink, brown, yellow, hazel, black, or colorless. Large specimens are appreciated as gemstones, owing to their high refractive index. (Zircon has a refractive index of approximately 1.95; diamond's is approximately 2.4.)

Turquoise is the modern birthstone for December. It is rare and valuable in finer grades and has been prized as a gem and ornamental stone for thousands of years owing to its unique hue. The pastel shades of turquoise have endeared it to many great cultures of antiquity: it has adorned the rulers of Ancient Egypt, the Aztecs (and possibly other Pre-Colombian Mesoamericans), Persia, Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley, and to some extent in ancient China since at least the Shang Dynasty. Turquoise was among the first gems to be mined, and while many historic sites have been depleted, some are still worked to this day.

Ruby is the Ayurvedic birthstone for December. Ruby is a variety of the mineral corundum. Prices of rubies are primarily determined by color. The brightest and most valuable "red" called pigeon blood-red, commands a huge premium over other rubies of similar quality. All natural rubies have imperfections in them, including color impurities and inclusions of rutile needles known as "silk". Gemologists use these needle inclusions found in natural rubies to distinguish them from synthetics, simulations, or substitutes.

See more Blue Zircon, Turquoise & Ruby Beads here.

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