December Birthstones: Turquoise, Blue topaz, Tanzanite, Zircon, Lapis Lazuli

The December birthstone list is somewhat more unusual than that of other months of the year because the modern birthstone chart has three gemstones for December instead of just one or two like most months have.

They are Turquoise, Blue Topaz, and Tanzanite. Besides the current stones, other traditional birthstone gems include Zircon and a stone with a funny, exotic name: Lapis Lazuli.


Turquoise is the oldest and most popular of December’s birthstones. It was found on artifacts dating back 5000 years, in ancient Egypt, Sumeria, and Mesopotamia. Its name means “Turkish Stone” in French because that’s where the first deposits of turquoise were first found in the ancient world, before the first mines in Egypt, and it is the route that the gemstone took when it was introduced in Europe.


The Egyptians were the first who to recognize the value of Turquoise and use it as a precious stone. The tomb of Tutankhamen was packed with turquoise jewelry, the stone being used on it sarcophagus and mortuary mask. Most likely, Cleopatra used ground-up turquoise for her eye paint.

Millennia later, Turquoise became a sacred stone for Tibetans and Native Americans who used it extensively in their specific religious rituals officiated by the shamans. Both Tibetans and the Native Americans believed Turquoise to promote spiritual and mental clarity and also help build trust, understanding, and kindness within the community.

Unlike other precious stones, Turquoise was not a stone only for rituals or for the rich. It is believed that ancient warriors wore turquoise rings that they believed would save them from falling off the horse. Many cultures believed that turquoise helped children have a healthy night’s sleep preventing nightmares and also protecting against harm.


The Native Americans in the southwest used turquoise as money, believing it would bring animals to the hunter, riches to the warriors, and overall happiness.

Turquoise ranges in color from sky blue to green. Very often, to enhance this color, jewelers use a lair of the wax coat of the gem which means that the color is not permanent.

This December birthstone is relatively easy to scratch so you need to avoid hits and also hot water and household chemicals.

When shopping for turquoise jewelry, make sure you avoid “Vienna Turquoise”. It sounds exotic and refined, but in reality, it is just a cheap class imitation.
Modern Turquoise sources are Iran, China, Australia, Afghanistan, Mexico, and the US.

Blue Topaz

The second of the modern December birthstones is Blue Topaz. Its name comes either from the Sanskrit word “tapas” which means fire, the symbol of love and fidelity, or the Greek word ‘topazos’ which means “green gemstone”.

As a precious stone, Topaz became known only in the classical era. In the middle ages, the name topaz was used to name any yellow gemstone. Only later did it receive its proper destination, describing the current stone.

blue topaz

In its pure form, Topaz is colorless. However, skilled jewelers can turn it into just about any color with a little treatment, such as green, pink, blue, and pink.

Topaz symbolism

Traditionally, it was believed that topaz had healing powers, could dispel sadness, anger, and nocturnal fears, to warn its wearer of poisons and protect him or her from sudden death. There are also a few weird beliefs like if you wore a topaz ring, you could put your hand in hot water and not be harmed. I wouldn’t rely on that though.

According to some translations of the bible, Topaz is an apocalyptic stone. The Romans dedicated Topaz to their God, Jupiter.

Today, the Portuguese crown has a huge Topaz stone called that weighs 1680 carats. For a long time, it was thought that it actually was a diamond.

This December birthstone is more durable than turquoise, but you still need to avoid sudden temperature changes and rough surfaces.


In 2002, the American Gem Trade Association officially added tanzanite to the modern list of birthstones for the month of December.

It was first discovered in 1967 in Tanzania by a local Masai shepherd and it would soon become ‘the stone of the 20th century’, being popularized only two later by Tiffany’s with a massive marketing campaign.


Tanzanite has a beautiful, intense blue color. It varies from ultramarine blue to light violet-blue. In sizes over 10 carats, the effect is impressive. Some tanzanite crystals need to be treated at 500 degrees Celsius to enhance their color and resistance.

Tanzanite is so popular today both because of its fascinating color but also because of its rarity, the only known deposits being in Tanzania, at Merelani.

Without a long history like that of the other December birthstones, tanzanite does not have any power, mysterious powers associated with it. But what it lacks in history, it compensates with beauty.

Lapis Lazuli

Lapis Lazuli, with its alluring deep blue shade and golden flecks, is a gemstone wrapped in the shroud of history and mysticism. Often referred to as “The Wisdom Stone,” it has adorned the realms of pharaohs, queens, and deities in ancient Egypt. This majestic stone transcended being merely ornamental, finding uses in eyeshadow and medicinal elixirs. Its origin, traced back to some of the oldest mines, signifies its timeless prestige.

December Birthstones: Turquoise, Blue topaz, Tanzanite, Zircon, Lapis Lazuli 1

A Celestial Jewel in Lore and Art

Across cultures, Lapis Lazuli has been revered. Persian folklore likened it to a fragment of the starry heavens. In Islamic traditions, it served as a shield against malevolent forces, while Buddhists saw it as a pathfinder to inner peace. Its influence reached European nobility too – Catherine the Great’s fascination led her to decorate an entire room with it. Michelangelo, captivated by its rich hue, used it in the Sistine Chapel, a testament to its enduring allure.

Where to Discover More Enchanting Gems

Interested in the world of healing gems? Dive deeper into our comprehensive crystal guide for more enchanting discoveries!

Lapis Lazuli: A Stone of Healing and Harmony

Physical Healing Touched by Blue Magic

Lapis Lazuli is a beacon of serenity, believed to aid in reducing blood pressure and boosting the immune system. Its calming influence is thought to alleviate depression, insomnia, and vertigo. Known for its anti-inflammatory properties, it supports respiratory and nervous systems, offering relief for throat and thyroid issues.

Mental and Emotional Resilience

This gemstone is a herald of self-awareness and authenticity. It encourages self-expression and strengthens bonds by promoting truth and understanding in relationships. It serves as a catalyst for personal growth, helping to navigate the complexities of emotions and decisions.

The Metaphysical Connect

Lapis Lazuli is intrinsically linked with the Third Eye and Throat Chakras, enhancing intuition and communication. Its connection to these chakras fosters a harmonious balance, paving the way for psychic exploration and clearer self-expression.

A Zodiac Companion

Sagittarius’ Starry Companion

Ideal for Sagittarians, Lapis Lazuli complements their truthful and independent nature. It also resonates well with Taurus, Libra, and Virgo, aligning with their introspective and thoughtful traits.

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