“If cold December gives you birth
The month of snow and ice and mirth
Place on your hand a Turquoise blue
Success will bless whate’er you do”


          What could the earliest weapons have in common with December’s birthstone… Turquoise? It was Copper — believe it or not. When the ancients were mining out copper for their swords, they ran into beautiful veins of this bluish-green gem, — that ultimately would be granted to those born in December. As you know, war and weapons have been around forever and from China to North and South America. Well and so has turquoise.

Other minerals that are present in that vein can actually alter the beautiful blue-green colors of turquoise to become bluish, greenish blue or greyish green depending. But the favored color — beloved worldwide — is the sky blue. It was first mined in the Sinai Peninsula, thus it’s found in a lot of Egyptian art. In Turkey it was called the Lucky Stone and in Tibet where it was named jade. In North America the Native American Indians kept turquoise with them constantly because it was their primary ‘holy stone’ and was used as coinage. They also ground it into a powder and mixed with corn flour as an offering to the gods.

          Some said if Turquoise were thrown in the river it would bring rain. In other places turquoise was put in door lintels to guard against evil spirits. Hindus and Persians believed by looking at the moon in the stone itself it would bring luck and would guard against accidents as in falling. So apparently wearing turquoise would prevent you or your horse from tripping and falling. I’m not going to do this to find out. Emperor Charles V’s court jester once said, “If you should happen to fall from a high tower while wearing turquoise on her finger, the turquoise would remain unbroken.” And again, not going to try it…lol.

Now, it was believed just by wearing turquoise that this birthstone seems to possibly make you, well, invincible. It was believed to: relieve mucous in the body, attracts new friends and lovers money and happiness; guards against accidents, poison, violence, migraines, snakes and….ALL diseases.
So, while having real turquoise could be a good thing actually finding this true, real, authentic gemstone could be a challenge. Turquoise is quite easily faked. You have to really know what to look for to be sure the stone you are gazing at is the actually the true turquoise


You are going to LOVE this! Zircons are radioactive… well somewhat. Getting an x-ray is likely to have more radioactive properties than a pair of zircon earrings. But, hey, zircons are beautiful and actually assisted in the evolution of ‘radiocarbon dating.’

          Zircons are commonly found wherever igneous rocks – the world’s hardest rock (usually volcanic) are, thus making this a reasonably hard gemstone. (7. A diamond is 10) Due to this association to igneous rock minerals, zircons come in many colors from reddish brown, yellow, green, blue, gray, pink, red and purple. It can also be colorless… thus it is associated with … yes, the diamond. (And heated just right, you can color zircons as yellow, blue etc., as diamonds.)

Now in the world of ‘mystics,’ this gem was said to have NO healing properties at all. It’s too young to have any; it’s still evolving. Then again, some say zircons help with liver and stomach issues, encourages dreams, can act as a ‘wishing stone’ and can even take away sin. Now that is a good wish. Figure this one out. To add to that confusion, some sources declare the zircon as the “gem of summer’, but then labeled zircons as December’s birthstone. Hmmmm, Okay?
So, the December birthstones are connected to history’s oldest gems as well as its newest gem that are still evolving into whatever is to come. But both birthstones are still wonderful gems to have and to wear, especially if you were born in December.

          This ends my year of birthstones. I hope you enjoyed this little trek of monthly curiosities as much as I’ve enjoyed sharing what I’ve learned about them. I will always grin over the fake blue sapphire that the Pope thought was real and bought for all his cardinals. He even got swindled back then. The fact that Nero enjoyed his gladiatorial games while gazing through an emerald. Learning that I got a real two-fer on my birthstone because it was also my wedding stone. And now, that what I associate with the Native American Indians artwork and jewelry was also shared all through history as an ageless stone.

          I’ll be sharing more on a few gems that never got a special month but have a fantastic history such as jet and amber. I hope you look forward to learning more along with me. If you are a writer, I pray this will enhance your hero’s choice of gem for his heroine. If you are a reader, think twice as to why your favorite gem landed in that story. A fun curiosity.

Blessings to all and may your new year be amazing.
JF Ridgley

          Thanks to Barbara G Walker for writing “THE BOOK OF SACRED STONES. Fact and fallacy in the Crystal World, and Harold Newman’s book AN ILLUSTRATED DICTIONARY OF JEWELRY. And of course, WIKIPEDIA for being there. God bless you all.

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