Fashion

The best December birthstone jewellery to give (and receive!)

Looking for gifting inspiration for someone born in December or perusing a present for yourself? December birthstone jewellery is the perfect gift for someone born in the twelfth month of the year. Not only will it convince them that you thought *extra* hard about what to get them amidst buying a present for every other person in your life at Christmas, it will also give them something to treasure for life.

And to make things really easy, those born in December are blessed with not one, not two, but three birthstones, so there’s a plethora of choice for seasonal gifting.

Tanzanite, turquoise and zircon are all December birthstones and come in a beautiful array of blue and purple hues so you really do have your pick of the bunch.

Not only do they look good, birthstones are also imbued with mythology and healing powers, so it’s little wonder they have been treasured since ancient times when 12 stones were associated with the 12 signs of the zodiac. 

So what are the stories behind tanzanite, turquoise and zircon, and how can they work their magic? Read on to discover everything you need to know about December’s three birthstones, as well as the best to shop for every budget.

Theodora Warre Zircon & gold-plated snake-chain bracelet

Fallon Doughnut zircon & 14kt gold-plated hoop earrings

Why does December have multiple birthstones?

Traditionally each month has just one birthstone but over the years, some months have adopted more birthstones. The reason? To allow more affordable options in addition to the traditional, more expensive stones. The final attempt to standardise the birthstone system came in October 2002 when December was given a third birthstone option – the most birthstones of any month of the year.

What are the three birthstones of December?

Turquoise, named after its striking blue hue, is the oldest of the three December gem stones and has been prized since ancient times. Chinese artisans carved it more than 3,000 (!) years ago and pharaohs and super senior ancient Egyptians adorned themselves with the gem. Why? Back in the 13th century, people were convinced that wearing turquoise would stop them falling off horses (their main method of transport pre-Uber), whilst Native Americans would attach it to their bow or firearm to enhance their aim. People were also convinced that turquoise would warn them off impending doom by smashing into several pieces at the approach of disaster, which is pretty damn handy. 

Turquoise has also long been prized as the stone to wear for wealth, and the Native Americans were so convinced by the mystical prowess of turquoise, they thought you’d find it at the end of a rainbow. In Tibet, turquoise is a national treasure and thought to grant a peaceful and healthy life full of good fortune and protection from evil (#need).

Turquoise is a semi-translucent to opaque gem and can come in beautiful hues of powdery blue to greenish robin’s egg blue. As one of the few minerals to lend its name to anything that resembles its colour, it’s thought that turquoise either got its hue from the sky or from lizards scurrying over the earth. You may have noticed that the stone is often punctuated by veins of matrix, which are the result of remnants of the rock in which it formed.

Pippa Small 18-karat gold tanzanite earrings

Jacquie Aiche 14-karat gold, diamond and tanzanite necklace

Zircon is the second December birthstone and it really is an underrated gemstone that’s often confused with the less impressive synthetic cubic zirconia. Colourless zircon is, however, prized for its brilliance and its radiant style has often led people to confuse it with diamond. Colourless zircon is probably the most popular variant, but it also cones in yellow, green, red, reddish brown and, of course, blue.