The three birthstones associated with December are Tanzanite, Zircon, and Turquoise
Discovered in the late 1960s in Tanzania, and found exclusively in this tiny area of the world, Tanzaniteexhibits a rich violet-blue color for which the gemstone is treasured; often it is heat-treated to achieve this color. Colors range from blue to purple, and tanzanites that are medium dark in tone, vivid in saturation, and slightly violet blue command premium prices. As Tanzanite can be less expensive than sapphire, it often was purchased as an alternative. However, it has increased in popularity and now is valued more for its own beauty and brilliance than as a Sapphire substitute.
Derived from the Arabic words zar and gun, meaning gold and color, Zi is found in a wide range of colors such as: blue, yellow, orange, brown, green, colorless, and red (the most prized color). For many years colorless Zircon was used to imitate diamonds. Major sources of zircon are the Chanthaburi area of Thailand, the Palin area of Cambodia, and the southern part of Vietnam.
The name turquoise, from the French expression Pierre tourques or Turkish stone, originated in the thirteenth century and describes one of the oldest known gemstones. Turquoise varies in color from greenish blue, through robin's egg-blue, to sky blue shades and its transparency ranges from translucent to opaque. Turquoise is plentiful and is available in a wide range of sizes. It is most often used for beads, cabochons, carvings, and inlays. Although its popularity fluctuates in fashion, it is a perennial favourite in the American Southwest.