Birthstone Of The Month: Blue Zircon, Tanzanite, and Turquoise
Congratulations and happy birthday to the loyal Enji fans who are born in the magical month of December. It can be a bit challenging to share your birth month with major holidays, but we’re here to help you celebrate. And because you have three major birthstones associated with your birth month, we will be giving you an extra five interesting fact about your birthstones.
1. A piece of Zircon found in Australia is believed to be the oldest mineral on earth today. At approximately 4.4 Billion years it is almost as old as our 4.54-billion-year-old earth. That is one old mineral!
2. Zircon can be found in multiple colors ranging from blue, green, brown, yellow, orange, and red to even colorless stones.
3. Colorless Zircon has a brilliant shine and is often used as a cheaper alternative to diamonds.
4. Historians are uncertain where the name Zircon originated from. They either believe it comes from the Arabic word zarkun which means vermillon, or from the Persian word zargun which means gold colored.
5. Zircon is usually treated with heat to bring out its color. This treatment can cause the zircon to change color and appearance over time. Natural untreated zircon crystals are very rare today.
6. Tanzanite is a trade name that was first used by Tiffany and Company for the mineral zoisite with a blue or purple color.
7. The name "tanzanite" was given because the world's only known tanzanite deposit of commercial importance is in northern Tanzania.
8. To help meet the public demand of Tanzanite, laboratories conducted experiments and found that heat will enhance the blue hues in zoisite and change brown and green to vibrant blue and purple.
9. Today, nearly all the gems being sold as "tanzanite" have a blue color that has been produced or enhanced by heating. The seller should disclose the treatment as it has a significant effect on the stone's value.
10. There are currently no synthetic Tanzanite in the market. No one at this point has been able to successfully produce and market synthetic tanzanite. Should it occur in the future, reputable sellers would disclose this information.
11. Turquoise deposits are found in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, California, Nevada, Virginia, and Utah.
12. The turquoise mineral is considered one of the highest value minerals in the world by most collectors.
13. Turquoise is sacred to many Native Americans and was carved in the shape of animals and birds. These carvings were placed in the Indians tombs to attract beneficial spirits and to guard the dead.
14. The mineral turquoise is formed by a chemical reaction which occurs when water containing specific minerals such as copper and aluminum leak through a rock. It forms in veins, which later then turn into turquoise.
15. The name turquoise is apparently related to the fact that is was brought to Europe from the Eastern Mediterranean by Levantine traders, more commonly known as Turks.