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December’s Birthstone: Turquoise

December's Birthstone, Turquoise

December’s birthstone, turquoise, is one of the most versatile gems. You’ll find it in rustic southwestern jewelry as well as royal crowns. For over 5,000 years, humans all over the world have been attracted to turquoise.

With a December birthday, you’re lucky, you have an option of three birthstones: turquoise, tanzanite, and zircon. Check out the entire official birthstone list here.

Persian (Iranian) turquoise is considered some of the best. For example, our bracelet below from Sloane St. shows off the pristine, robin egg blue of fine Persian turquoise. Notice there are no veins or matrix running through it like most turquoise.

December's Birthstone, Turquoise

Turquoise Meanings & Properties

  • Both Tibetan shamen and Native Americans hold this stone in high regard. First, as a stone of spiritual goodness, and, also as a protective talisman.
  • Turquoise heals the spirit. It provides soothing energy and brings peace of mind.
  • Because of its sky blue color, it is said to blend together the energies of the heavens with the consciousness of Mother Earth. Therefore, it’s used for attunement between the spiritual realm and the physical plane.
  • It can bring all energies to a higher level.
Turquoise and silver bracelet, Navajo, pre-1970, from the estate and vintage collection at Copeland Jewelers.
Turquoise from Arizona’s famous Sleeping Beauty mine. No longer mined, these are highly collectible. From our Estate Collection.

North American Turquoise

America’s southwest arguably produces the finest turquoise in the world. North American turquoise can range from completely blue to completely green. Plus, a few more color variations like yellow, lime green and blue so pale it’s almost white.

The abundance of our turquoise in the U.S. today comes from Nevada, more than Arizona, California, Colorado, and New Mexico combined. Most noteworthy, Lynch Station, Virginia is the only place in the world where turquoise crystals occur. Unfortunately, they are very rarely large enough to make jewelry with them. Finally, many consider Lander Blue Turquoise from Lander, Nevada the most valuable of all.

Matrix Or Veining In Turquoise

Matrix with turquoise comes from the host rock that the turquoise forms within. Many collectors seek out these special matrix patterns.  These patterns are crucial for determining a stone’s value.

Spiderweb patterns are generally considered the most valuable. There are several variations of spiderweb including microweb, megaweb (with thicker webbing) and waterweb.

Another highly valued pattern is Calico in which three or more of the minerals that must be visible are present: turquoise, dark matrix and metallic pyrite.

Morenci turquoise
Fine example at Copeland’s of highly collectible turquoise from Arizona’s Morenci mine. Note the matrix pattern.