December's birthstone is turquoise. Turquoise is opaque and can occasionally contain thin translucent sections. Turquoise's color spans inspiring sky blues to beautiful combinations of blueish green and yellow-green. It is one of the few stones where retaining some of its matrix, or the stone it was formed in, can be desirable. This matrix creates the gray lines that run through some of the stones, adding to each gem's unique beauty.
Turquoise's unique beauty has been treasured for thousands of years and across cultures. In 3000 BCE, during the First Dynasty, Ancient Egyptians mined turquoise from a part of the Sinai Peninsula coined “Country of Turquoise.” Many of the Ancient Egyptian's royal items were inlaid with turquoise, including their now famous sarcophagi and burial masks.
Persia, now Iran, also used turquoise extensively, most notably to adorn the domes of their palaces. Turquoise was used because the magnificent shades of blue reminded Persians that these palaces were intended to model the heavens.
Today, turquoise is mined in many other places, including the United States. The stones are polished and set into breathtaking turquoise jewelry, including turquoise pendants and turquoise rings. As December's birthstone, turquoise is appropriate as a gift for December birthdays. But this stone's subtle beauty and versatile color combinations make turquoise jewelry the perfect accessory for almost any outfit and the perfect gift for any occasion.