December Birthstone Story

The December birthstone story embraces the season and celebrates the rich history of the valued gemstone. Winter is generally associated with the cold and the snow. It also begins in the last month of the year, December, so it's only fitting that December's gemstone features the same properties as this chilly season.

With hues ranging from pale to bold, the blue topaz is thought to aid one's sweetness and disposition. Learn more about the blue topaz history, care recommendations and the various shopping selections. You can also find out more about the stunning array of December birthstone jewelry at Zales.

What is the December Birthstone?

Rich and majestic, the regal blue topaz is the traditional December birthstone. The topaz gemstone comes in a variety of colors including colorless, yellow, orange, red-brown, pink, violet and light green. However, there is topaz, and then there is blue topaz.

The December birthstone color is in the blue family. As such, the blue variety of the topaz stands out as the most popular.

Topaz is pleochroic which means that it can show different colors depending on the angle you're viewing it from. This unique feature gives each topaz gemstone a unique color makeup. December's birthstone is specifically the blue topaz. It ranges from a paler sky blue, also known as Swiss blue, to a deeper, richer London blue.

Natural blue topaz gemstones are extremely rare and hard to find in nature. In order to increase availability, jewelers began using treatments such as radiation and heat to produce the blue hues in the topaz in the 1970s. Over the years, the gemstone has become a more affordable option for people to own.

Now, you can easily find the blue topaz gemstone on the mass market with uniform shape, color and size more often. See a few options for yourself with blue topaz rings and December birthstone necklaces at Zales. The blue topaz is also used to celebrate a 4th wedding anniversary.

Blue Topaz History

Ancient civilizations believed this birthstone was a "cooling" gem and could temper physical and emotional attributes. They believed this gemstone had the ability to cool boiling water, relieve burns and even calm hot tempers and anger. Winter cools everything around it, so blue topaz, with its purported cooling properties, makes the perfect option for the December birthstone.

Topaz comes from all corners of the world, including Brazil, Australia, China, Germany, Madagascar, Mexico, Nigeria, Russia and the United States of America. Given this geographic diversity, it is no surprise the topaz history includes tales and legends from many places — including Europe and the Middle East.

The blue topaz birthstone name alone has many theories associated with it. Some believe topaz got its name from the Greek word "Topazios." This is the name of an island in the Red Sea where the ancient Greeks mined a yellow gem historians believed to be topaz. Others believe the name topaz comes from the Sanskrit word "tapas" which means fire and pays tribute to its fiery orange-yellow variation.

December Birthstone Meaning

The meaning of the December birthstone and what it represents ties into its historical significance. Ancient Greeks believed that the topaz birthstone was a powerful stone and could increase the physical strength of the person wearing it. Legend says the topaz could even provide invisibility in emergency situations.

During the Renaissance period in Europe, the topaz made for a valuable gemstone for many reasons. People thought the topaz could break magic spells, bring magical powers and lead to good luck. Legend says that topaz can change color in the presence of poisoned food or drink.

Today, people associate the blue topaz with learning, creative inspiration, peaceful communication and understanding. Many believe it is beneficial for self-expression and can help artists, writers and public speakers to think clearly.

December Birthstone Care

The December birthstone is an eight out of ten on the Mohs scale. It's softer than a diamond or sapphire and harder than quartz. However, you have to be careful because the blue topaz can be broken if it is hit hard. It's recommended to have your blue topaz set in a protective type of setting. The December birthstone should not be exposed to high temperature or even sudden temperature changes from hot to cold. Temperature changes could cause the stone to crack or break.

You should never clean a topaz ring in an ultrasonic cleaner or with a steam cleaner. These cleaning machines could damage the stone. To clean your blue topaz, use mild soap and warm water. Let the gemstone soak in warm water for about 30 minutes. Clean the ring by using a toothbrush and then allow it to air dry.

Do not wear your topaz while using cleaning products because the harsh chemicals could cause damage. Also, avoid wearing your blue topaz in the tub, shower or swimming pool.

Shop December Birthstones

No matter which shade of the December birthstone you're looking to wear, this unparalleled gemstone looks stunning in both yellow and white metals. It complements almost anything in your wardrobe, from brown and gray to pink, black, neutral hues and more.

The blue topaz can give you the pop of color you're looking for without being overbearing. Blue topaz jewelry is a great choice for a wedding party gift. Or, consider a blue topaz cocktail ring as a birthday surprise for a friend. Shop unique blue topaz earrings, blue topaz bracelets and more jewelry selections at Zales.