December Birthstone Guide
The Lore of celestial stones intrigues the mind and allows us to wander afar to another land of possibility and mystery.
Gemstones hold a high seat throughout history for being admired, not only for their beauty and seemingly indestructible nature- But also for their mysticism, the rank of station symbolism, and their proposed metaphysical properties.
Dating back to ancient civilizations, cultures around the world have long admired turquoise. Ancient tombs of iconic pharaohs held turquoise among other fine jewels and gold. The Egyptians, like many other ancient civilizations, held turquoise in high regard. They loved it so much they had many mines in Sinai where ancient lapidaries would fashion turquoise into carved scarabs and would inlay necklaces, rings, and burial masks. Turquoise, no matter which part of the world you look at, is a sacred stone with the color of the heavens trapped inside.
Turquoise has been mined in Iran for more than 1,000 years. The prized even-colored, intense blue turquoise from this region is often called Persian Blue or Robin’s Egg. Until the 1920s, New Mexico was the largest producer of turquoise in the U.S. – Now, most U.S. turquoise comes from Arizona and Nevada. China is currently the largest producer of gem-quality turquoise.
Ancient Persians thought that turquoise granted protection and represented heaven- whereas Apache Indians thought that turquoise helped with more accurate delivery of their bow and arrows. Native American Shamans would even use turquoise to connect to God through ceremonial prayer.
Zircon is the oldest mineral on earth, dating back to (if not farther than) 4.4 billion years. Zircon is found in the earth’s crust and is a common mineral found in most sand and even crystallized magma! Zircon comes in a range of colors: colorless, yellow, brown, orange, red-violet, blue, and green. Blue Zircon was a favorite gem during Victorian times.
Elahera, a region in central Sri Lanka, is one of the country’s most zircon-productive areas. Harts Range in Australia is known for producing zircon in the colors of yellow-brown, orangy brown, pink and purple. Australia’s Zircon Hill is where this intriguing stone is mined.
Back in the middle ages, zircon was said to have powerful abilities such as banishing evil, bestowing riches, prosperity, and honor, as well as the enhancement of restfulness.
Tiffany & Co. dubbed this stone “Tanzanite” after its birthplace, Tanzania. The tanzanite birthstone is most described as “velvety”. Velvety is probably the most relative word for this stone as the rich, saturated color ranges from an inky deep blue to violet.
Tanzanite was formed around 585 million years ago by fierce plate tectonic activity and intense heat where Mount Kilimanjaro was later formed!
Tanzanite is a blue-violet gemstone and is believed to have spiritual healing properties that aid in spiritual connectivity and the balancing of emotions and detoxifying the physical body.
Citrine is a member of the quartz family, and believe it or not- natural citrine is VERY rare. Citrine is derived from “citron”, a Latin word commonly used to describe the citrus hue or flavor like that of lemon. Most citrine in circulation isn’t even citrine, it is actually heat-treated Amethyst (also in the quartz family). Citrine also comes in a variety of shades of yellow and is one of the most popular yellow gemstones around- no wonder it was often mistaken for topaz!
Citrine was once referred to as “the merchant’s stone” and was claimed to bring the bearer of the stone prosperity. Being in the quartz family, it too possesses the mythical ability to protect the wearer against evils. Citrine was also a favored stone of the Romans for intaglio jewelry.
Citrine is said to purify the system- meaning it is believed that it helps to detoxify against toxins and will draw out harmful effects of pharmaceuticals. It is known as the “healing quartz”.
Homegrown in the heart of the Smoky Mountains, Mackley Jewelers has been East Tennessee’s hometown jeweler in Knoxville, TN for 41 years. Treating customers with respect, providing ethical service, and selling beautiful jewelry with natural stones is the foundation of Mackley Jewelers’ philosophy. We also offer a full range of professional Knoxville jewelry repair services performed by our talented jeweler right here, in-house. Every day, our goal is to be the best family-owned Knoxville jewelry store we can be all while giving our customers an authentic small business buying experience with genuine Southern charm.