Happy Birthday, December! The December Birthstone is the Blue Topaz.

The Blue Topaz gets its name from the Sanskrit word “tapas” meaning fire. In ancient times, Blue Topaz was thought to have cooling properties.

Blue Topaz is the hardest of the silicate minerals. Pure topaz is colorless, but changes of element inclusions within the stone will lead to a range of other colors, including blue, pale green, red, yellow, and pink.

When topaz is heated, either by nature or in a laboratory, it gets its characteristic blue hue. There are three common shades of Blue Topaz: Sky, Swiss, and London Blue. The last is the deepest blue, and is sometimes used as a cheaper substitute for Sapphire.

Topaz can be found worldwide, primarily in Brazil, China, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and the United States.

About Birthstone Traditions:

Traditionally, there is a birthstone associated with each month. This is believed to date back to the breastplate of Aaron, which is said to have contained twelve gemstones representing the twelve tribes of Israel.

There are plenty of legends and myths about the healing powers of birthstones and their therapeutic use. The most common of these says that wearing a gemstone during its assigned month amplifies its healing powers, so to maximize potential benefits, an individual would own all twelve birthstones, and would wear the appropriate stone each month.

Today, birthstones correlating to the month in which you were born are popular gift items to commemorate birthdays, milestones (like graduations), and other important occasions. “Mother” jewelry is also popular; these special keepsake items commonly include the birthstone of each family member.