December's birthstone is turquoise. Turquoise is found as an opaque stone, sometimes with thin translucent sections. The stone's hardness is almost equal to the glass used for windows, about a 6 on the Moh's scale. Turquoise's color spans awe inspiring powder and sky blues to innumerable combinations of blue-green and yellow-green. Copper in the gem causes the blue colors, while the gem's impurities cause the greens and yellows.
The name for “turquoise” originates in the 16th century and is derived from the French word for “Turkish.” This is because turquoise was originally brought to Europe from Turkey. For thousands of years before that, turquoise had been treasured in Persia (now Iran), used to decorate the domes of palaces because the breathtaking blue turquoise made the palaces appear to be heavens on earth.
Today, along with Iran, other parts of the world have become important producers of turquoise, including the United States, most notably Arizona and Nevada. The turquoise mined in these places are cut and polished then set into turquoise jewelry which exhibits an understated beauty, including turquoise pendants and turquoise rings. This understated beauty, along with turquoise's many color combinations, make turquoise jewelry the perfect complement for almost any outfit and the perfect gift for any occasion.