As cool and inviting as a blue lake on a blistering summer day, December's birthstone is derived from the Sanskrit word "tapas," meaning fire. This is because Blue Topaz was considered by ancient civilizations to have cooling properties. Not only was it believed to cool boiling water when thrown into the pot, but to calm hot tempers as well! This gemstone was credited with many other healing powers, among them the ability to cure insanity, asthma, weak vision and insomnia. The Blue Topaz was even thought to have magical properties in its ability to make its wearer invisible in a threatening situation.
Blue Topaz is the hardest of the silicate minerals. While pure Topaz is colorless, minor changes of elements within the stone result in a variety of other colors, such as blue, pale green, red, yellow and pink.
The blue hue is created when Topaz is heated, whether the heat source is natural or engineered by man. The three shades of Blue Topaz are Sky, Swiss and London Blue. The latter is the deepest blue and is often used as a less expensive substitute for Sapphire.
Topaz is found primarily in Brazil, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Mexico, Pakistan, China, and the United States.
A gift of Blue Topaz is symbolic of love and fidelity. Luckily, this cool blue gemstone has no legendary power to put out the burning flame of love!
An alternate birthstone for December is the Turquoise. So named because it was initially brought to Europe by way of Turkey, this stone is one of the first gems to be used in jewelry. Turquoise was considered by ancients to be a sacred stone, protective against all manners of evil and ill health. This beautiful gemstone is mined in Iran and the southwestern United States. A gift of Turquoise represents friendship and luck.