Special Gems for December Gifts
Turquoise is one of the worlds oldest gems and has been used in jewellery for thousands of years. It came to Europe via Turkey and is also known as Turkey stone. Mined in Iran for over 1000 years the prized even-coloured, intense blue turquoise from this region is dubbed “robin’s egg blue,” “sky blue” and “Persian blue”.
Turquoise is also popular in native American Navajo jewellery, ranging from intense blues to greens and often showing interesting patterns of matrix stone. Turquoise is said to be a stone of protection - signalling danger by changing colour or even breaking - and to bring the wearer good fortune.
Not to be confused with cubic zirconium found in cheaper jewellery - Zircon is a rare and gorgeous natural gem that is known for its exceptional refraction and fire, second only to that of a diamond. In fact clear zircon is often found in estate jewellery as a diamond simulant. Besides the clear variety, Zircon comes in a variety of colours ranging from yellow, green, red, and reddish brown, to blue hues. For example Brumme uses Zircon in her spectacular Fuego Mexicano neckpiece.
The deep violet blue Tanzanite is a recent gem discovery and is the latest addition to the December group. In 1967 a Masai tribesman stumbled upon a cluster of highly transparent, intense violet-to-blue crystals weathering out of the earth in Merelani, an area of northern Tanzania. Originally hoping they had found a new source of blue sapphire, it turned out to be an entirely new gem variety. The gem became an overnight success and is widely used in both fine jewellery and more casual designs.