On the seventh day of Christmas, what better topic to start with than the birthstones for December?
Turquoise is the main birthstone for this month, and as befits a winter talisman, it has long been thought to relieve depression and confer protection against misfortune or harm. This lovely blue stone is seen as a sign of friendship when given as a gift, as it is said to bring faithfulness and constancy in relationships — a quality you may well wish to reinforce when you’re celebrating more than just friendship.
As one of the oldest gemstones, turquoise has been regarded as a holy stone for thousands of years by many cultures across the globe. In fact, it wasn’t until the 14th century that a decline in the Roman Catholic Church’s influence allowed turquoise to be widely used in Western secular jewellery. Though real turquoise can be fragile and somewhat expensive, a wide range of treated, colour enhanced, reconstructed or imitation turquoise is available, allowing beautiful sky-blue jewellery to span a broad price range.
Other birthstones for December across various traditions include ruby, blue topaz, onyx and zircon. Those born this month fall under the star signs Sagittarius and Capricorn, the latter of which we’ll cover in January. Topaz, beryl, lapiz lazuli and citrine are significant gemstones for Sagittarius, while the lucky metal and colours for this sign offer extra inspiration: tin jewellery may not feature prominently in your dream wedding, but shades of light blue and purple could well fit a winter wonderland theme. Dandelion and narcissus are the Sagittarius flowers, and while I couldn’t imagine the former in any but the quirkiest of bouquets, the latter features in many gorgeous designs. Narcissus may have connotations of vanity, but it also has positive meanings pertaining to the sweetness of whoever receives it.
Happy holidays, and happy new year for tomorrow!
Barbara Case. (2007) Making Jewellery with Gemstone Beads. UK: David & Charles Ltd.
Hachette Livre UK. (2006) Wedding Bouquets. UK: Octopus Publishing Group Ltd.
Karen Morgan: http://www.flickr.com/people/46603454@N02/
Sarah Ross: http://www.flickr.com/people/23680544@N07/