December Birthstone True/False: Turquoise, Tanzanite, and Zircon
Empire Pawn of Nassau Inc
Diamonds, Gold Jewelry, Diamond Jewelry
December birthdays are extra special occasions. Not only do they take place around holiday festivities, but those born in December have three birthstones with which to celebrate: turquoise, tanzanite, and zircon. All three gemstones have some interesting facts and history. Test your knowledge with Empire Jewelers’ December birthstone true or false quiz! Scroll down for the answers—but don’t cheat!
Turquoise is a blue-green mineral.
Hydrated copper aluminum phosphate is the chemical name for turquoise.
The word turquoise is derived from the Old French word meaning turkey shaped.
Some of the finest turquoise is known to come from Iran, but high-grade turquoise is also mined in New York and New Jersey.
The ancient Egyptians used turquoise in jewelry, art, ornaments, and statues because they believed it had magical powers.
Tanzanite is named after the East African state of Tazmania, the only place in the world where it can be found.
The blue variety of tanzanite is called blue tanzanite.
Originally known as blue zoisite, the mineral’s name was changed to tanzanite by Henry Platt, Vice President of Tiffany & Co., because he felt zoisite sounded too much like suicide.
In October 2002, the American Gem Trade Association officially named tanzanite as the third December birthstone.
Zircon the conqueror is the chemical name for zircon.
The name zircon is derived from the Arabic words “zar” and “gun,” which means gold and color.
Today, zircon is primarily mined in Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam.
In the Middle Ages, people did not believe that zircon had special powers.
December birthstone true/false answers:
False. Turquoise is derived from the Old French word meaning Turkish stone.
False. High-grade turquoise is also mined in Arizona and New Mexico.
False. The blue variety of tanzanite is called zoisite.
False. Zirconium silicate is the chemical name for zircon.
False. In the Middle Ages, many people believed zircons could relieve pain, induce hunger, protect travelers from disease and injury, ensure a warm welcome, and promote restful sleep.
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