Garnet, the birthstone for January derives its name from the Latin for Gooseberry because of the rounded crystal.  When we think of Garnets today most people think of the "Red" garnets, also know as almadine and pyrope all shades of red.  What many people do not know is that the garnet can very in colours from streaks of white, Red with brown tints, Red with a violet tint all the way to oranges with red and brown hues and beautiful greens and emerald green.

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December Birthstone – Turquoise, Blue Topaz and Tanzanite

The December birthstone list is somewhat more unusual than that of other months of the year because the modern birthstone chart has three gemstones for December instead of just one or two, like most months have.

Turquoise

December Birthstone - Turquoise

Turquoise is the oldest and most popular of December’s birthstones. It was found on artifacts dating back 5000 years, in ancient Egypt, Sumeria and Mesopotamia. Its name means “Turkish Stone” in French because that’s where the first deposits of turquoise were first found in the ancient world, before the first mines in Egypt, and it is the route that the gemstone took when it was introduced in Europe.

The Egyptians were the first who to recognize the value of Turquoise and use it as a precious stone. The tomb of Tutankhamen was packed with turquoise jewelry, the stone being used on it sarcophagus and mortuary mask. Most likely, Cleopatra used ground-up turquoise for her eye paint.

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Traditions hold that topaz bestowed many benefits to its wearer.  It could dispel cowardice, calm the temper, cure madness and plague as well as sharpen the wit.  Among its powers it was believed to eliminate nightmares, aid in sleep and curesore joints.  Topaz has also been credited with curative powers over bleeding and heart disease.  It has been said to instantly lose its color in the presence of posion, thus proctecting the wearer.  The stone was thought to bring fidelity and friendship if worn constantly worn and to be a talisman against accidents and fire.  It was also thought to grant its wearer increased intuition and a long life.

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The birthstone for October is an Opal. Opal is classified in three primary types according to body color supporting the play of colors. These types are black, white and transparent. Opals can have body colors such as colorless, yellow, brown, red or orange. The later is better known under the name of fire opal. The most famous opals are harlequin, pinpoint, flash, peacock and flame opal.

Read more: Opals: History and Interesting Facts