Birthstone Jewelry Feature: Zircon & Turquoise

Birthstone Jewelry Feature: Zircon & Turquoise

Janice Stiles

Breathtaking and icy, December's blue-hued birthstones align well with the decadence and weather that greet us during the winter holidays. This month, I'll dive into the properties and history of Zircon and Turquoise, two lovely stones I enjoy featuring in unique Tres Elegante Designs jewelry!

Zircon

Natural, underrated, and highly prized since the earliest civilizations began mining it, Zircon comes in many hues. Distinct from cubic zirconia, which is synthesized and usually colorless, Zircon may be found in deep red, orange, green, yellow, and golden-brown colors, but it is the Blue Zircon that is most popular. Most gem-quality Zircons are heat treated to change their hue to blue, gold, or colorless. 

Zircon is officially the oldest mineral on the planet. It's part of the Earth's crust and can be found in most sand, sedimentary deposits, metamorphic rock and crystallized magma. The presence of uranium alters the chemical makeup and color of the gem, and is used as a means of gathering clues about the origin of the Earth. English estate jewelry employed plenty of Zircon during the Victorian era, and heat treatment became common in the 1920s as a means of enhancing Zircon's color for use in jewelry of all kinds.

Zircon's hardness measures a 7.5 on the Mohs scale, making it durable and rather brittle. Its faceted edges may chip, so be mindful of hazards when you're wearing it out. Zircon is mined in many places worldwide, though no more than in Australia, which provides about 37 percent of the Zircon being produced today.

Check out the Tres Elegante Designs Zircon Earring Style!

While these earrings are not currently available, feel free to reach out to me at treselegantedesigns@gmail.com to discuss a custom Zircon design!

Turquoise

Ranging from semi-translucent to opaque in clarity and blue to green in color, Turquoise was favored among ancient Egyptian pharaohs as well as the Hindu mystics, who believed that beholding this gem after a new moon would guarantee outrageous wealth.

Turquoise is among the first-ever gemstones to be mined and is widely available. However, finding a pure Turquoise in its natural form is exceedingly rare. Due to its availability, inexpensive stones can be readily found and handcrafted into amazing jewelry.

While not a sparkling gem like Ruby or Emerald, Turquoise is nonetheless uniquely beautiful. Stones are graded on color, texture, and the presence of matrix (black fibrous lines marking the surface of the gem). Matrix is formed by iron from limonite and sandstone. While the most valuable Turquoise is free of matrix, the lines created by it can make for fantastic patterns!

Turquoise is softer than many popular stones, only reaching a 5 or 6 on the Mohs scale. Its lower durability makes it vulnerable to scratches and chips, although this weakness becomes a strength when Turquoise is carved. Chinese artisans have been carving Turquoise for thousands of years!

Check out the Tres Elegante Designs Sterling Framed Turquoise Pendant!

Can’t get enough of the beautiful earth tones of the Southwest? Then this Sleeping Beauty turquoise and pearl jewelry is just the one-of-a-kind approach for you! Combining the silver and turquoise the region is known for with special tiny pearls, this is artisan jewelry at its most inspired — a meeting of the traditional and the personal.

Available now, for $120.00, on treselegantedesigns.com! Click here to purchase!

Check out the Tres Elegante Designs Turquoise and Sterling Earrings!

Can’t get enough of the beautiful earth tones of the Southwest? Then this turquoise and pearl jewelry is just the one-of-a-kind approach for you! Combining the silver and turquoise the region is known for with special tiny pearls, this is artisan jewelry at its most inspired — a meeting of the traditional and the personal.

Available now, for $58.00, on treselegantedesigns.com! Click here to purchase!

Browse our website to order your favorite turquoise design, or to check out all of the latest styles. If you're interested in working together to create a lovely custom piece for your winter wonderland adventures, please email treselegantedesigns@gmail.com!