If you were born in the month of December, you're lucky enough to have not one or two, but three gems to choose from as your birthstone. They are Turquoise, Zircon and Tanzanite. Each of these stones has a unique blue hue to them that meshes perfectly with the frigid December temperatures beyond your window.
Turquoise ranges in many shades of blue, from a soft seafoam greenish blue to a vibrant electic blue; and it can be translucent or opaque. Derived from the French expression Pierre tourques (Turkish stone), coming to Europe during the Crusades in the 13th century. The first evidence of these fine gems can be found in ancient Egypt, adorning burial sites over 5000 years old. They were worn around the neck or wrist as protection against unnatural death in the ancient Persian kingdom. If they changed colour, it meant impending doom. Later scientific discovery attributes these changes of colour to light, chemical reaction to cosmetics, dust, or the acidity of the skin.
In earlier times, it was thought they were responsible for the material well-being of those who wore them. Al-Qazwini, the Persian scholar, wrote;
"The hand that wears a turquoise and seals with it will never see poverty."
In fact, some of the finest examples are found in Iran (once Persia), and as such, Turquoise is their national gemstone. They're also mined in the USA, Mexico, Israel, Afghanistan and China. As talismans they would adorn daggers, sabres, and the bridles of horses. They were also prized in the Americas as well. The ceremonial masks of the Aztecs in Mexico were decorated with them, while the Indians of North America use it in their jewellery. They believe that it opens up a direct connection between the sky and the sea.
Zircon is derived from the Arabic word zargun, meaning gold-coloured. A wide range of colours are available such as blue, yellow, orange, green, red, and colourless. The last one is famously used to imitate diamonds. Its blue colour was achieved in the 1920's by heating the stone. Zircon is one of the heaviest gemstones, meaning it may look smaller than other varieties of the same weight.
Celebrated by Hindu poets, Zircon is said to adorn the Kalpa Tree, a glowing tree covered in gemstone fruit, the ultimate gift from the gods. The mature leaves of this magnificent tree are said to be Zircon. In the middle ages, it was said to aid sleep, bring prosperity, and promote honour and wisdom in its owner. It was also reputed to relieve pain, whet the appetite, and protect travelers from injury and disease. Major sources of zircon are the Chanthaburi area of Thailand, the Palin area of Cambodia, and the southern part of Vietnam
Tanzanite was discovered in the late 1960's at the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, this nation's namesake gem exhibits a rich violet-blue colour. Tanzanite is a blue variant of the gemstone Zoisite. It was often purchased as an alternative to sapphires, as it is less expensive. It was named as a December birthstone in 2002 by the American Gem Trade Association, the first change to their list of birthstones since 1912.
The local Maasai people have crafted a legend as to the origins of this beautiful stone. In it, the land was set ablaze by a bolt of lightning, and the heat from this "magic fire in the sky" transformed crystals in the ground into the shimmering blue stones we call Tanzanite. When the last cinders dissolved and the smoke settled, Maasai tribesman filled their pouches with these mystical stones, believing they'd bring them a better life. This story underpins the Maasai's general affinity for the colour blue, which they believe to be healing and sacred.
Each of these stones would make a perfect offering to that special "December baby" in your life. Here at 3SHAHS, we'd be delighted to custom craft a piece with Turquoise, Zircon or Tanzanite for you and/or that special someone. Please contact us to discuss your needs. We hope you enjoy this poem about the December birthstones;
Turquoise, Zircon and Tanzanite
December’s symbols and stones of birth
Vibrant hues warm dark wintertime nights
Imbuing wearers with fortitude and mirth
Even with snow in the air and trees losing their leaves, fresh ideas are still leafing out here at 3SHAHS. We are thrilled to announce our latest and most exclusive collection to date...OOAK. The name OOAK stands for "One Of A Kind,".
Each month, one unique piece of jewellery will be released on our website under the OOAk Collection (which will be up starting January 2015). Once the item is purchased, it will say 'sold out'. Half of the money raised from all sales will go directly back into 3SHAHS' designer, Shah's, philanthropic work.
The birthstones for those born in the month of November are the topaz and the citrine. Both were initially found on the Mediterranean island of Topazios and were often confused with one another. All yellow gems in antiquity were called topaz. It was also believed to be symbolic of the Egyptian sun god Ra, and was subsequently used in the crowns and rings of rulers, diplomats, dignitaries and royalty.
The name topaz comes from the Greek term “Τοpáziοs.” Alternately it derives from the Sanskrit word “Tapas” meaning fire and the Hebrew word “Tapooz” meaning orange fruit. Brown, yellow, yellow-gold, and orange are the most common colours. Its chemical name is aluminum silicate and it’s the hardest of the silicate minerals due to the strong chemical bonds within it.
Topaz had the reputation of increasing understanding, strengthening breathing, warding off colds, enhancing creativity, bringing about relaxation, soothing angry passions, restoring energy, and aiding in tissue regeneration.
Topaz has been found in Russia, Ukraine, Pakistan, Scotland, Japan, Sri Lanka, and the USA, but the biggest producer is Brazil. The largest uncut stone was found there and weighed in at 600 lbs. It’s on display at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.
Topaz’s sister birthstone for November is Citrine, a variety of quartz silicon oxide. It comes from the French word “Citrin” meaning lemon. It is also golden in colour but comes in a wide variety of similar shades. The Romans were the first to use it as a gemstone, and it experienced a renaissance during the Romantic period and the Art Deco period.
Known traditionally as the healing quartz, citrine is said to support vitality and health while encouraging and guiding hope, energy and warmth and negating negative thoughts for whomever wears it. It was also believed to bestow good fortune and success, and was traditionally placed in the cash box of a shop (or worn or carried by the shopkeeper) earning it the moniker “The Stone of the Merchants.”
Most citrines on the market have been heat treated. Inexpensive amethyst or smoky quartz are often heated to change their colour to the more profitable orange yellow citrine. In nature, magma from volcanic deposits may have heated amethyst enough to produce the citrine that is ultimately found. They are found in Brazil, Russia, Madagascar, France, Uruguay, Hungary, Bolivia and the USA.
We hope you enjoyed this blog on topaz and citrine. If your birthday is in November, we’d like to wish you a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!
Every fall, fashionistas from across the globe gather at the beloved tents at David Pecaut Square in Toronto and await designers to take them away to a whimsical land of fantasy and fashion.
The occasion is World MasterCard Fashion Week and fashion lovers from across the globe come together to celebrate Canadian fashion designers. This year was no different than others in terms of celebration but every year the designers up the ante and blow away folks like you and I with their glamorous creations.
3Shahs and team attended World MasterCard Fashion Week (WMCFW) and watched the models strut in style down the runway. We loved what we saw but have our favorites! Here are our top three picks from this year!
Toronto's very own Hilary MacMillan revealed her SS15 line to thunderous applause by summer afficianados aka all of us! Her designs are playful and, even in the thick of fall, took us away on a magical escape to a tropical paradise.
Each year Stephan Caras takes us to a wonderland of glitz and glamour, a land where no knight in shining armour should rescue us from! This year as models sashayed down the WMCFW runways in clothes designed in his signature elegent and feminine style, we noticed a predominant thematic usage of a delicate sand-gold and a soft white.
Rudsak clothing is designed for a bold fashionista with a chic streak. Their SS15 collection is fun and flirty in a dark and edgy way. If you are not one to wear florals during summer, Rudsak has got you covered.
The pictured dress is a perfect piece to wear out for brunch with your besties - chic yet casual; add a splash of classic colour by wearing our lariat from the Native Rock collection. Photography: ItsAllStyleToMe
We had loads of fun at WMCFW and these were our picks, now we’d love to hear about yours!!
Described as "the nexus of style, culture, entertainment and beyond in Toronto" World MasterCard Fashion Week is back at David Peaut Square from October 20-25. Held annually in March and October to showcase the next season's fashions, it was founded by the Fashion Design Council of Canada, and is now operated by IMG World. For our coverage of last March's Fashion Week, please go here.