hose born in December may have to contend with the attention-seeking festivities of Christmas clashing with their own celebrations but they are able to claim two beautiful gems as their birthstones (and doesn’t a December birthday equal a present that is twice as special?!). Tanzanites vary from blue with a hint of purple to a darker shade, which means they can be mistaken for sapphires. They are rare, too, found only in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro; their name comes from the East African country where the gems have predominantly been source since they were first discovered in 1967. Local legend recounts that Masai herders discovered the stones when lightning struck their fields and set them ablaze. For those who believe in the power of stones and crystals, tanzanite promises to balance mind, body and soul, as well as creativity and assertiveness.
Turquoise, meanwhile, has thousands of years of history attached to it, and many associations. In ancient Persia, a change in colour of the stone was believed to portend disaster while, in Tibet, turquoise, known as the 'Sky Stone', is associated with good fortune. Among Native American tribes, on the other hand, it is used for healing and protection. The Aztecs so revered turquoise that only their gods could wear it. The stone’s name is simply French for ‘Turkish’ as it made its way to Europe via Turkey, and before that, Iran. Here's our selection of the finest tanzanite and turquoise birthstone jewellery that you could hope to find in that little box under the tree this year.
Bucherer Fine Jewellery
Joy earrings, £2,400, bucherer.com
If she loves to change her jewellery in line with the seasons, turn to Covett and its unique shared ownership and subscription-based models. She can borrow this glorious pair of vintage turquoise and diamond drop earrings, each set with an oval cabochon-cut turquoise, or buy a share in this modern geometric platinum pendant, set with a striking tanzanite that's flanked by diamonds.
Bulgari is your house of choice for a truly statement offering: go big or go home! This 39mm white gold watch, evocatively named Divas' Dream, is a wrist-sized masterpiece, combining both December birthstones to dramatic effect. It is embellished with hundreds of round brilliant-cut diamonds, eight tanzanites and eight turquoises.
Divas’ Dream watch, POA, bulgari.com
For those who can't decide which blue gemstone is their favourite, Pomellato's Catene (knot) design combines beautiful aquamarines, tanzanites and sapphires, giving the impression of rolling waves on a glorious day. This design was created to strike a balance between feminine and bold, and here the blue tones are complemented by rose gold and burnished silver.
Catene ring, £10,200, pomellato.com
Annoushka's birthstone collection features 13 unisex Lovelocket designs crafted in 18 karat yellow gold. December's charm features a square-cut tanzanite at its centre, framed by a halo of white diamonds. The charm slides open to reveal a hidden chamber designed to hold a photo, lock of hair, note or any other mini talisman. Layer the locket with Annoushka's Zodiac or Initial pendants on a Cable Chain. Truly charming.
Birthstone charm, £2,900, annoushka.com
The shape of these bold hoop earrings was inspired by the curve of a mermaid’s tail and oceanic treasures; hence beautiful pearls, shimmering diamonds and aquatic-coloured gemstones. These handcrafted earrings in 18 karat yellow gold team two purple tanzanite beads with two white pearls.
Hoop earrings, £2,750, minkajewels.com
This necklace has a triple whammy of symbolism contained within its 18 karat gold design. The lotus, Sophie Theakston tells us, is the symbol of enlightenment and inner strength, while Ganesh is the god of wisdom, good fortune and the remover of obstacles. Turquoise's benefits were spelt out at the start of this article, and we are on board. Here's to good fortune and enlightenment in 2022...
Necklace, £2,350, sophietheakston.com
Liv Luttrell never collectivises her work; each piece stands alone. Her personal art collection fills her warehouse showroom in the City, anchored by a selection of abstracts by her grandmother. A one of a kind ring? Generously adorned with diamonds? Plus a trillion-cut 6.7 carat tanzanite? Yes, yes and yes please.
Ring, POA, livluttrell.com
Santa baby, just slip a locket under the tree, for me... Loquet London is queen when it comes to personalised necklaces. Once you've added your tanzanite birthstone charm, choose an initial, a word (from the whimsical Dream to the rather more to the point F**k) and any number of charms relating to flora and fauna, love, luck, healing, faith and celebration to your digital creation, which can then be ordered at the click of a button. We warn you – the process is addictive.
Bespoke locket necklace, POA (tanzanite charm £100), loquetlondon.com
We appreciate that this ring takes its name from its shape but it's not blowing its own trumpet, so to speak. Yellow gold. Tanzanite. Clean lines. Understated, and right up our street.
Trumpet ring, £995, theofennell.com
Turn to Swarovski for a matching set of birthstone jewellery for December perfectly priced for wearing every day. The set features stud earrings in blue crystal, inspired by December's twin birthstones, and a pendant necklace with a round crystal to match.
Birthstone pendant, £75, and matching earrings, £65, swarovski.com
Sylva & Cie
Ending on a high: this showstopper by Sylva Yepremian, who is inspired by everything from the Art Deco period to her vast antiques collection when designing, is part of the 'Decade' range. The ring has been cast by hand in 18 karat gold and at its centre is a frankly jaw-dropping 15.34-carat tanzanite, subtly illuminated with a halo of sparkling diamonds. If this is the ring you choose for her this year, you might find it tricky to top it next Christmas...
Ring, £10,145, net-a-porter.com