Blue Zircon:

Zircon occurs in a wide range of colors but for many years, the most popular was the colorless variety which looks more like diamond than any other natural stone due to its brilliance and dispersion. Natural zircon today suffers for the similarity of its name to cubic zirconia, the laboratory-grown diamond imitation. Some don't realize that there is a beautiful natural gemstone called zircon.
Hindu poets tell of the Kalpa Tree, the ultimate gift to the gods, which was a glowing tree covered with gemstone fruit with leaves of zircon. Zircon has long had a supporting role to more well-known gemstones, often stepping in as an understudy when they were unavailable.

In the middle ages, zircon was said to aid sleep, bring prosperity, and promote honor and wisdom in its owner. The name probably comes from the Persian word zargun which means "gold-colored," although zircon comes in a wide range of different colors.

Today the most popular color is blue zircon. Most blue zircon, which is considered an alternate birthstone for December, is a pastel blue, but some exceptional gems have a bright blue color. Zircon is also available in green, dark red, yellow, brown, and orange.

Zircon is mined in Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Myanmar, Australia, and other countries.

Zircon is one of the heaviest gemstones, which means that it will look smaller than other varieties of the same weight. Zircon jewelry should be stored carefully because although zircon is relatively hard, it can abrade and facets can chip. Dealers often wrap zircons in individual twists of paper so that they will not knock against each other in a parcel.

The wide variety of colors of zircon, its rarity, and its relatively low cost make it a popular collector's stone. Collectors enjoy the search for all possible colors and variations.

 

Turquoise:

Some say that in the the thirteenth century, turquoise was named in the mistaken belief that it came from Turkey. That may be true or it may be that the name comes from the Persian word for turquoise, firouze, since Persia has been a major source of this gemstone for thousands of years. In any case, the blue of this gemstone is so vivid and distinct that it has given its name to the color.

Turquoise is one of the oldest known gem materials. The Egyptians were mining turquoise in 3,200 BC in the Sinai. The blue of turquoise was thought to have powerful metaphysical properties by many ancient cultures. Montezuma's treasure, now displayed in the British Museum, includes a fantastic carved serpent covered by a mosaic of turquoise. In ancient Mexico, turquoise was reserved for the gods, it would not be worn by mere mortals.

The Apache believed that turquoise helped warriors and hunters to aim accurately. The Zuni beleved that it protected them from demons. In Asia it was considered protection against the evil eye. Tibetans carved turquoise into ritual objects as well as wearing it in traditional jewelry. Ancient manuscripts from Persia, India, Afghanstan, and Arabia report that the health of a person wearing turquoise can be assessed by variations in the color of the stone. Turquoise was also thought to promote prosperity.

In Europe even today, turquoise rings are given as forget-me-not gifts.

The most important turquoise deposits are in Iran, Tibet, China, and the Southwestern United States. Tuquoise is a mineral usually found in association with copper deposits. Turquoise is sometimes mined as a by-product of copper mining.

Turquoise from Iran is often said to be the best because it is sometimes a clear sky blue with no green modifying color and no black veins running through it. Turquoise just as fine is produced in Arizona and New Mexico. In general the bluer the blue, the more highly valued. A clear even texture without mottleing or veins is also preferred. However, some people prefer turquoise with veins, sometimes called spiderwebs, which set off the color.

Turquoise is porous and should be kept away from chemicals. Clean it with warm soapy water only.