If you love blue, then the southwestern United States is where you want to be. From turquoise to topaz, this region is rife with gemstones in every shade of blue you can think of. And don't forget the diamonds! They always pair well with silver and blue.
Turquoise from all over the world has been used in jewelry for thousands of years. In North America, the ancient Aztecs mined turquoise across the southwestern United States. Nowadays, you can find turquoise used in all sorts of jewelry, from traditional Native American designs to more modern ideas turned into brilliant pieces.
A surprisingly small number of people are aware that turquoise was actually adopted as the birthstone for the month of December back in 1912. Most are only familiar with tanzanite or zircon for those born in the last month of the year. So the next time you're in Arizona (one of the best places to find this gem) keep an eye out for some exquisite pieces of turquoise jewelry for someone with a December birthday.
If diamonds are your best friend, then a trip to Arkansas is a must. Arkansas is home to one of the very few diamond deposits in the United States, and the only place in the entire world where you can try your hand at mining diamonds. The state gem of Arkansas comes in a variety of colors from white to yellow to dark brown.
Jewelry designers in Arkansas favor diamonds in their creations. This western state is a great place to find an engagement ring or the perfect pair of earrings to add some dazzle to your jewelry wardrobe.
Blue chalcedony, or blue agate, is one of the gems found across Nebraska's 13 drainage basins. A paler gem, it can often have darker streaks within along with bands of blue and white. It comes in many shades of blue and polishes up beautifully.
As Nebraska's state gem is a lighter color, jewelry designers often like to mix it with darker colors for contrast. However, the blue hues of the blue agate complement silver quite nicely. If you are a fan of blue jewelry, but don't have the budget for sapphires, Nebraska is a place well worth checking out.
Texas is known for another gorgeous blue gem, the blue topaz. Topaz naturally occurs in a variety of colors, but blue topaz is the most popular color of the gem today. It makes a nice alternative for those of us born in November who have grown weary of having to settle with a brown birthstone...though there is a debate over whether the blue topaz is supposed to be yet another birthstone for December.
As the official gemstone of Texas, jewelers there had to do what Texans do best—go big or go home. So they created a special "Lone Star cut" for their state gemstone. Buying a piece of jewelry featuring a Lone Star cut blue topaz would be the perfect souvenir from a southwestern trip.
During your travels and your hunt for the perfect piece of jewelry, don't forget that many of these states have sites where you can make a go of finding gems yourself. It makes it even more personal when you can sport a piece of jewelry that you contributed to. And if you don't have time to have your gemstone find set, the Traveler jewelry box has the perfect soft pocket to keep your gems safe until you can have them set.