Today’s post, “Carol’s Gems: Blue Topaz and Tanzanite,” is a monthly series on birthstones from one of my favorite blogger friends, Carol Peterson. Carol is a writer with a heart for encouragement, sharing parables of faith on her blog From Carol’s Quill and making learning exciting in Fun with Finance and other teacher resource books.

Each month has a birthstone. The birthstones for the month of December are the blue topaz…

Blue Topaz


and tanzanite.



And they both remind me of Jesus.

Blue topaz and tanzanite are popular gemstones used often in women’s jewelry. But did you know that nearly all of the two gems found in their natural state begin as dull, brownish stones? In fact, the exquisite tanzanite—found at the base of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania in 1967 and nowhere else on earth—was not recognized as a gemstone until a wildfire heated some of the brown stones on the ground and turned them the rich purplish blue color we know today. It is heat that did it. And heat is also routinely applied to natural brownish topaz to turn that gemstone blue.

Our souls, too—in their natural state—are dull and brownish; filled with unrepentant sin. We need Jesus to clean us up and make us sparkle.

Scripture tells us that Jesus will make us white as snow. But when you think of laundry back in Grandma’s day, you remember that she added bluing to the white load because blue-white was even whiter than white.

So, too can Jesus clean up our souls so that they are whiter than white.

Sometimes though, he has to do so by allowing us to go through fire.

This third I will put into the fire;
I will refine them like silver
and test them like gold.
They will call on my name
and I will answer them;
I will say, ‘They are my people,’
and they will say, ‘The Lord is our God.’”
(Zechariah 13:9)

And check this out—scripture that combines both a refiner’s fire AND a laundry reference!

But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap. (Malachi 3:1-3)

God can transform our drab, brown souls into something that glorifies Him. He can turn them into something that reflects His glory.

I said last month that more than any other birthstones, yellow topaz and citrine best represented their birth month, November—a time for autumn and harvest. But December’s blue topaz and blue/violet tanzanite also nicely reflect their birth month, December. The color we humans most generally associate with baby boys? Blue. Appropriate because during this month of December, we celebrate the human birth of the most precious baby boy in the history of humanity—Jesus Emanuel. God with us.

Happy birthday to everyone born in the month of December.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank you for the sparkling glimpses of your glory found in nature. Please clean us up and make us shine—even if you have to put us through fire. We thank you that you are with us always. Amen.

WHAT ABOUT YOU? Is there a time you felt you went through fire but came through knowing God had been with you?