Birthstones are believed to date back to biblical times and as time progressed, was assigned to the 12 signs of the zodiac and later given to each month. For individuals who were born within the month of a specific gemstone, that would be their birthstone. Birthstones can be a powerful statement of an individual’s unique style and personality, and some believe that birthstones have healing properties.
January – Garnet
Garnet is most commonly red but can be found in a range of other colors. Garnet symbolizes peace, prosperity and good health. Some say it even has the power to give the wearer eternal happiness, health and wealth. The word “garnet” comes from the 14th century Middle English word “gernet” meaning dark red. When derived from Latin “granatum” which means seed, and is called so because of the gemstone’s resemblance to the beautifully red seeds of the pomegranate.
February – Amethyst
February is a short and cold month for most people, making Amethyst the perfect gemstone. Amethyst is associated with qualities of peace, courage and stability. The name comes from the Ancient Greek and was derived from the word “methustos” which means “intoxicated”. The Ancient Greek believed that wearing Amethyst would protect them from drunkenness. While amethyst is most commonly recognized to be a purple color, the gemstone can actually range from a light pinkish violet to a deep purple that can show more red or blue.
March – Aquamarine and Bloodstone
Aquamarine is believed to enhance or preserve the health of the wearer. The word “Aquamarine” comes from the Latin words “Aqua” and “Marina” translating into sea and water respectively. Aquamarine is most known for its light colors of greenish-blue, however the darker blue stones are more valuable. Not only is Aquamarine the birthstone for March, it is also the gemstone used to celebrate 19th wedding anniversaries.
Like Aquamarine, Bloodstone is believed to enhance or preserve the health of the wearer. Bloodstones are also known as heliotrope which in Greek means “to turn to the sun”. It is called this because the ancient Greek believed that the bloodstone reflected light and if put into water the sun would turn red. The gemstone is a slid green color with visible veins of red.
April – Diamond
Only being made from Carbon, Diamonds are 58 times harder than any other substance in nature, making diamonds the hardest gemstone. Diamonds come in several colors including; yellow, red, pink, blue, and green. Diamonds also mark the 60th and 75th wedding anniversary.
May – Emerald
Emeralds are believed to curer stomach problems, control epilepsy and stop bleeding. Some also believe that anyone who wears an emerald is able to ward off panic and remain relaxed and serene. The Emerald is also used to celebrate the twentieth and thirty-fifth wedding anniversaries. The earliest use of emeralds date back to approximately 330 BC, when Ancient Egyptians would wear them and bury their dead in them believing the emeralds would protect their spirits. However, some scientists believe that the oldest emerald dates back 2.97 billion years ago.
June – Pearl, Alexandrite and Moonstone
Pearls are very sensitive t heat and acidity, so much so that pearls will dissolve in vinegar. In many cultures pearls symbolize purity and innocence. Not only is pearls a June birthstone, it is a birthstone for babies born under the signs of Gemini and Cancer. Pearls are also used for first, third, twelfth, and thirtieth wedding anniversaries. The rarest of pearls are made in the wild; however the majority of pearls are cultured by implanting a grafted piece of shell or small bead into pearl oysters or freshwater pearl mussels.
Alexandrite, the second birthstone for June, is often described as “emerald by day, ruby by night” due to its color changing properties of green to red. Not only is Alexandrite a birthstone, but it is also used to celebrate the 55th wedding anniversary. Alexandrite was discovered in 1830 in Russia’s Ural Mountains and received its name from Russia’s Czar Alexander II who emancipated Russia’s serfs.
Moonstone is the third birthstone for the month of June. This immaculate stone has a stunning glow caused by Adularescence. Adularescence is the effect of when light hits the gemstone it scatters through the multiple layers of feldspar within the stone. The use of Moonstone in carvings and jewelry goes back over 2,000 years ago. Many of these gemstones come from Sri Lanka and India, but are also found in the United States, Brazil, and Australia. Like all birthstones, Moonstones are believed to have healing properties and brings the wearer peace, balance and calmness.
July – Ruby
Ruby is the birthstone for July, as well as the gemstone that celebrates the 15th and 40th wedding anniversaries. Rubies are one of the most prized gemstones for its deep red color and clarity. Many believe that Rubies have the power to bring love into one’s life and has a stronger power than any other gemstone. Rubies are also gain popularity throughout history, dating back to biblical times.
August – Peridot, Sardonyx, and Spinel
Peridot is one of August’s three birthstones, and the gemstone that celebrates the 15th wedding anniversary. This gemstone dates back approximately 4.5 billion years ago, and was created during the formation of our solar system. Back in Ancient Egyptian times Peridot was called the “Stone of the Sun” for its beautiful yellow colors. Today, finished Peridots have a deep yellow color with green hues.
Sardonyx, the second birthstone of August, dates back 4,000 years ago during the second Dynasty of Ancient Egypt. During the time of the Ancient Greeks, many soldiers would wear Sardonyx talismans carved in the figures of Hercules and Mars believing that the talismans would give them strength. Today, Sardonyx is one of the more affordable gemstones that will complete any jewelry collection.
Spinel is the last August gemstone, and is easily mistaken as other gemstones due to its vast color options. Spinels come in red, blue, purple, black, greenish blue, yellow, gray, pale pink, mauve, or brown. Distinguishable features of Spinels are their octahedral crystal structures and single refraction.
September – Sapphire
Sapphire is September’s birthstone as well as the gemstone that celebrates the 5th and 45th wedding anniversaries. Sapphires are well known for their royal blue color, but also come in violet, yellow, orange, green, pink and purple. In the middle ages, people believed that Sapphires symbolized heaven and gave the wearer divine favor and wise judgment.
October – Opal and Tourmaline
Opal is one of October birthstones, and is favored for its multiple colors. In fact, Romans believed that since Opals contained the colors of other gemstones that Opals were the rarest and most valuable gemstones. The Bedouins believed that Opals came from lightening which is why they contain various colors.
Tourmaline is October’s second birthstone and the gemstone for the eighth wedding anniversary. Tourmalines come in various colors and types, such as the electric blue Paraiba Tourmalines. Many people believe that Tourmalines have protective powers against radiation, pollutants, toixins and negative thoughts.
November – Yellow Topaz and Citrine
Topaz is the birthstone for the month of November as well as the gemstone that celebrates the 4th and 23rd wedding anniversary. Topaz normally comes in a large array of colors, such as; yellow, orange, brown, pink, red, purple, blue, light green, and colorless. Throughout history though, most Topaz were thought to be only yellow, and any yellow gemstone was thought to be topaz. Topaz is believed to calm tempers, cure madness and eliminate nightmares.
Citrine is the other birthstone of November, and is also used to celebrate the 13th wedding anniversary. Citrine receives its yellow and orange colors from the traces of iron within the stones structure. Many believe Citrine is a “Merchants Stone” and that it attracts wealth and prosperity. Sometimes, Citrine is also known as the “healing quartz”, for its ability to comfort, soothe, and calm.
December – Blue Topaz, Tanzanite, Zircon, and Turquoise
Tanzanite is one of three birthstones for December, and is the gemstone that celebrates the 24th wedding anniversary. Tanzanite’s deep blue color rivals the blue of Sapphires, making desirable to any gemstone collector. However, where it differs from Sapphire is its susceptibleness to scratches, making it more desirable for pendants or earrings. Unlike other gemstones, Tanzanite is a relatively new gemstone since it was found in 1967.
Zircon is another one of December’s three birthstones and is believed to induce sleep, ward off evil and promote prosperity. Some Zircon stones date back as far as 4.4 Billion years. Today, Zircon is heavily used in ceramics. Many people confuse some Zircon gemstones with Cubic Zirconia.
Turquoise is the third and final birthstone for the month of December and is also used to celebrate the 11th wedding anniversary. The U.S. is the primary producer of Turquoise jewelry as they are very prominent in California, Nevada, New Mexico and Colorado.