You’re A Gem – A Guide To Birthstones
Do You Know About Birthstones?
Each birth month is assigned a gemstone (or two), with a specific meaning and significance, these are known as birthstones. Some stones may be associated with luck and prosperity, others with health and well-being.
Birthstones have a rich cultural history, dating back well over 1,000 years. But, it is believed that it wasn’t until the 17th century that gemstones were assigned to specific months of the year. Many birthstones would be worn at any one time, in an effort to gain the properties and benefits of each individual stone. Then, once the 18th century came round, people started wearing only the gemstone of their birth month…perhaps out of a financial necessity, or out of tradition, the reason isn’t entirely clear.
These days, birthstones still have their significance and are often given as meaningful gifts to loved ones, or even as a treat for yourself. So if you are looking to buy some birthstone jewelry, here is our ultimate guide.
Guide to Birthstones
So it’s time to find out all about the gemstone of your birth month. Let’s start from the beginning…
January – Garnet
The garnet originates primarily in Africa, India and Sri Lanka and the name comes from the name granatum, which means seed, as the deep red gemstone closely resembles a pomegranate seed. The garnet signifies lasting friendship and trust.
February – Amethyst
There are amethyst mines all over the world, but the biggest sources are in Brazil and Zambia. It is a very popular gemstone today, but since it was known as the ‘jewel of the Gods’, there was a time where it was more valuable than a ruby or emerald, and only royalty were permitted to wear it. The purple gemstone signifies courage and clarity.
March – Aquamarine
The beautiful aquamarine is found in Brazil, Madagascar, Pakistan, Nigera, Mozambique and Zambia, and was once worn by sailors to prevent seasickness and guarantee smooth sailing. Like calm seas, it signifies calmmess, along with level- headedness and happiness.
April – Diamond
April babies certainly are lucky, as their birthstone is the heavenly diamond, the hardest substance their is. In fact its name originates from the Greek word adamas, which means invincible or indesructible. As the traditional stone for the engagement ring, it is very fitting that the diamond signifies everlasting love.
May – Emerald
The emerald has major sources in Afghanistan, Colombia, Brazil and Zambia, and it is one of the rarest gemstones, so many have natural imperfections. The vibrant green gemstone was named as the stone of Venus, the Goddess of Love by the Ancient Romans. So, it is probably no surprise that the emerald signifies love, as well as wisdom and rebirth.
June – Alexandrite and Pearl
The two tone alexandrite gemstone is mainly mined in Brazil and Sri Lanka, and it is named after Czar Alexander II of Russia, for the compassion he had towards his people. The blue/red stone signifies love and luck. The pearl is also a birthstone for June, and they are produced inside mollusks, such as oysters. They are believed to signify purity and nobility.
July – Ruby
July babies are lucky enough to have the ruby as their birthstone, which is found primarily in Brazil and Sri Lanka. Like the emerald, most rubies have slight flaws, and stones without imperfections are rare, and therefore are extremely valuable, worth even more than diamonds of the same quality. It signifies love, wealth and wisdom.
August – Peridot
Peridot originates in China, Myanmar, Pakistan, Kenya, Australia and Arizona, and it is one of the gemstones that only comes in the one colour – olive green. It was once believed that wearing peridot would bring a wonderful year to its wearer. It signifies power, strength and influence.
September – Sapphire
The beautiful blue sapphire has it’s origins in East Africa, South America, India and Sri Lanka. Back in Medieval times, it was believed that sapphire had great powers of protection, and wearing the stone would prevent loved ones from coming to harm. It signifies wisdom and purity.
October- Opal and Tourmaline
Around 90% of the world’s opal supply is mined in Australia. The name comes from the Greek word opallos, which means ‘to see a change’, as opals have a reat variety in colour, usually in just one stone. Its beauty means it is worn by many, but an old wives’ tale claims it is bad luck to wear opal if it isn’t your birthstone. It signifies faithfulness and confidence. Tourmaline is found in Brazil, Afghanistan, East Africa, and the USA, and often displays many colours in just one gemstone. It is a relatively new gemstone so does not have much cultural history. It signifies tanquility and creativity.
November – Topaz
The birthstone for November originates in Australia, Russia, Nigeria, Brazil, Pakistan, and throughout the United States. It is available in a number of colours from blue to yellow, through to peach and brown. In ancienct civilisations it was believed to give its wearer strength and intelligence, but now it signifies love and affection.
December – Turquoise and Tanzanite
Turquoise is found all over the world, but it is most well known as coming from the American Southwest. In ancient cultures the blue marbled stone, was a symbol of wealth and prosperiy, as well as being a love charm. These days it is a symbol of peace, friendship and good fortune. Tanzanite is unsurprisingly found in Tanzania, and is a relatively new gemstone, given it’s name by world famous jewelers, Tiffany & Co. The clear blue stone sinifies honor, integrity and tranquility.