Birthstones are an important aspect of basic gemstone knowledge. If we would talk about attributes, properties and meanings of some gemstones, we surely can’t forget to mention that they are birthstones for one specific month. Birthstones are a perfect gift for anyone, regardless of their age, gender, or interest in gemstones. Surely everyone will appreciate a necklace with a gemstone that suits their birth month, but what if this isn’t their only meaning?
What is the history of birthstones?
Birthstones are much more than that. The history of Birthstones traces to the book of Exodus in the Bible on the breastplate of Aaron. This breastplate was decorated with 12 gemstones, which were representing the twelve tribes of Israel. In the 1st century AD, Flavius Josephus and St. Jerome associated these 12 gemstones with zodiac signs. Originally, the person had to own all 12 gemstones and wear each gemstone the appropriate month.
Nowadays, birthstones are bought individually and worn all year round. With that said, let’s have a look at all of the birthstones for each month.
January – Garnet
Even though January is a winter month, its birthstone is flames coloured Garnet. Most of these birthstones are known for having this red fiery colour, but Garnet is available in almost every colour – green, orange, yellow, purple, black, etc. The Garnet family of gemstones is one of the most complexes in the whole gemstone world, so everyone will surely find the perfect Garnet that will suit their personality.
January Birthstone – Garnet
February – Amethyst
Amethyst, the February’s birthstone is a variety of Quartz ranging from pale lilac colour to more deep reddish-violet. Amethyst is said to be one of the world’s most popular gemstones and is one of the most effective gemstones for learning, healing and spiritual awakening.
February Birthstone – Amethyst
March – Aquamarine & Bloodstone
Aquamarine and Bloodstone are the two birthstones for March. Aquamarine is a light blue, sea-like variety of beryl. On the other hand, Bloodstone is an opaque green variety of chalcedony with red inclusions. Although Bloodstone is not as beautiful as Aquamarine, many fancy Bloodstone for its unique properties – Bloodstones are usually cut as cabochons.
Aquamarine is amazing for calming and soothing the mind, letting go of negativity and reducing stress and anger.
April – Diamond
April’s birthstone is the world’s most popular gemstone. The perfect, beautiful and timeless Diamond. With number 10 on the Mohs hardness scale, this gemstone is the symbol of strength and durability. In fact, its name comes from the Greek word “Adamas”, meaning unbreakable. Diamond is one of the most expensive birthstones.
May – Emerald
May Birthstone – Emerald
Emerald is the birthstone for those born in May. This beautiful gem has been associated with green colour since ancient times. Emerald belongs to the beryl family and its colour can range from yellowish green to deep breathtaking green. These deep green Emeralds are very popular and valuable. Emerald is simply the perfect spring birthstone that will promote friendship and unconditional love.
Pearl and Alexandrite are the two birthstones of June. Pearl is an organic gem, which can be “created” in three different ways. Natural Pearls are formed naturally inside of a living mollusc, on the other hand, cultural Pearls are created by people inserting a “seed” into a mollusc. The last type of Pearl is the imitation pearl, which is made of plastic. Most of the Pearls on the market are cultural pearls since natural pearls occur rarely in nature.
Alexandrite is a variety of chrysoberyl, which is known for being colour-changing – green in daylight and red in incandescent illumination. Natural Alexandrite is extremely rare and expensive. This is why Pearls are the more popular birthstone for those born in June.
July – Ruby
Ruby is the birthstone for July. Ruby is a variety of corundum and its colour ranges from orangy-red to more deep red with a hint of purple. Ruby is one of the most traditional gemstones and it’s said to be the king of precious traditional gemstones. With number 9 on the Mohs scale, Ruby is the second hardest gemstone – right after Diamond.
August – Peridot, Spinel & Sardonyx
August is associated with three birthstones – Peridot, Spinel and Sardonyx. Peridot is a variety of olivine, which occurs in yellowish-green colour. Peridot is one of the most popular and affordable green coloured gemstones.
Spinel occurs in a large variety of colour – ranging from deep red Ruby-like colour to deep rich blue Sapphire-like colour. Spinel was added on the list of birthstones in 2016.
Sardonyx is a variety of chalcedony known for its straight, parallel strands of white, orange, brown, red or black colour. Same as Bloodstone, Sardonyx is usually cut into cabochons.
August Birthstone – Peridot
September – Sapphire
September Birthstone – Sapphire
Those born in September belong to Sapphire. Same as Ruby, Sapphire a variety of corundum and is associated with deep blue colour but can occur in all the colours of the rainbow, except red. Its hardness level of 9 makes it one of the hardest and most durable gemstones. Sapphire is connected to wisdom, royalty and romance and is said to help release depression.
October – Opal & Tourmaline
October is the month of Opal and Tourmaline. Opal is best known for displaying a full spectrum of colours, which makes each Opal unique.
Same as Opal, Tourmaline occurs in a wide variety of colours and shades. The best-known variety of Tourmaline is the “watermelon tourmaline”, which displays a light pink and green colour.
October Birthstone – Opal
November – Golden Topaz & Citrine
Birthstones for November are Golden Topaz and Citrine. Both of these birthstones are known for occurring in a natural yellow of orange colour. Citrine is the best-selling yellow or orange coloured gemstone. Golden Topaz and Citrine are great for calming the mind, releasing negative thoughts and depression.
December – Turquoise, Tanzanite & Zircon
December, the last month of the year is connected to three birthstones – Turquoise, Tanzanite and Zircon. Turquoise is an opaque blue colour, which is often used naturally and cut as cabochons.
Tanzanite is a translucent bluish-purple gemstone that was added to the list of birthstones in 2002. Its colour changes depending on the angle of the viewing.
Zircon is a bright gem appearing in a wide variety of colours. Most of the natural Zircons are yellow, red and brown. Heat and irradiation treatments can change the colour to blue, green, purple, etc.
Tanzanite pendant – Birthstone for December