The birthstone is a legendary, mystical, and interesting object in the world of gemstones. Many of the birthstones we’re most familiar with (called traditional or ancient birthstones) were identified between the 16th and 18th century in Poland. The “modern birthstones” wouldn’t be identified and announced until 1912, when a list was released by the National Association of Jewelers.
Today, these stones are a prominent feature in all types of birthstone jewelry, including family and wedding rings. Birthstones are also chosen often as the center stone for engagement rings. Read on to discover what these precious stones hold for their bearers at all months of the year.
January – Garnet
Most people associate the garnet with a red stone. In fact, garnet exists in virtually every shade. Regardless, this popular stone is in a family that represents one of the most complex minerals, with many varieties and species.
Garnets are not as hard as diamonds, but are more breakage-resistant than diamonds. They are also able to resist scratches well. Garnets are thought to protect the wearer, and red stones are associated with light, love, and vitality.
February – Amethyst
The amethyst is a beautiful February birthstone that exists in many shades of purple, from light lilac to dark violet. Another very scratch-resistant stone, amethyst is ideal for nearly every type of jewelry.
Those who work with stones say that amethyst strengthens immunity, purifies and energizes the blood, enhances activity in the right side of the brain, and dispels negativity. The stone is also used extensively in meditation and healing and aids with inspiration.
March – Aquamarine and Bloodstone
Those born in March have aquamarine and bloodstone as their birthstones. Aquamarine is eye-catching, no matter where it’s worn. Bloodstone, also called heliotrope, is a durable and beautiful green and red gemstone with a long history.
Aquamarine is cousin to the emerald. Named for the sea, it was said to protect seafarers by keeping waters calm. It’s also said to banish fears, strengthen the kidneys and liver, and help the wearer achieve mental and emotional balance. Bloodstone is said to reduce emotional stress and stimulate the movement of kundalini (life force).
April – Diamond
The diamond is the birthstone for April. Not only is it the most popular stone in the world for rings, but diamonds also boast legendary durability. It’s this property that may be the reason diamonds are associated with love and strength and chosen for engagement and wedding rings.
This beautiful stone is considered a master healer, helping the wearer align with the higher self, dispel negativity, and enhance brain function.
May – Emerald
A breathtaking member of the beryl family, emerald’s saturated green is reminiscent of spring fields and bursting gardens. Emeralds have been highly prized for over 5000 years. While they possess a good hardness of 7.5-8, they can be vulnerable to breakage.
Those looking to achieve deep spiritual insight, emotional balance, and prosperity wear this stone, which can also enhance dreams and strengthen the heart and immune system.
June – Pearl, Alexandrite, and Moonstone
Those born in the sixth month have three beautiful June birthstones. Pearl is the only one that’s found inside a living creature: the mollusk. Today, most pearls are cultivated or cultured.
A traditional birthstone according to the American Gem Society, pearl was thought to magnify wisdom, purity, and honesty. Alexandrite’s cat’s eye effect makes it very desirable, it’s said the stone attracts good luck and enhances intellect.
Moonstone’s glow makes it an eye-catching gem no matter where it’s worn. It’s said the stone is protective of women, and it’s also associated with fertility, passion, and love.
July – Ruby
Red has long been regarded as a symbol of courage, strength, power, and leadership. It’s no wonder that warriors would wear the stunning ruby while abroad. These July birthstones have fetched record prices with their beautiful saturated hue.
The ruby is thought to enhance circulation, helps banish the sense of limitation, and strengthens the physical and spiritual heart.
August – Peridot, Sardonyx, and Spinel
Olivine is the mineral responsible for the beautiful light green shade of peridot, one of August’s birthstones. Peridot isn’t recommended for daily-wear rings because of its 6.5-7 hardness. They are also vulnerable to damage from acidic substances like perspiration.
Peridot’s ancient association with the sun led to it being used for protection from evil spirits and dark night terrors. Sardonyx’s beautiful reds, browns, and dark oranges can be seen on antique cameos. The Romans favored sardonyx for their battle rings and seals, as it was unaffected by hot wax. Sardonyx wearers enjoy enhanced communication, happiness, courage, and partnership stability.
Durable spinel reaches eight on the hardness scale, making it able to handle wear and tear. Spinel is said to help wearers release their anxiety and stress and restore their energy.
September – Sapphire
There’s no mistaking the breathtaking blue of a sapphire, but September’s stone can also be pink, orange, yellow, and many other colors. A gem for the ages, the sapphire has been worn by royalty and clergy alike.
Sapphire is a stone that stands for loyalty, truth, beauty, and love. It’s said that the stone aligns body and spirit, dispels confusion, and expands the cosmic awareness of the wearer.
October – Opal and Tourmaline
Those born in October have two one-of-a-kind gems as their birthstones. Opal is a very delicate and unique birthstone that’s known as the world’s most colorful because it can display all the colors in the spectrum at every viewing angle.
Due to its play of color, the modern birthstone opal has been associated with magic, light, and healing powers. Ancient wearers believed the stone gave them powers of prophecy, as well as purity, truth, and hope.
Tourmaline displays multiple colors and is available in several shades. All tourmalines are said to be endocrine system balancers and body and mind strengtheners. They’re also known for their high electromagnetic and healing properties.
November – Citrine and Topaz
One November birthstone, citrine, is amethyst’s cousin. This bright and sunny birthstone list entry has been popular for centuries and, with a hardness of seven, offers substantial durability. Citrine wearers are said to enjoy abundance, enhanced memory, and willpower. The stone also stands for love, joy, and confidence.
Topaz has a hardness of eight, making it a hardy jewelry stone. Blue topaz is today’s most popular and expensive color, but all colors are said to help wearers by correcting bodily disorders.
December – Turquoise, Tanzanite, and Zircon
There are three gorgeous December birthstones to choose from. The beautiful blue shades of turquoise are one of many reasons this stone has been the choice of jewelry and sculpture artists since time immemorial, and it looks positively breathtaking in silver settings.
Turquoise is said to strengthen the physical body, aid in circulation, and help the respiratory system. It also enhances creative expression, communication, and peace of mind.
Though not discovered until 1962, tanzanite’s gorgeous and saturated blue-to-violet color is in quite high demand. Tanzanite wearers are said to benefit from inflammation reduction, stimulation of fertility, and stronger major organs.
Zircon’s popularity reaches back to the Middle Ages. Available in a wide range of colors, zircon is thought to calm allergies and asthma and heal the spirit.
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