birthstones: everything you need to know
What is a birthstone?
A birthstone is a gemstone which is associated with a particular month in the year.
Do you know your birthstone?
There’s something wonderfully mystical about birthstones. Have you ever wondered why certain stones are associated with months of the year and where the concept originated? It turns out it’s an idea that’s been around for a while. Thousands of years, in fact.
a history of birthstones
The idea of birthstones can be traced back to the Old Testament of the Bible. In the book of Exodus, Moses had a brother, Aaron. As the first high priest of the Israelites, he wore a ceremonial breastplate with twelve precious stones, each representing one of the 12 tribes of Israel. However, that’s where it all gets a bit blurry: details of which exact stones were used has been lost in translation, so the choice of stones has varied over the centuries. As a result, different cultures adopted different stones.
In the 1st century AD, the 12 stones became associated with the 12 signs of the zodiac. The link between a stone and a birth month was therefore established. In 15th century Poland, people would wear a different stone each month to ward off evil spirits and benefit from the stones’ mystical properties. In the 19th century, the list of birthstones we use today became widely accepted.
what do birthstones mean?
Each birthstone has traditionally been associated with certain qualities or mystical powers. Wearing your birthstone may protect you from evil or give you extra qualities – let us know if it works for you!
January’s birthstone is the garnet, which is most commonly a rich, dark red in colour, but can also be yellow, orange or green. Garnet signifies friendship and trust, health and wealth. It has also been said to protect the wearer while travelling.
Ranging from pale violet to rich purple, amethyst is the birthstone for February. Amethyst brings the wearer a clear head, courage and quick wit. It’s also said to ward off drunkenness and bad behaviour!
The birthstone for march, Aquamarine is a tranquil blue green colour, ranging from pale to deep hues. The name comes from aqua meaning water and marina meaning the sea. Aquamarine is said to cool the temper and is associated with healing powers.
april: diamond, cubic zirconia
April’s birthstones are diamond and cubic zirconia. Diamond, the most coveted stone of all, symbolises purity, natural beauty and love – it’s long been the stone of choice for an engagement ring. The hardest material in the world, diamonds can actually come in a variety of colours: yellow, grey, black, brown, orange, red green pink, and purple, as well as white.
The birthstone of the month of May, emeralds are some of the most highly prized gemstones. These precious stones can range from brilliant green to a dark blue green in colour. Emerald is believed to give the wearer youth, fortune and foresight.
June’s birthstone is pearl. The only birthstone that’s not a mineral, pearls are fascinating as they are actually made by a living sea creature. They are formed by oysters. Pearls represent purity, and these luminous jewels are a truly timeless classic.
Ruby is the birthstone for the month of July. The stone of kings, the blood red ruby is a symbol of power and ancient cultures believe rubies could ward off evil. It’s said to protect the wearer and grant them energy and passion.
The vivid lime green peridot is the birthstone for April. This pretty stone is also known as the “evening emerald”, for its colour and light reflecting quality. Peridot is said to guard against nightmares, as well as helping the wearer achieve fame and influence…
September’s birthstone is sapphire. It’s one of the four “precious” stones together with diamond, ruby and emerald. This gorgeous, deep blue stone is said to guard against evil and harm and keep the wearer’s loved ones safe.
Opal is the birthstone for those born in November. Also known as the “eye stone”, it is formed from rainwater and silica, and the result is a shimmering stone that’s speckled with a rainbow of colours, often a stunning mix of blues and pinks. Opals come in many different hues, you can find blue, pink, purple, green and white as the main colour. The opal was Queen Victoria’s favourite gemstone and it is said to symbolise compassion and confidence.
november: topaz, citrine
Take your pick, as November has two birthstones: topaz and citrine. Topaz is a popular gemstone that comes in various colours including a gorgeous icy pale blue, white and amber. It’s said to have a balancing and calming influence on the wearer. Citrine, a type of quartz that ranges from pale yellow through golden, honey tones all the way to a dark reddish brown. It’s said to bring vitality and health.
december: tanzanite, turquoise
If you were born in December, your birthstones are tanzanite and turquoise. Both stones have cool blue tones, ideally suited to this winter month. Tanzanite is said to help open your mind and become more spiritually aware, while turquoise is traditionally said to bring luck and success.
So now you know more about birthstones. Jewellery featuring birthstones can be a really thoughtful and personal gift. Earrings, bracelets, pendants rings or charms featuring a birthstone make a perfect birthday or Christening gift, or could be a special gift for a newborn. And they might just bring the wearer some special extra powers – well, you never know!