Each month has its own unique gemstone with a special meaning. Many legends exist regarding the healing powers of each birthstone. The legends dictate that wearing a gemstone during the month it is assigned to will increase its powers.
Birthstones became popular during ancient times, when people believed different gemstones to have powers like prosperity or health. Today’s birthstones are not necessarily the same ones known in ancient times. Back then, people focused on the color of the stone but did not distinguish between the types of stones. During ancient times, for example, a garnet and a ruby were considered to be the same.
The current birthstone list originated in 1912. Below is the current list of gemstones by month, along with some information about each stone:
- January – Garnet
The garnet represents lifelong friendship and trust, making it the perfect gift for a dear friend. The word “garnet” comes from the word granatum (meaning seed) and was named for its resemblance to the pomegranate seed.
- February – Amethyst
Amethyst is believed to keep those who wear it clear-headed and quick-witted. This gemstone has been linked to numerous myths and legends in many cultures. Amethyst is actually purple quartz, and is a gorgeous combination of deep purple and red.
- March – Aquamarine
The name for this stone comes from the Latin word aqua (water) and marina (the sea). Aquamarine is believed to keep the wearer to remain calm, due to the serene color of the stone. The color of this gemstone ranges from green-blue to blue-green and, though usually light in color, it is often more intense in larger stones.
- April – Diamond
Those born in April are lucky enough to have the diamond for their birthstone. Diamonds are traditionally associated with love, making it the ideal gift for any loved one. Diamonds are available in the colorless variety, as well as shades of pink, yellow, red, green, and blue.
- May – Emerald
The emerald is believed to be the symbol of rebirth, and is said to give the wearer good fortune and youth. The word “emerald” comes from the Greek word “smaragdus” (green). It is important to be careful with emeralds because they are easily scratched.
- June – Pearl
The popularity of the pearl dates back for centuries, worn during the Roman Empire and Tudor England. Pearls are created from living sea creatures and are naturally beautiful, needing no polishing or modification. Commercial culturing of pearls began over 100 years ago and, since that time, cultured pearls are much more widely available than the natural variety.
- July – Ruby
The ruby is said to grant success in love, wisdom, and wealth. This gem is the second hardest gemstone, nearly as hard as the diamond. The color of the ruby gives it its value, with the most esteemed color being a deep, vivid red.
- August – Peridot
The August birthstone is believed to have magical powers and healing properties. It is said to protect against nightmares, and to grant the wearer influence and power. Peridot forms deep inside the Earth and comes to the Earth’s surface through Hawaiian volcanoes.
- September – Sapphire
The sapphire is said to protect loved ones from harm and envy. Sapphire is a type of corundum and comes in a large variety of colors, such as pink and green. The red variety of corundum is the ruby.
- October – Tourmaline
Tourmaline is available in several different colors, and is also available in bi-color or tri-color varieties that show multiple colors in the same stone. Tourmaline can be found all over the world, including Africa, Brazil, and the United States.
- November – Topaz
Topaz comes in a wide variety of colors. Imperial topaz, an orange stone with pink undertones, is the most valued topaz and is named for 17th century Russian Czars. Though quartz and topaz are often confused, they are completely unrelated minerals.
- December – Tanzanite
Tanzanite is named for the East African country of Tanzania, where it was discovered in the 1960s. The stone’s color ranges from blue to purple, and its value is determined by the deepness of the color. Originally known as a less expensive alternative to the sapphire, tanzanite has become a popular gemstone choice based on its own unique beauty.
Birthstones aren’t just for birthday gifts! Birthstone jewelry is always a great choice because of the personal significance it holds. Consider birthstone jewelry for birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, or other special occasions that require a personal touch. Our Glennpeter team is ready to help you select birthstone jewelry for your loved ones.