Did you know the astrological concept of a different and special birthstone for every month of the year has been around since biblical times? There are older Eastern traditions regarding birthstones but for now we’ll concentrate on the Western view of the twelve birthstones.
In earlier times, people would have carried the gem corresponding to their birth month with them for its luck and healing powers. More recently, the gems have been incorporated into fashionable jewellery and can make unique and thoughtful gifts for family and friends.
The official stones for each month have changed somewhat through the ages, but listed below are the modern birthstones by month, colour and properties.
January – Garnet
Deep red garnets are said to be the stone of love and devotion. They also symbolise friendship, trust and balance.
February – Amethyst
This purple quartz promotes calmness and sobriety and was believed to prevent drunkenness and addictions of all kinds as well as compulsive behaviour.
March – Aquamarine
Pale blue aquamarine stones bring peace and courage to the wearer and help to reduce anger and stress.
April – Diamond
As well as being the hardest natural material on Earth, diamonds can boost the inner strength of those born in April and encourage balance and clarity.
Usually colourless, diamonds are also found with tints of yellow and pink.
May – Emerald
Opulent green emeralds are symbolic of rebirth because in the Northern Hemisphere May signalled the last of the cold winter days and the beginning of warmer weather. They are also said to bring the wearer good fortune and youth.
June – Pearl/Alexandrite/Moonstone
There are three popular stones for those of us born in June.
Lustrous pearls symbolise purity and are sometimes called the stone of sincerity.
Alexandrite can appear to be green or purplish red depending on the lighting. This rarest of gems is associated with Russian czars and is believed to boost confidence and self-esteem.
Moonstones can be a milky-white ranging through peach and blue colours. It is a stone of new beginnings, enhances growth, and stabilises emotions.
July – Ruby
Rich, red rubies arouse the senses and promise health, wealth, wisdom and good fortune in love.
August – Peridot
Cool green peridot, also called evening emerald will bring the wearer peace and happiness, faithfulness and loyalty. Despite their lime green colour they also protect against envy and ward off evil.
September – Sapphire
Blue sapphires were worn by medieval priests to symbolise heaven and it is thought they brought heavenly blessings. They also denote purity of soul.
Although sapphires come in a range of colours the most prized and admired are the deep blue and blue with a slight violet hue.
October – Opal/Tourmaline
October has two birthstones – opal and tourmaline.
Opal, known for its beautiful flashing rainbow colours, promotes happiness, faith and confidence.
Tourmaline can have two and even three colours in the one stone and is found in yellow, green, blue, pink, brown and black. When it is heated small bits of lint and paper are attracted to it.
It is known as the peace stone and dispels fear, and promotes calm.
November – Topaz/Citrine
There are also two birthstone options for those born in November.
Topaz is the primary stone but is often confused with citrine, the secondary stone. Usually an orange-pink colour, topaz is reputed to increase understanding, bring relaxation and wisdom, and restore energy.
Citrine has similar colour properties to tourmaline and is known as the healing quartz. It encourages vitality and health and makes the wearer light-hearted and hopeful.
December – Turquoise/ Blue Topaz/Tanzanite
Those born in December have three stones from which to choose, all of them blue.
Turquoise is considered to bring good fortune, success and prosperity to the wearer. It is known as a love charm and is often used in wedding jewellery.
Icy blue topaz is thought to promote a pleasant disposition and patience as well as having healing powers.
Tanzanite is a recent addition and was only discovered in the late 1960s. This violet-blue gem was added as a December birthstone in 2002 and is said to bestow contentment and understanding on the wearer.
Article written by: Allyson Crockett
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