Birthstones

BIRTHSTONES

Here are the modern (listed first) and traditional birthstones, and in some cases their commonly recognized substitutes. Also listed are some values each stone represents.


January

Garnet

(Strength, perseverity, prosperity, health)
 
The GARNET is found in volcanic rock and alluvial deposits, often alongside diamonds. It is found, amongst other places, in Arizona in the USA, South Africa, Argentina and Brazil.  This gem comes in several different shades of red but most usual is the PYROPE GARNET, 'pyrope' coming from the Greek work pyropos meaning fiery.
 

Rose Quartz

(Emotional balance, forgiveness)
 

 

February

Amethyst

(Wisdom, spirituality, sobriety, security)
 
The crystalline quartz in shades of purple, lilac or mauve is called an AMETHYST. It is mined from alluvial deposits and often has a feint strip which is caused by liquid filled canals.  This gem has traditionally been associated with the month of February. This lovely stone was said to be the favourite of St Valentine whose commemorative day falls on February 14th.

 The stone is said to sober and cleanse the body, to prevent drunkenness and it was reputed to beautify the skin. Certainly wearing an AMETHYST will enhance the creamy texture of the skin, giving a glow to the surrounding area and bring a sparkle to the eyes.
 

Onyx

(Relaxation, comfort)
 
 

March

Aquamarine

(Beauty, honesty, loyalty, happiness)
 
Traditionally the AQUAMARINE has been associated with water, and the sea.  Its name is derived from the replica watches Roman 'Aqua' meaning water and 'Mare', meaning sea.  It is usually coloured light green to pale blue, but is heat treated to achieve its preferred clear, very light blue appearance..

This gemstone is considered one of the purest of stones, and is said to re-awaken love in a tired marriage.  It symbolises safely and security, especially in long standing Cheap Michael Kors Handbags relationships.  It is also used as a healing stone, and is said to be particularly strong in helping ailments associated with the heart, liver, stomach and mouth and throat area.

 

Bloodstone

(Endurance)
 
 

April

Diamond

(Invincibility, clarity, purity, eternal love)
 
This is the king of stones; the hardest of all of the gems, its strength is four times that of its nearest rival, the SAPPHIRE.

The purest DIAMONDS are colourless, and are found in a type of rock called Kimberlite which is found at the very core of a volcano.  The hard stone is mined, stones are crushed between giant rollers and the diamonds are found amongst the gravel unharmed.  Diamond mines are found in South Africa, and Russia, and also in the USA.

Traditionally the diamond is given on an engagement, but it can also be used in industry, its unique hardness making it the ideal tool.
 
 

Rock Crystal/Quartz

(Balance, clarity, energy)
 
 

May

Emerald

(Patience, understanding, foresight)
 
This lovely gem gets its name originally from the Greek word Smaragdos, which means 'green stone' it comes from the mineral Beryl, and is normally found in Columbia and Brazil. This stone symbolises Spring, with its associations with growth and rejuvenation, in many cultures this stone is considered the stone of personal development, and wearing it is said to bring Wisdom, Growth and Patience.

EMERALDS are seldom perfect, they are characterised in their untreated form by fissures and cracks. It is usual to oil their surface to achieve the unblemished beauty we usually associate with this gorgeous gem.
 
 

Crysophase

(Fertility, secrecy)
 
 

June

Pearl

(Modesty, purity, beauty, happiness)
 
The PEARL is a truly organic stone.  Created by oysters and mussels, it used to be said that a man had to dive a thousand times to find just one oyster containing a single natural PEARL.  In modern times many of the pearls we wear are cultured, that is grown in fresh water mussels.  Whilst these are not so rare, they very difficult to tell apart from the oyster pearl, and are just as lovely.
 
 

Moonstone

(Balance, good fortune, tender passion)
 
The MOONSTONE, the other June birthstone, is the opalescent variety of the orthoclase, with a blue or white sheen, said to be rather like the shine of the moon.  This is caused by the reflection of light from the internal structure which has been made up over thousands of years from alternating layers of albite and orthoclase feldspar.

Regarded as the 'lovers' stone the MOONSTONE evokes tender feelings and is said to safeguard true love.  The very best examples come from Burma and Sri Lanka, however stones will be found in India and Mexico, and even the European Alps.
 
 

Alexandrite

(Balance, confidence, joy)

 

 

July

Ruby

(Love, success, integrity, passion & promise)
 
This lush red stone with its velvety crimson hues has historically been considered the King of Gems. Revered by the Hindus and still worn today sometimes as the centre piece of their ceremonial wedding head dress, but also to decorate the pierced nose or to adorn the centre of the forehead. Although revered for their fiery red tones, RUBIES do come in a variety of shades, from pinkish to purplish or brownish red, depending on the chromium and iron content of the stone.  They are found worldwide. 
 

Carnelian

(Luck, safety)
 
 

August

Peridot

(Fame, dignity, protection, success)
 
This lovely stone, vivid green with a hint of gold, traces its history back to the early 2nd millennium BC.   The name PERIDOT comes from the Egyptian meaning, 'Gem of the Sun', it is said to bring happiness in marriage, power of eloquent  speech and enduring freedom from emotional and physical insecurity.  Little wonder that the Egyptians spent enormous amounts of manpower in its quest on the shores of the Red Sea. The mining of the PERIDOT was traditionally done at night, when its rays were said to catch the light of the moon and make it easier to find.  During the day it was reputed to become invisible under the rays of the sun.
 
 

Sardonyx

(Relaxation, security)
 
 
 

September

Sapphire

(Truth, sincerity, commitment, loyalty)
 
This gem comes in a multitude of colours, but most traditional is the blue coloured SAPPHIRE, linked traditionally to calmness and loyalty and symbolic of truth. Legend has it that the first person to wear the SAPPHIRE was Prometheus, the rival of Zeus, who took the gemstone when he stole heaven for man.  The ancient Persians believed that SAPPHIRES were a chip from the pedestal that supported the earth and its reflections is what gives the sky its colour. This lovely stone is said to be the guardian of innocence, it symbolises truth and sincerity, and its magical healing properties included that of curing snake bites. The SAPPHIRE is one of the toughest gemstones, second only to the diamond, and is mined in Australia, Nigeria, Thailand, Vietnam and China.
 

Lapis

(Understanding, protection)
 
 
 

October

Opal

(Hope, faith, confidence)
 
The opal is a stone made of a natural hardened silica gel with a surface of tiny silica spheres that diffuses light causing it to sparkle with iridescent flashes of colour, which makes it both magical and exceptional amongst the gems. Opal ranges from clear through white, grey, red, yellow, green, shore, blue, magenta, brown, and black.  Red and black are the most rare and expensive, whereas white and green are the most common
The opal is said to be a peaceful stone, bringing order to disorder, and protection from troubles.   The Arabs believed that opals fell from heaven in flashes of lightening and the Aborigines, noting the fire in its hues, credited it with introducing the first fire into the world. This lovely gem is found in the cavities in sedimentary rocks in the USA, Mexico, Brazil, Czechoslovakia and primarily in Australia.  Opals are Australia's national gemstone and it produces around 97% of the world's opals
 

Tourmaline

(Balance, endurance, safety)
 
 

 

November

Topaz

(Strength, wisdom, courage)
 
The TOPAZ has been documented throughout history as being very special.   The Egyptians called the TOPAZ the 'gem of the sun' believing its colour to come from the golden glow of their sun god Ra.  The Greeks and Romans also associated the golden stone with their Sun God Jupiter.  They believed the gem increased their strength and could neutralize enchantments.

Perhaps the most fabulous TOPAZ is the one set in the centre of the Portuguese Crown, so fabulous and large is this stone that it was originally thought to be a diamond and only recently was its true identity discovered.
 

Citrine

(Hope, cheerfulness, youth, health, fidelity)
 
The CITRINE is the yellow or golden yellow variety of quartz.  It gets its name from the word citrus, or lemon, and in its palest form it is very rare.  The darker variety, which is found more frequently, is sometimes confused with the very similar TOPAZ, which can be coloured from light yellow to its usual and characteristic smoky brown colour.  Much more rare, and very highly prized is the blue TOPAZ, but most of the modern blue topaz seen today have been heat treated to achieve the desired effect.  The very best quality CITRINE is found in Brazil and Spain as is the TOPAZ, which is also mined in the USSR and Australia.
 
 

 

December

Tanzanite

(Contentment, understanding)
 
TANZANITE crystals have a distinct colour ranging from purple, blue or even slate-grey depending on the angle they are viewed from.   First found in Tanzania, from which they get their name, their colour can be enhanced by heat treatment, which achieves the depth which characterises these lovely stones.


 

Zircon

(Wisdom, honor, wealth)
 
When pure the Zircon is almost colourless, resembling the diamond, but impurities will produce the loveliest stones in yellow, orange, blue, brown and green varieties.  These gems are usually found as pebbles in alluvial deposits and Sri Lanka has been one of the greatest sources of these stones, having produced them for over 2000 years
 

Turqoise

(New possibilities, happiness)
 
The TURQUOISE has always been considered a sacred stone.  The North American Indians and Tibetans both view the Turquoise as possessing magical powers of healing and wisdom.  Traditionally Holy Men use the turquoise in their many rituals.  They believe the TURQUOISE with its beauty and ethereal colours will aid mental and spiritual clarity and emotional expansion.  It is said to enhance wisdom, trust and understanding and act as a talisman against injury.  In many cultures horses have turquoise studded into the bridle to avert danger and accidents.  North American Indians believe that where the turquoise exists happiness and joy will also exist.