Birthstones allow you to connect your birth month with a rare and unique gemstone. As many of the stones have vivid colours, they look beautiful in jewellery and trinkets alike, making the perfect gift for a friend, spouse, or family member. Beauty aside, each stone has unique qualities that are associated with lithotherapy and crystal healing. In this article, we explore each birthstone in more detail.
The idea of a birthstone is a relatively modern concept. However, its origin dates back to biblical times. It’s now believed that the 12 gemstones of the breastplate of Aaron related to the twelve tribes of Israel. However, 1st and 5th centuries CE, St. Jerome and Josephus, began linking these stones with signs of the zodiac. It was believed that each gem offered its wearer special powers during the corresponding astrological period. Because of this, people tried to collect and wear all twelve stones during the year for protection and therapeutic benefits. Today, the twelve gemstones are known as birthstones.
The birthstone for January is Garnet. These dark red gemstones have long been associated with royalty. In the past, they were often used as a setting for signet rings worn by the wealthy. In terms of special qualities, Garnets are believed to keep you safe during travel and life. They also represent lifelong friendship, trust and are good at generating passion. As Garnet is durable, it makes an excellent stone for jewellery that’s worn daily.
The birthstone for February is Amethyst. This purple stone is believed to strengthen relationships and provide its wearer with courage. At one time, only royalty was permitted to wear the gem. Ancient Greeks believed that Amethyst protected against intoxication. The name Amethyst comes from the Greek word Amethystos, which means “sober”. Amethysts are found in a variety of violet colours, from pale lavender to deep purple. Typically, darker stones hold the highest value. However, your choice of Amethyst should ultimately depend on your colour preference. Overall, the stone is durable with no cleavage, making it perfect for everyday wear.
The birthstone for March is Aquamarine. The vivid blue stone was thought to cure diseases of the liver, heart and stomach. To reap the benefits of the stone, all one had to do was drink the water in which the Aquamarine had been soaking. Early sailors carried the stone for its protective benefits against ocean dangers, likening it to Neptune, the God of the sea.
The birthstone for April is Diamond. As well as being the symbol of eternal love, Diamond was once thought to bring courage. In Sanskrit, Diamond is called vajra, which translates to lightning; in Hindu mythology, vajra was the weapon of the king of Gods, Indra. Today, Diamond is often used for wedding and engagement rings and symbolises love and marriage. As the hardest known material, Diamond is ideal for any type of jewellery.
The birthstone for May is Emerald. One of Cleopatra’s favourite gems, Emerald is associated with fertility, beauty, and love – so much so that the Ancient Romans dedicated the stone Venus, the goddess of love and beauty. Today, the gem is thought to signify growth, wisdom, and patience.
If you were born in June, you have several stones to choose from! Modern birthstones include moonstone, pearl, and alexandrite. One of the most popular birthstones is Pearl, which was once believed to be Aphrodite’s tears of joy. Moonstone is a sacred stone in India, while Alexandrite is associated with love, luck and good fortune.
The birthstone for July is Ruby. At one time, the Hindus used this stone as protection against the evil eye, believing it capable of warding off disasters. Today, Ruby is associated with passion, love and a zest for life. It’s still believed to encourage joy and spontaneity and instil confidence.
The birthstone for August is Peridot. Sometimes referred to as the “evening emerald”, Peridot is light green and symbolises strength. At one time, it was believed that Peridot crystals found in volcanic ash were the tears of Pele, the volcano goddess. When set in gold, the gemstone was thought to protect its wearer from nightmares.
The birthstone for September is Sapphire. Once thought to guard against poisoning and evil, the vivid blue stone was popular amongst kings and priests. It was said that a poisonous snake would die if placed in a container made of Sapphire. As most Sapphire is durable, it’s a great gemstone for everyday jewellery. Typically, vivid blue stones hold the highest value. However, Sapphires can be found in several unique colours such as pink, orange, purple, green, yellow, and even colourless.
The birthstone for October is Opal or Tourmaline. Opal has long been associated with confidence and faithfulness, making it popular for eternity rings and anniversary gifts. As Tourmaline comes in several different colours, the Egyptians believed that it had passed through a rainbow on its way up from the core of the Earth.
The birthstone for November is Citrine. Because of its warm orange colour, the stone is believed to harbour heat and sunshine. The preferred stone of many healers, it’s thought to promote creativity, kick start purification, bring luck and prosperity and eliminate self-destructive tendencies.
The birthstone for December is Turquoise. Associated with love and friendship, the gem is thought to relax the mind and guard its wearer against harm. It’s also seen as a symbol of success and good fortune, making it a popular gift for school and university leavers.
If you’re searching for the perfect gift, birthstone jewellery may be a great option. Not only is birthstone jewellery beautiful, but it’s also a sentimental gift that can be treasured for years to come.