Birthstones

There is something of a parallel between your birthstone and your sign of the zodiac, and your particular stone can have a lot to say about you. The month in which your birthday falls can affect your outlook, your personality traits, and indeed your individuality.

All twelve months are represented by different beautiful birthstones. Each one has its own meaning and connotations, as well as its historical uniqueness.

The ideas surrounding birthstones and the many pieces of jewellery that have been made from them have been a source of wonderment for people through the ages. Their history dates back to early civilisations when people connected the stones to good health and good fortune. Originally, they were related to the twelve astrological signs based on a specific colour system but later became connected to the twelve Gregorian calendar months.

In past times it was considered lucky to wear a specific birthstone during its associated month to protect the wearer from bad luck and bring about healing, therapeutic powers. Many myths and legends grew up around them, and the wealthy owned all twelve, allowing them to have full protection throughout the year. 

In modern times birthstones are often presented to loved ones to celebrate birthdays and other special events. The fact that each of the twelve stones has its own meaning and associations ensure that they are a thoughtful, individualised and very welcome gift that can be valued and cherished for many years.

Please read on to discover more about each month's birthstone and its relevance for the wearer:

January – Garnet 

Along with being the birthstone of those who were born in January, Garnet is also the gemstone that celebrates the 2nd wedding anniversary and is said to balance and re-energise its wearer's mind, body, and soul.

This gemstone is most commonly found in a rich and fiery shade of red but can also appear in a wide variety of other equally mesmerising colours. The name Garnet derives from the Latin word "granatus" meaning "like a grain," due to its resemblance to a pomegranate seed.

Garnet jewellery has been around since ancient times. Protectors of travellers, Garnets were considered a prized possession by the Egyptian royalty and exchanged as gifts as a token of trust and appreciation between business partners and friends during the Middle Ages. 

Channelling positive energies related to personal achievements, this birthstone is also viewed as a symbol of sincerity, devotion, and loyalty to family, friends, and to oneself.

February – Amethyst

Amethyst is the birthstone of February, and it is associated with creativity and the belief that we are all imaginative and that this stone will help reawaken such talents.

Amethyst is a stunning purple because of the small amounts of iron that exist in the quartz of the stone. Indeed, when it is exposed to high levels of heat, it will turn yellow. The shade of the purple colour can vary from deep to pale lilac.

Amethyst, as well as being beautiful, is truly a stone for the mind. It is said to help you to clear your thoughts, to aspire to wisdom, and even help to cleanse yourself of addictions. Indeed, the Ancient Greeks believed the wearer would be protected from drunkenness! The name, in fact, is straight from the Greek "amethystos," which means "not drunken."

The lustrous purple of Amethyst is the colour of nobility and is often worn by royalty. It is said to have been a favourite of both St. Valentine and Leonardo da Vinci.

The wearers of this lovely stone are often blessed with peace, stability, and courage.

March – Aquamarine 

Aquamarine is the birthstone of those who were born in March. It is a stunning blue, reminiscent of the sea and varying in shade from the pale to the deep. It is a member of the beryl family and is closely related to the Emerald. Aquamarine symbolises youth, vigour, and health. It is the perfect stone to accompany the new beginnings which are associated with spring.

The name of the stone comes from the Latin word meaning "water of the sea," and the stone has traditionally been associated with the sea through the ages. Sometimes called "the sailor's gem" it has been used as a talisman to ensure safe passage for journeys – particularly those across the ocean.

Aquamarine is said to have healing powers, and it is also associated with love. Those with aquamarine as their birthstone are said to be friendly, courageous, and faithful - especially prising family time. They also have a serenity and calmness, not unlike the mythical mermaids who claimed it as their favourite.

April - Diamond

Those born in April have the Diamond as their traditional birthstone. Often considered the most desirable of precious stones, these beautiful gems have been coveted since ancient times. Diamonds are the hardest substance on earth, with a Mohs ranking of 10, and their famous clear and sparkling lustre has been symbolic of love for many centuries. Diamonds are mostly colourless (white diamonds) but can also be found in shades of yellow, pink, and blue.

The word "diamond" comes from the Greek "adamas" meaning "unconquerable," they are the classic symbol of enduring love and promise and are the choice of many for engagement rings.

Those who have the Diamond as their birthstone tend to be romantic, courageous, and well-balanced. Diamonds have a long history of story and myth, and it was once believed that they were formed when lightning bolts struck rocks on the earth. The wearer of a diamond will have peace and be protected from negative energy. The birthstone is also associated with longevity, strength, and power.

May – Emerald 

The birthstone for those born in the month of May is the Emerald. The brilliant green colour of this highly coveted stone is a reflection of spring, and it suggests good luck, success, and rebirth. It is especially valued in Ireland's verdant and fertile land, which is often referred to as "the Emerald Isle."

Historically, people wore emeralds for their healing powers, and there are many associations with love, wisdom, health, and fertility.

Emeralds get their vivid colour from chromium and vanadium, and they are members of the beryl family. The word "emerald" comes from the Greek word 'smaragdus' which simply means "green."

There are many historical and prestigious associations with emeralds. They were considered holy by the Aztecs, highly favoured by Cleopatra and often the stone of choice for royalty. Emeralds are amongst the oldest and most favoured precious stones known to man. In many cultures, they were traditionally used as protection against evil.

People who have emeralds as their birthstone are considered to be highly intelligent as well as witty. The stones are also said to promote wisdom, patience, and domestic happiness.

June - Pearl 

People born in the month of June have the Pearl as their birthstone. Uniquely amongst the monthly birthstones, pearls are not found on or below the surface of the earth. Instead, they are formed, rarely, within the body of an oyster as it coats an irritant piece of sand with a substance called "nacre." Humans have developed a way of inserting an irritant into an oyster's body manually. This results in the formation of "cultured" pearls, which are less valuable than natural pearls.

Natural pearls are usually white or cream, but they can come in other colours such as pink and even black. They are quite delicate and can be easily damaged.

The word comes from the Old French "perle" meaning leg - it is thought to be named from the leg of the mutton shape of oysters. The Ancient Greeks thought them a goddess's tears of joy, and an old Chinese legend regarded the moon as the creative force behind their celestial mystery and glow.

Pearls are associated with modesty and purity. Those with the Pearl as their gemstone are considered to be nurturers with light-hearted and attractive personalities.

July - Ruby 

The birthstone for the month of July is the Ruby. Most rubies are a stunning deep blood red, but they can come in lighter shades and even pink. They are the second hardest of all the gemstones and were called "The King of Gems" by the ancient Hindus, who believed that the glowing fire of the stone could melt wax and boil water.

The word comes from the Latin "ruber," which means red. Rubies have a long association with aristocracy, and large stones are extremely rare, making them very prized possessions of royal collections of precious stones. 

Rubies are made of corundum, a very hard substance, and are in fact, a red sapphire. They are believed to balance love and spirituality and to give their wearers protection against evil forces.

Those who have Ruby as their birthstone are said to be outgoing, charismatic, powerful, charming, and passionate.

August – Peridot 

Peridot is the birthstone for the month of August. Peridot is unique amongst the earth stones in that it is formed in volcanic fire. The colour is varying shades of lime green, depending upon its origin. Sometimes it has a tinge of gold.

Although less common than the other birthstones, it is no less ancient and is steeped in myth and legend. Peridot has been found in Egyptian jewellery from as early as the 2nd millennium BCE, and Hawaiian mythology tells that these stones were the tears of the fire goddess.

People with Peridot as their birthstone are strong, powerful, and influential. They are likely to be wealthy, fertile, and physically able. The name is believed to come from the Arabic "faridat", meaning "gem." Some people believe that the stones have otherworldly powers, and when given as a gift, it is said that the receiver will be protected from nightmares and be able to overcome depression, anger, and anxiety.

September – Sapphire 

The birthstone for the month of September is the Sapphire. The stones are usually of a striking blue but can also be found in shades of pink, yellow and green. Like Rubies, Sapphires are made of corundum, and they are almost as hard and as valuable as diamonds.

The word "sapphire" comes from the Latin word "sapphius" meaning "blue stone." The Sapphire is an ancient and spiritual stone. Buddhists believed it helped to bring enlightenment, and it was also used during Hindu ceremonies. The Greeks wore the stones for guidance, and in the Middle Ages, Sapphires were believed to protect those close to you from harm. It represents purity, loyalty, and trust.

Those born in September are dignified, honest, and strong without being over-emotional. Sapphires are classic and elegant stones with long connections to royalty. For many, the stone is a symbol of wisdom and is a source of inspiration and creativity - hence promoting contentment and inner calmness.

October – Opal 

The birthstone for October is the multi-coloured Opal. This valuable stone is famed for its luminescent colours, and indeed no two opals are alike. As you turn the Opal the colours play and shift - a phenomenon caused by millions of tiny silica spheres which diffract light to form the colours of a spectrum. Opals can be dark or light, fiery, or subdued.

The Opal has a long and varied history. The Ancient Greeks believed the stone held the power of prophecy. The Romans considered it the most powerful of gems because of its kaleidoscopic qualities, and there are even myths that connected the stone with the powers of invisibility! In many cultures, opals have been linked with healing powers.

The word "opal" is of Greek origin and means "to see a change of colour." The Opal is a symbol of faith, hope, and loyalty. Those who were born in October and have it as their birthstone are said to be compassionate and kind-hearted, with a natural optimism. Opals are also thought to inspire creativity and spontaneity - October children are often artistic.

November – Citrine 

The birthstone for November is the Citrine. A Citrine stone, like an amethyst, is a variety of quartz. It is usually golden yellow in colour but can come in other hues. It is relatively plentiful and thus one of the more affordable of the birthstones - often coming in bold shapes and sizes.

The name "citrine" derives from the Latin "citrina", meaning "yellow", which also gives us the French "citron" – "lemon." It has a long history and was once thought to protect against snake venom and as a catalyst to ward off evil words and thoughts.

The warm colour of Citrine is said to be a gift from the sun, and the stone is purported to have healing properties – especially against kidney, urinary, and digestive ailments. Citrine is often associated with business as it attracts wealth and good fortune.

Children of November are warm and cheerful, and they look on the bright side of life. When Citrine is worn, it will help the wearer to be light-hearted and hopeful and to eliminate self-doubt. After all, yellow is associated with effervescence and optimism!

December – Tanzanite 

The birthstone for December is Tanzanite. Unlike the other eleven birthstones, this member of the zoisite mineral family has no history associated with ancient civilisations, as it was only discovered as recently as 1967!

Tanzanite comes in different tones of blue – often also displaying shades of purple. In fact, the uniqueness of this desirable stone is portrayed when it is viewed from different angles as it can display a whole range of blues and violets, and it appears to change colour.

Tanzanite is beautiful and extremely rare. It is found only in one part of the world, the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania – hence its name.

Tanzanite represents good judgment and longevity. Those people who were born in December and have tanzanite as their birthstone are said to be insightful and sensitive, and they show compassion and empathy.

This unique stone is highly valued and treasured, and noted for its striking beauty.

Are you ready to shop for Birthstone Jewellery?

As you will have discovered, each month's birthstone is a different beautiful gem, unique in its own right with its own history and associations. Each stone says something positive about the person who owns it. The stones are immensely attractive, both in their own right and when sensitively incorporated into a piece of jewellery. 

Everyone wants to feel special and treasuring and cherishing your own birthstone related to your own month of birth makes a special occasion even more so.

In this way, birthstone jewellery provides an outstanding and thoughtful gift to commemorate significant events - such as milestone birthdays and anniversaries or the birth of a new child. It is a personalised gift, individual to the owner, which will often have significant and emotional connotations for years to come. 

Birthstone jewellery is, without a doubt, a favourite for many reasons. Not only is it stunningly beautiful, but it is also meaningful, and it projects an aura of positivity, well-being, and happiness.

If you are interested in birthstone jewellery either as a gift for a loved one or for yourself, please contact us to discover the wide variety of choices available to suit all tastes and budgets.

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