connection between gemstones and the months of the year has been
traced back as far as the first century, evolving interpretations
have prompted the association of multiple birthstones with each month
of the year. Jewelry incorporating a persons birthstone is a
highly personalized and cherished gift. Here we examine the
birthstone associated with each month of the year based on commonly
accepted modern birthstone interpretations:
recognized for their rich reddish brown color, Garnets actually span
a range of colors including orange, violet, green and yellow. It is
perhaps due to the deep red color common to this coveted gem that it
was long associated with healing powers for blood related ailments.
Februarys birthstone, Amethyst, gets its name from the Greek
term amethystos, which means not drunk. Historically
associated with sobriety, the amethyst is a type of quartz occurring
naturally in rocks and appearing in various shades of purple.
Marchs birthstone, the Aquamarine, has been associated with
courage and happiness. With hues ranging from pastel blue to teal to
deep blue, it is apparent why the Aquamarines name is derived
from the Latin terms meaning sea and water.
The bloodstone is another commonly accepted birthstone for March.
boasts possibly the most desirable birthstone, the diamond.
Highly regarded worldwide for its unmatched beauty, strength and
historical significance, Aprils birthstone is also given as a
symbol of love and impending marriage today.
green characterizes Mays birthstone, the emerald. Emeralds
comprise the green variety of the mineral beryl, while Marchs
birthstone Aquamarine is beryls blue variety. Emeralds
have historically been associated with good luck and long life and
have been thought to aid in eye health.
modern June birthstone is the pearl. Pearls
are the only birthstones that are created by a living organism, the
oyster. An oyster will secrete nacre, an iridescent, lustrous
substance, onto a foreign object as a natural defense mechanism, a
process that can eventually form a pearl. Today, most pearls are
cultured pearls, or pearls that are created after humans introduce
irritants to prompt oysters to secrete nacre in a controlled environment.
Julys birthstone, the Ruby,
is associated with a deep red, the natural Ruby can range from pink
to brown. The Ruby was in ancient times considered to possess magical
powers and was believed to change colors to warn its owner of danger.
Rubys vibrant color, hardness second only to diamonds and
rarity make it one of the most valuable gemstones.
Peridot, the modern August birthstone, ranges in color from light yellow-green
to bright green to olive green, depending on its iron content. The
Peridot is an extremely old gem, though it has seen fluctuations in
popularity over time. A mid 90s discovery of a massive Peridot
deposit prompted a modern day surge in Peridot availability and popularity.
Septembers birthstone, the sapphire,
can span many colors but is most well-known for its rich blue variety.
birthstone of October is the Opal, a highly regarded stone emitting a
rainbow of colors. The Opal is admired for its iridescence and,
unlike other gemstones, is not characterized by a crystalline structure.
modern birthstone of November is Topaz. Topaz, occurring in a variety
of colors but most commonly yellow, has been incorporated into
striking jewelry for hundreds of years. Derived from a Sanskrit term
meaning fire, the term Topaz was at one time used to
describe any yellow gem.
may be the most commonly accepted birthstone for December today,
though blue topaz and tanzanite are also associated with the month of
December. Like many stones, turquoise has historically been linked to
desirable virtues. This non-transparent stone has been said to
promote mental clarity as well as trust and kindness.
Author: Ian Maher