What’s Your Birthstone?
What is a birthstone? What do birthstones mean? Where do birthstones come from? What birthstone is yours? Discover your own birthstone and find out a little bit more about the gemstone that represents your birth month with our quick introduction to birthstones…
- January – Garnet
- February – Amethyst
- March – Aquamarine
- April – Diamond
- May – Emerald
- June – Pearl
- July – Ruby
- August – Peridot
- September – Sapphire
- October – Opal
- November – Citrine
- December – Tanzanite
Birthstones are a dazzling way to represent your birth month with a fashionable piece of jewellery. Many experts suggest that Birthstones date all the way back to the bible when Moses gave instructions for a special garment to be made for Aaron, the high priest of the Hebrews. 12 precious gemstones were said to have been ordered to be placed on the breast plate of the garment.
Some cultures believe that these gemstones have special powers and healing abilities which have led to many interesting myths and legends being associated with each birthstone over the years.
The gemstones that represent each month can cause quite a debate depending on who you ask. However, since the beginning of the 20th century birthstones have been pretty much agreed upon by the majority of jewellers. The National Association of Jewellers released a list of the modern birthstones back in 1912 and even since then, new additions have been added over the years.
Read on to discover more about the different birthstones of each month and what makes them special…
Garnets are not just one gemstone. The name Garnet actually relates to a group of silicate minerals which have many different varieties. Almandine, andradite, grossular, pyrope, spessartine and uvarotite are the different varieties of garnet. All of these varieties have similar crystal forms and physical properties, but have different chemical compositions.
Garnets are mostly associated with the colour red but they can also come in a wide range of different colours from green to orange and more. It’s name is derived from the Latin word granatus which basically translates to “seed like”.
Amethyst is a purple variety of quartz which is massively popular with jewellery lovers around the world. Its name is said to originate from Ancient Greece and the word “Amethystos” which means not toxicated. This is because amethyst was said to be an antidote to drunkeness and many wine goblets were actually crafted from Amethyst.
Amethyst features a trigonal crystal system and can be found in shades of lighter purple, violet and dark purple. It’s easy to see why Amethyst is one of the most popular gemstones around!
Aquamarine is a variety of beryl which can be coloured from a pale blue to a bluey green colour. Known by many as the gem of the sea, Aquamarine was used by Old sailors who believed that this gemstone would protect them from seasickness, stormy conditions and shipwreck. Its name comes from the Latin phrase aqua mare which in English translated to “sea water”.
Aquamarines are formed with a hexagonal crystal system and generally have a hardness between 7.5 to 8 on the MOHS scale.
I’m sure you all know about Diamonds! Arguably the most popular precious stone used in jewellery, the Diamond is formed from pure carbon that has been put under high pressure underground for a sustained amount of time. Many Diamonds are actually over 1 billion years old!
Diamonds are the hardest natural substance on earth with a hardness of 10 on the MOHS scale. They are symbolic of strength and love which leads them to be often associated with engagement rings.
Emerald is a green variety of the mineral beryl which was said to have been first mined in Egypt in around 1500bc. Emeralds have a hexagonal crystal system and a hardness of 7.5 – 8 on the MOHS scale, however they are known to be susceptible to cracks and chips when being crafted for jewellery. These are often treated with oils like cedar oil or for lower quality stones, epoxy resin can also be used.
Emeralds are often associated with love and purity and in some parts of the world they are known as the stone of prosperity.
Pearls are the only gemstone that comes from a living creature and are one of the rarest gemstones in existence. They are formed in the soft tissue of molluscs and are made up of calcium carbonate and have a hardness of 2.5 to 4 on the MOHS scale making them a very delicate gemstone. Pearls are said to represent purity and wisdom and are one of the most popular gemstones in the world.
Alexandrite & Moonstone
June also has two other modern birthstones in Alexandrite and Moonstone. Alexandrite is an extremely rare gemstone that is known for its ability to change colours in different lights, ranging from green, pink, red and purple among others. Moonstone is a blue-white gemstone that is a variety of orthoclase which is known for its moonlight-like appearance.
Rubies are a bright red variety of the mineral corundum which has a hexagonal crystal system. They are one of the most durable gemstones around with a hardness of 9 on the MOHS scale.
Spiritually, rubies are said to represent passion, excitement and positivity. It is also believed that rubies give the wearer a high energy boost.
Peridot is a gem quality variety of olivine which is found in shades of green. It is in fact one of the only gemstones that only comes in one colour. They feature an orthorhombic crystal system and have a hardness of between 6.5 and 7 on the MOHS scale.
Spiritually the Peridot gemstone is said to bring peace to its owner and it has been known as the stone of compassion. It is said that Peridot was mined all the way back in 1500bc and was called gems of the sun by the ancient Egyptians.
Sapphire is a variety of corundum which gets its name from the Latin word saphrius which means blue, though they can actually be found in almost any colour except for red. Sapphires have a trigonal crystal system and are the 3rd most durable mineral with a hardness of 9 on the MOHS scale.
Sapphires are often associated with royalty and are widely known as the stone of wisdom. They are also thought to bring blessings to their owner.
Opals are one of the most beautiful and unique gemstones you can find. They are a hydrated amorphous form of silica. In essence it is a normal stone with a high water content that comes in an array of different colours. Opals can hold anything up to 20% water but most opals used in jewellery have a content of just 3-10% water. Due to the water content opals have a hardness of 5.5 – 6.5 on the MOHS scale which makes them more delicate than other stones used in jewellery.
Pink Tourmaline is an alternative birthstone for October. It is found in granite and has a trigonal crystal system with a hardness of 7-7.5 on the MOHS scale. Pink Tourmaline is said to have healing powers both physically and mentally.
Citrine is an eye catching variety of quartz that is found in colours ranging from yellow, orange and brown and has a hexagonal crystal system. It’s name comes from the Latin word citrina which is translated as yellow in English. Citrine has a hardness of 7 on the MOHS scale.
Spiritually it is said that Citrine will bring prosperity and a greater intuition to its owner. It is also said to bring joy and a higher energy to its wearer.
Tanzanite is a variety of zoisite which can be found in blue to violet. This stunning gemstone can only be mined in Tanzania making this gemstone one of, if not the rarest gemstone on planet earth. It features an orthorhombic crystal system and has a hardness of 6-6.5 on the MOHS scale.
Tanzanite is believed to be a stone of self awakening and transformation and has been the birthstone of December since 2002 when the American Gem Trade Association upgraded the birthstone list.
Turquoise is the gemstone that was replaced by Tanzanite in 2002. Turquoise is a blue to green coloured stone which has a triclinic crystal system and a hardness of 5-6 on the MOHS scale.
As a gift, birthstones are growing in popularity and its not hard to see why. The beautiful selection of Birthstones is breathtaking on top of being a gift that is personal & means something deeper about you.
So, now that you know which gemstone is the birthstone of your birth month, let us know in the comments which stunning gem represents your birth month?