Did you know each month has its own precious gemstone? Celebrating a birthday with a gemstone adds an extra layer of meaning and a special touch to your gift. The idea of birthstones date back to ancient times and have since been refined to create a more modern, jewellery friendly list.
Here are the most common modern birthstones for each month:
March: Aquamarine or Bloodstone
June: Pearl, Alexandrite or Moonstone
August: Peridot or Spinel
October: Opal or Tourmaline
November: Topaz or Citrine
December: Tanzanite, Turquoise or Zircon
The birthstone for January is Garnet. Commonly known for its rich, dark red colouring (Pyrope), the Garnet is one of the most diversely coloured gemstones and can be found in green (Tsavorite Garnet), purple, yellow and orange. Garnets were popular among the Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt and who set them into signet rings used to seal important documents with wax. Whether you go for classic red or an exotic colour the Garnet is the perfect choice for a special piece of jewellery.
The colour purple has been associated with wealth for hundreds of years, with Amethyst being coveted by royalty the world over. February's birthstone Amethyst has a rich purple colouring that makes for stunning rings, earrings and pendants. Spiritually Amethyst is said to enhance creativity, harmony and passion making it the perfect gift for a loved one on their birthday, or to celebrate an important milestone.
March: Aquamarine or Bloodstone
Aquamarine gets its name from the latin for “seawater”, and is reminiscent of the light blueish green colour of clear ocean water. Aquamarine is traditionally known as a stone of courage and was popular in Ancient Rome where it was often turned into amulets and given to sailors to ward off the dangers faced at sea. It is also said to bring happiness to married couples, making it a perfect choice for a March bride or groom. An alternative option for March is the Bloodstone. It has a deep green/blue colouring with red speckles throughout.
Those born in April are lucky enough to have one of the most sought after precious stones, the diamond as their birthstone. For thousands of years the diamond has been coveted the world over as a symbol of strength, success and clarity. The first recorded diamonds came from India who were the only known source of diamonds for over 2500 years prior to their discovery in Brazil in the early 1700’s. Diamonds really are forever, and a quality stone remains the pinnacle of elegance and luxury to this day.
The birthstone for May is one of the most well known but rarest gemstones, the bright vivid green Emerald. For hundreds of years Emeralds were said to help reduce stress and to also cure poor eyesight and scientists have since discovered the colour green does infact help to relieve eye strain. The dazzling beauty of Emeralds and their deep green making for happy and calming jewellery worthy of every jewellery collection.
June: Pearls, Alexandrite or Moonstone
People born in the month of June actually have three birthstone choices, each with its own unique look. Firstly the pearl, with its natural beauty and elegance has long been a popular choice for jewellery the world over. Freshwater and Saltwater Pearls can be found naturally, and are also cultivated for jewellery by farmers in a large selection of colours, sizes and shapes. The most sought after Alexandrite gems change from a vivid green under daylight to a dark red under incandescent light, adding an extra wow factor to a already beautiful stone. The last choice for the month of June is the Moonstone. Moonstone was a popular choice during the Art Nouveau period and is famous for its adularescence, which gives it a bright blue hue that seems to dance across the stone.
The colour of love and passion, the beauty of a deep red ruby is hard to surpass. The story of the Ruby can be traced back to Mynamar (formerly Burma) which has been known as the source of some of the worlds finest and most expensive Rubies. Burmese warriors wore them when heading into battle as they believed they would make them invincible. Rubies naturally have a small amount of purple tones throughout which adds to the richness, but many rubies are heat treated to remove the purple and create a pure red stone.
August is another month with two birthstone choices, Peridot & Spinel. Peridot stones are often a mix of green and yellow and have in the past been mistaken for Emeralds. Peridot has been found in hardened lava and also on meteorites that have fallen from outer space. Peridot is an affordable stone with bright colours that make it a great gift. Spinel can be in many colours such as blue, purple and most famously red. The red stone set in Great Britain's Imperial State Crown was long thought to be a ruby, is actually a red Spinel.
People born in September are lucky to have the Sapphire for their birthstone. Precious blue sapphires have long been one of the most popular gemstones but Sapphires can actually be found in a range of colours like yellow, orange and pink. One of the most famous sapphire rings is the engagement ring given to Princess Diana by Prince Charles and since given by their son William to Kate Middleton. When searching for a special piece of jewellery a quality Sapphire is always a popular choice.
October: Opal & Tourmaline
Opals and Tourmaline are both birthstones for the month of October. The beauty of the Opal is in all the varied colours that canradiate from a single stone. Pinks, greens, blues can all be found intertwined throughout an Opal. Australia has some of the largest deposits of Opal in the world and is home to the famous black Opal as well as being the only source of Boulder Opal in the world. Tourmaline is known for its range of colours including a mix of colours in the same stone such as the "Watermelon Tourmaline" which blends green and pink. Pink is one of the most popular shades of Tourmaline, but this stone can be found in many different hues.
November: Topaz & Citrine
For people born in November you can choose between Topaz or Citrine. Topaz was popular during the Victorian period and has been used in jewellery and artifacts dating back to ancient Egypt and Rome. Topaz can be found in a vast range of colours but is most commonly colourless. Topaz is often treated to create an elegant light blue stone. Citrine's have a golden yellow/orange colour and a lovely transperancy that makes for striking jewellery. Despite their beauty they are typically a fairly inexpensive stone compared to some of the others on this list due to how commonly they are found.
Last but not least we have the birthstones for December; Turquoise, Tanzanite and Zircon. Turquoise is an opaque blue stone that is thought to bring good health and fortune to the wearer. It was found adorning Tutankhamen's mask and was also used by Aztec rulers to decorate artifacts. It's raw and natural look gives it a earthy vibe. Tanzanite is named after Tanzania the country in which is was found and is a fairly new addition to the birthstone list. Interestingly it appears to change colours when looked at from different angles. Zircon can be found in an array of colours and the colourless variety can look remarkably like a diamond.