Thursday, January 19, 2012

Birthstones by Month, Facts & Meanings

A birthstone is the "gemstone associated with the date of one's birth, the wearing of which is commonly thought to bring good luck or health. Supernatural powers have long been attributed by astrologers to certain gemstones."       
~ from Encyclopedia Britannica

January Birthstone: Garnet
Birthstone Color: Deep Red
* Consistency * Endurance * Creativity * Patience * Perseverance * Good Health *

Burgundy Garnet Wire Wrapped Ring - Size 7
Burgundy Garnet Wire Wrapped Ring by lindab142
Although most commonly known as a red gemstone, the garnet comes in a variety of other hues, including muted yellows, vibrant oranges, rosy pinks, lime greens, and violets.

The word garnet is derived from the Greek word “granatum” which means “pomegranate seed” reflecting the shape and color of the crystals. Garnet continues to be the gem of journeyers. Garnet is thought to be symbolic of love and the desire for a loved one’s safe travel and speedy homecoming.

February Birthstone: Amethyst
Birthstone Color: Purple
* Sincerity * Intuition * Motivation * Security * Peace of Mind * Sobriety *

Sterling Silver Charm Dangle Ring with Amethyst and Rose Quartz
Sterling Silver Ring with Amethyst and Rose Quartz by bluetina
The word Amethyst comes from the Greek word “amethystos,” meaning sober. Amethyst was once considered a talisman to help prevent drunkenness, but it was also a symbol of royalty by Pharoes, Kings and Queens. Amethyst was once considered more valuable than diamonds.

March Birthstone : Aquamarine
Birthstone Color: Pale Blue
* Courage * Creativity * Health * Perception * Hope * Beauty * Honesty * Loyalty * 
* Friendliness * Love * 
Aquamarine Sterling Gemstone Necklace Handmade One of a Kind Calming
Aquamarine Gemstone Necklace by ShadowDogDesigns

Derived from the Roman word “Aqua,” meaning water, and “mare,” meaning sea, this gemstone resembles the color of seawater.

Aquamarine was used by seamen to insure a safe return home.

Bloodstone Earrings by personaloasis

Alternate Birthstone 
An alternate birthstone for March is Bloodstone, a dark green, opaque quartz flecked with red spots. The name Bloodstone derives from legendary belief that the red coloration resulted from the blood of Christ spilling onto green jasper during the crucifixion. For this reason, the stone has also been called “martyr’s stone.” Bloodstone symbolizes courage.

April Birthstone: Diamond
Birthstone Color: Clear
* Innocence * Eternity * Courage * Health * Purity * Invincibility * Good Fortune * Love * Strength * 
Pear shape cut diamond engagement ring 1.00ct
Pear shape cut diamond engagement ring 1.00ct by knrinc

Up until the 14th century, only Kings were allowed to wear Diamonds because they stood for courage, invincibility, and strength. The Diamond is harder than any other substance on earth.

Green Emerald Gemstone Slinky Ring Sterling Silver Adjustable May
Emerald Gemstone Slinky Ring by earthegy
May Birthstone: Emerald
Birthstone Color: Deep Green 
* Love * Success * Happiness * Goodness * Faith * Courage * Foresight * 

Emeralds are thought to be essential to everlasting love, but are also said to change colors in times of infertility. Emeralds have been treasured as a symbol of spring and immortality for over 4,000 years.

June Birthstone: Pearl
Birthstone Color: White 
* Faith * Charity * Innocence * Health * Peace * Tranquility * Longevity * Prosperity 
* Purity * Wholesomeness * 
Freshwater Pearl and Green Glass Earrings with Leaf Charms
Freshwater Pearl Earrings with Leaf Charms by PrettyGonzo

Pearls being organic, lustrous and radiant are full of wonder and life and have always stood for purity.
Cleopatra loved pearls. Only those with royal status once wore pearl jewelry, but eventually these gems were seen among all classes of people. They continue to be viewed as a mark of taste and refinement as well as a symbol of purity, and they are often given to celebrate a marriage or birth of a child. Pearls are nature’s perfect gift, suitable for all ages, and elegantly worn with everything from jeans to an evening gown.

Ice Moon Scarf Necklace
Ice Moon Scarf Necklace by StregaJewellry

Alternate Birthstones 
June has two alternate birthstones.  The first is Moonstone, a type of feldspar named because of its uncanny resemblance to the iridescent sheen of the moon.  Varying in color from clear to blue-white or peach, it was considered by ancient civilizations to be a sacred stone, bestowing the wearer with great spiritual understanding.  Some believed that the Moonstone could even make a person invisible! 

Sterling Silver Crown Natural Crystal Indicolite Tanzanite Alexandrite
The second alternate birthstone for June is the Alexandrite.  A yellowish or brownish green in color, this gemstone has the unique characteristic of changing color to a red hue when exposed to a glowing light source, such as candlelight.  Because of this quality, it has been characterized by poets as "an emerald by day, a ruby by night." Alexandrite is symbolic of joy and good fortune. 

July Birthstone: Ruby
Birthstone Color: Red
Ruby Pendant in 14k white Gold
Ruby Pendant in 14k white Gold by PristineJewelry
* Nobility * Contentment * Love * Enthusiasm * Strength * Success * Devotion * Integrity  * Harmony *

July’s birthstone is among the most highly prized of gems throughout history. The Ruby was considered to have magical powers, and was worn by royalty as a talisman against evil. It was thought to grow darker when peril was imminent, and to return to its original color once danger was past. The Ruby is also thought to bring luck to gamblers.

August Birthstone: Peridot
Birthstone Color: Yellow Green
* Success * Peace * Married Happiness * Luck * Courage * Fame * Dignity * Protection *  Passion * Family Happiness *

Peridot is formed as a result of volcanic activity.

Ancient Egyptians called them the “gem of the sun,” because of their dazzling brilliance when seen in the desert sun. It was believed that the Peridot glowed even as darkness fell.

Peridot was used in powder form as a cure for asthma and fevers.

Orange Sardonyx Pendant and Fire Opal Crystal SS Chain Necklace
Sardonyx and Fire Opal Necklace by talicreations

Alternate Birthstone
An alternate birthstone for August is Sardonyx, a type of translucent or opaque quartz with alternating bands of brownish red and white. The stone was worn as a talisman by the Egyptians to protect against infections and evil. A gift of this stone is considered symbolic of happiness within a relationship.  

September Birthstone: Blue Sapphire
Birthstone Color: Deep Blue
* Clear Thinking * Wisdom * Serenity * Purity * Truth * Faith * Love * Mercy * Victory *   *Foresight *
Blue sapphire sterling silver wedding set inlaid with lapis and opal
Blue Sapphire Wedding Set Inlaid with Lapis & Opal by HilemanSilverJewelry

Sapphires are one of the few Gemstones that are popular in all different shades of the rainbow. You can find them in lovely shades of yellow, green, even orange. The only color Sapphire does not come in is red….the red version of a Sapphire is Ruby!

Ancient civilizations believed that the world was set upon an enormous sapphire, which painted the sky blue with its reflection.
October Birthstone: Opal
Birthstone Color: Multi-colored
* Hope * Purity * Health * Innocence * Happiness * Truth * Friendship * Emotion *

Australian Crystal Opal Pendant Gold Filled Scroll Wire Wrapped Weave
Australian Crystal Opal Pendant by bohowirewrapped    

Opals are soft and very fragile, but offer a great Kaleidoscope of colors.
The wearer of Opals is said to be embodied by the power of foresight and prophecy. Opals are considered a coveted lucky charm, and are believed to bring success, happiness and beauty. Ancient monarchs treasured Opals, for their beauty and for their presumed protective powers. Opals were set into crowns and worn in necklaces to ward off evil and to protect the eyesight. Opals were also ground and ingested for their healing properties and to ward off nightmares.
Alternate Birthstone
Faceted Pink Tourmaline on 14k Gold Fill Necklace - N479
Faceted Pink Tourmaline Necklace by TheSilverBear 
An alternate birthstone for October, Pink Tourmaline has the magical property of taking on a static electric charge when heated, making it capable of attracting lightweight objects. No wonder this gemstone 
was revered for its mystical properties many years ago! Considered the “stone of the muse,” it was believed to stimulate the creative process of the wearer. Colors of Pink Tourmaline range from pastel pink to ruby red. A gift of this stone is symbolic of hope.

November Birthstone: Citrine
Birthstone Color: Yellow Gold
* Courage * Fidelity * Wisdom * Strength Serenity * Providence * Good Luck * Friendship 

Honey Yellow Citrine Gemstone Nugget Drop Sterling Handmade Earrings
Honey Yellow Citrine Earrings by CrystalBazaar

The name Citrine comes from an old French word, “citrin,” meaning lemon. One of the more rare forms of quartz, this gemstone ranges in color from pale yellow to dark amber (Madeira). Citrine, like all forms of quartz, was believed to have magical powers and was worn as a talisman against evil thoughts and snake venom. It is believed that some Citrine may have actually begun as Amethyst, but heat from molten rock changed it to the yellow form of quartz. Citrine is known to change color when heated. 

Alternate Birthstone

VINTAGE Precious Topaz ORANGE faceted GEM 3.03 cts FG68
VINTAGE Precious Topaz by EurekaEureka

The alternate birthstone for November is Yellow Topaz. Its golden color was believed by the Egyptians to be the glow cast by a sun god. Yellow Topaz ranges in color from a peachy blush to a deep cognac. A gift of this gemstone is said to symbolize friendship, and to strengthen the capacity to give and receive love. 

December Birthstone: Blue Topaz
Birthstone Color: Blue
* Success * Love * Luck * Fortune * Happiness * Prosperity * Piety * Courage * Harmony * Contentment *
Silver Topaz Ring -Swiss Blue Topaz 10mm Cabochon Sterling - Size 7
Blue Topaz Ring by SavvySilver

As cool and inviting as a blue lake on a blistering summer day, December's birthstone is derived from the Sanskrit word "tapas," meaning fire.  This is because Blue Topaz was considered by ancient civilizations to have cooling properties.  Not only was it believed to cool boiling water when thrown into the pot, but to calm hot tempers as well! This gemstone was believed to cure insanity, asthma, weak vision and insomnia.  The Blue Topaz was even thought to have magical properties in its ability to make its wearer invisible in a threatening situation.

Rustic Southwest Nevada Turquoise Beaded Necklace, Santa Fe
Rustic Southwest Nevada Turquoise Necklace by epicetera

Alternate Birthstone
An alternate birthstone for December is Turquoise, one of the first gems to be used in jewelry. Turquoise was considered to be a sacred stone, protective against all types of evil and ill health. A gift of Turquoise represents friendship and luck.

** The items featured in this article are from the talented artisans of ArtFire. Please visit their shops by clicking the links below their photos. **


  1. Wow! Can't imagine how long it took you to research, write and link all of this, Pam! What a fascinating read. Like it that you also provided some of the alternate stones. Thanks for using my aquamarine necklace for March! Will share this wherever I can!

    1. Thank you, Catherine!!!! It was "in the works" for several days, but I wanted to compose a list with all of the birthstones. I learn so much when I'm researching stones, so the posts are (hopefully) beneficial to everyone :)

  2. This is a great article, Pam. Well written, great photos. I'm honored that you chose to include my Pink Tourmaline necklace - many thanks.

    1. Thank you, SilverBear!!! I love Pink Tourmaline, very nice!

  3. That's a lot of information, Pam! I learned some things I didn't know today. Thanks for using my amethyst and rose quartz ring as an example!

    1. I love the color combination in your ring, bluetina! I learn things as I research for the articles :)

  4. This is a wealth of information for people that follow birthstones, and many don't realize that there are alternatives to the standard birthstones that most of us know about. You found some beautiful examples, and I'm proud to see my emerald slinky ring included among them!

    1. Thank you, earthegy, I LOVE that ring! It seems simple, yet makes such a statement :)

  5. A terrific post on birthstones - thanks for featuring my garnet ring. The other choices are exquisite. I'm a new follower.

    1. Thanks, Linda B!! Glad to have you aboard :)

  6. Very very informative with a LOT of information for sure! Thanks so much for including our vintage faceted precious Topaz in this posting~❤

    1. Ohhhhhhh, I am totally in love with that vintage Topaz :)

  7. What a wonderful wealth of info! So much fun to read, and such gorgeous "illustrations." :) Very honored to be included here. Thank you so much!

    1. The pleasure is mine, PrettyGonzo....I love seeing the work of others. So much creativity!

  8. Well done. Great selections and info. Thanks for including my bloodstone earrings and peridot bracelet.

  9. Wow! Very well put together information on birthstones. I am honored that you chose my blue sapphire wedding set to represent September. You have earned another new follower.


    1. Thank you, Mark! I'm such a fan of your rings, they are gorgeous!! Glad to have you following :)