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What is Your Birthstone: The Ultimate Guide to Birthstones

March 2021 | Mariam Norman

Looking for exquisite pieces such as custom birthstone rings? While diamonds make a classic, timeless choice, many other beautiful gemstones deserve a spot in your collection.

In this guide, let’s talk about the 12 birthstones, what they mean, and where you can find the perfect family birthstone jewelry.

What is a Birthstone?

What is my birthstone? What do birthstones mean? You probably asked these questions a hundred times.

A birthstone is a particular gem that is associated with a birth month. Each has special properties, unique meaning, and significance.

Many cultures believe in birthstones. These exquisite gems are thought to bring healing and good luck. In many parts of the world, birthstones are worn as symbols of wellness and good fortune. They are used for personalized mothers’ rings, necklaces, and other pieces.

Birthstones as gifts are a cherished tradition in the modern world. While they are often given as presents for birthdays and anniversaries, these stones are also great for any occasion.

The Origins of Birthstones

The Origins of Birthstones

The history of birthstones can be traced back to the Breastplate of Aaron, which was described in the Book of Exodus in the Bible (written down in stages around 600 and 400BC). The stones represented the 12 tribes of Israel. Also known as the Priestly Breastplate, it was used by Aaron to communicate with God.

The tradition of assigning the stones with a birth moth began in the 18th century in Poland. In 1912, the National Association of Jewelers formalized the “modern birthstones”, which is what we follow these days.

Modern vs Traditional Birthstones

Traditional birthstones are gems associated with each month during the early 1900s. In the 1950s the Jewelers of America released a new list of birthstones.

 Month

Modern

Traditional

January Garnet Garnet
February Amethyst Amethyst
March Aquamarine Bloodstone
April Diamond Diamond
May Emerald Emerald
June Cultured Pearl, Moonstone & Alexandrite Pearl
July Ruby Ruby
August Peridot Sardonyx
September Sapphire Sapphire
October Opal, Tourmaline Opal
November Golden Topaz or Citrine Topaz
December Turquoise, Blue Zircon, Tanzanite Turquoise or Lapis

 

The major difference between traditional and modern birthstones is that the latter feature transparent stones. It was presumably made this way so jewelers can easily create personalized mother’s rings that are more modern and versatile in style.

Up to this date, the Jewelers of America continue to update the list of “modern” birthstones. For example, there are specific gemstones that correspond to a specific day of the week.

What is My Birthstone?

Your birthstone is the gem associated with your birth month. Since our present calendar month system was not known during the time of Exodus, it was not until the 1900s that the gemstones were assigned to certain months. Excited to know what your birthstone is? Here we go:

January - Garnet

garnet

“Gem of Light & Guidance”

Garnet resembles the shape and color of a pomegranate seed. It’s one of the oldest gemstones in history. This gem is only available in orangy brown and wine red shades. However, there exists a rare green garnet which is considered one of the most beautiful and expensive gems in existence.

This precious gem is touted as a gift of love. It symbolizes love, luck, and friendship. It also signifies loyalty which is why it’s often given as gifts for anniversaries or marriage.

February - Amethyst

amethyst

“Gem of Bravery & Control”

The world's most popular purple gemstone, amethyst has been used for personal adornment for over 2,000 years. It is a high-priced gem that is durable enough to be used for varying types of jewelry, from family birthstone necklaces to gold rings and earrings. It’s also a favorite of kings and queens around the world.

This beautiful crystal is tied to chastity, sobriety, and control over one's thoughts. It also connotes calmness, bravery, and contemplation.

March - Aquamarine

aquamarine

“Gem of Peace & Youth”

This precious stone has a mesmerizing blue color similar to that of the sea, hence its name. Aquamarine stones with darker, richer blue shades are more expensive because they are quite rare.

Aquamarine evokes the purity and calmness of the sea. It's associated with tranquility and universal happiness. It also represents youth vitality and hope. In ancient Greece, sailors wore aquamarine stones to ensure safe passage to and from their destinations. This makes it a popular travel charm.

April - Diamond

Diamond

“Gem of Everlasting Love”

Diamond is the most popular and most expensive stone there is today. Those born in April are lucky enough to call it their birthstone. While the white diamond is the most common, this sparkly stone also comes in other hues, such as pink, blue, and black.

In most parts of the world, a diamond is a symbol of love and marriage, that's why wedding rings are filled with diamonds.. It also signifies beauty, strength, and happiness.

May - Emerald

emerald

“Gem of Love & Rebirth”

The world’s most popular green gem, this exquisite stone is also touted for its natural beauty and hefty price tag. No wonder why it’s one of Cleopatra's favorite gems. Pure green emeralds are the most popular and valuable.

Emeralds signify wisdom, growth, and patience. They are also believed to promote happy new beginnings and eternal relationships.

June - Cultured Pearl, Moonstone & Alexandrite

pearlmoonstonealexandrite

“Gems of Love & Fortune”

Those born in June are lucky to have three birthstones. Pearls have been used by women for centuries. They are beloved for their timeless beauty. Moonstone is known for its adularescence that gives the gem a special glow. Alexandrite is an extremely rare stone that comes in red and green colors.

Pearls have long been associated with innocence, purity, and humility. Meanwhile, moonstone signifies love, passion, and fertility. Lastly, Alexandrite is believed to boon good fortune and love.

July - Ruby

ruby

“Gem of Passion & Courage”

Ruby is one of the most coveted gems. It boasts of fiery red color with a hint of purple, also called “pigeon’s blood”. It’s dubbed as the "king of precious stones" because of its rarity, beauty, and hardness (second to diamond). 

For thousands of years, Ruby has been associated with love, passion, energy, and power. It is also considered a stone of courage, so wear your ruby ring proudly.

August - Peridot

peridot

“Gem of Compassion”

The stone gets its name from the French word peritot which means “gold”. It’s a cosmic light green stone found in volcanic lava in Hawaii and meteorites that have fallen to earth.

The natural bright green color of Peridot is associated with harmony, good health, and compassion. When set in gold, it's deemed to protect the wearer from nightmares and frees the mind from envious thoughts that ruin relationships.

September - Sapphire

sapphire

“Gem of Truth, Fidelity & Sincerity”

Sapphire, which has been around for over 2,000 years, is one of the most popular colored gems. It is well-loved for its sheer brilliance and saturation. This stone can be treated to achieve a rich blue color.

This September birthstone is associated with fidelity, faithfulness, and nobility. In ancient Greece and Rome, it was believed that sapphire can help protect the owner from harm and envy.

October - Opal, Tourmaline

opaltourmaline

“Gems of brilliance & Love”

October has two birthstones: opal and tourmaline. Opal gemstones are touted for their uniqueness because each gem features a different color combination. Meanwhile, tourmaline (which means “mixed stone”) is a favorite gem of many because it comes in a myriad of colors.

Opal has long been associated with love, passion, desire, and eroticism. Wearing an opal is said to promote loyalty and faithfulness. Tourmaline is said to be a stone of reconciliation. It also signifies compassion, friendship, and good fortune.

November - Topaz, Citrine

topazcitrine

“Gems of Strength & Vitality”

November celebrators have two beautiful stones to choose from. Citrine comes in charming yellow and orange hues. Because they are less rare, it makes a piece of affordable birthstone jewelry for moms. Topaz comes in different hues, including yellow, orange, pink, and blue. Red topaz is very rare and is the most valuable.

Topaz is the stone of love and affection. It is also believed to boost strength and intellect. On the other hand, citrine (also known as "healing quartz") is believed to promote vitality and energy and creates wealth and abundance.

December - Turquoise, Blue Zircon, Tanzanite

turquoiseblue zircontanzanite

“Gems of Wisdom & Positivity”

Turquoise has been cherished for over 3,000 years. This precious gem comes in gorgeous blue-green color - perfect for a birthstone necklace for grandma. Blue is the most popular of all zircon stones. These diamond-like stones offer beautiful luster. If you're a fan of deep, saturated colors, tanzanite birthstone is for you. This elegant stone comes in pure rich blue to violet colors.

Turquoise is regarded as a love charm while zircon symbolizes honor, wealth, and wisdom. Meanwhile, the gorgeous purple-blue tanzanite stone is believed to promote optimism.

Where to Buy Birthstone Jewelry

Where to Buy Birthstone Jewelry

If you’re wondering where to buy birthstones of good quality, check out Noray Designs. We have a stunning collection of carefully selected, certified earring gemstones and birthstone jewelry gifts for moms.

Shoppers can pick the style, prong setting, and stone. From sapphire and diamond earrings to Peridot hoops, Noray Designs offers gorgeous pieces that compliment any look and style.

Lastly, these pieces are handmade, which makes them ideal gifts for all important people in your life.

Mariam Norman
Mariam Norman is a former wedding planner, an experienced storyteller and a gemologist at Noray Designs. She is passionate about helping people explore all aspects of gemology and fashion industry.




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