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The Meaning of Birthstones

Meaning of birthstone

The twelve birthstones for each calendar month have a very special meaning. They are said to carry magical, mythical qualities. Learn how your birthstone can protect you. Bring you good luck. Love. Money. Health.  Find out the meaning of birthstones, including the meaning of YOUR birthstone? We include a link, for your convenience, to more information about your birthstone. You can also go to our home page to link to all our jewelry collection.

What is the origin of birthstones?

Christian scholars in the 5th century made the connection between the twelve gems in the Breastplate of Aaron, twelve months of the year, and twelve signs of the zodiac. They theorized that each gem was connected to a certain month or astrological alignment and that they would receive therapeutic benefits for wearing one during that time.

One stone for each month

To receive the full benefit, people took to wearing one stone for each month of the year and attributed a different meaning and value to them. Eventually this practice was modified so that a person would only wear the stone for the month they were born in (hence the term birthstone). There was a great amount of disagreement over which stone should represent a calendar month until 1912 when Sears published an “official” list of all the birthstones and the months they represented. Since then there have been a few modifications here and there but the list remains largely unchanged. Read below to learn the meaning of birthstones. Click on the link to learn more about each gemstone.

January: Birthstone is Garnet. Dark Red. Protection 

Garnet has long been associated with clergy and nobility. In ancient Egypt the pharaohs wore red garnet necklaces. In ancient Rome rings with carved garnets were used to stamp the wax on important documents. Explorers and travelers carried garnets on their journeys to ward off evil and light up the night. The gift of a garnet is a great way to let a loved one know you want them to be safe on all of their future journeys. (more about garnets.)

February: Birthstone is Amethyst. Violet. Wisdom

Because of its color the ancient Greeks associated amethyst with the wine god Bacchus, and believed that the gem could prevent drunkenness. Amethyst has also been thought to keep the wearer clear-headed and quick-witted. While we can’t promise that giving your friends an amethyst will result in a mythological alcohol tolerance, we do hope that it will inspire the wisdom not to overindulge. more about amethysts

March: Birthstone is Aquamarine. Blue, Cyan. Serenity.

Regardless of the shade of blue, these gems have evoked images of sea water and endless skies for generations. Many sailors would bring aquamarines on their voyages for a variety of calming purposes like getting a good night sleep by keeping it under their pillow at night or warding off poisons and bad food by keeping one in their pocket while eating. These benefits combine to make an aquamarine a great gift for new brides, moms, and especially your “eccentric” friend who is planning to sail around the world.  more about Aquamarine

April: Birthstone is Diamond (some say Quartz). Multiple colors. Love

April BirthstoneThe April birthstone, diamond, in addition to being a symbol of everlasting love, was once thought to bring courage. In Sanskrit, the diamond is called “vajra,” which also means lightning; in Hindu mythology, vajra was the weapon of Indra, the king of gods. You’ve probably heard the slogan many times that “a diamond is forever.” This is because of the stone’s symbol of deep, everlasting love, as well as the fact that it’s the hardest substance known on earth. more about diamonds

May: Birthstone is the Emerald. Dark Green. Hope

Emeralds are named after the Vulgar Latin words ‘esmaralda’ and ‘esmaraldus’ which translate roughly to a green gem. While that might be a little on the nose for some people, we think emerald is a great name for this gem because of its beautiful green color that inspires thoughts of springtime and renewal. This association makes emeralds a great gift for someone who needs a reminder that winter doesn’t last forever (even in the Northeast!) or is starting a new chapter in their life. Legends have said that placing an emerald under your tongue gives you the ability to foresee the future and protects against evil spells and can cure disease. more about emeralds.

June: Birthstones June is pearl, alexandrite and moonstone. 

June’s birthstones range from opalescent pearl, moonstone and the rare color-changing alexandrite—one of the most valuable gems on earth. In many cultures, pearls symbolize purity and innocence, which is why it’s tradition for a bride to wear pearls on her wedding day.  Associated with concentration and learning, alexandrite is believed to strengthen intuition, aid creativity and inspire imagination—bringing good omens to anyone who wears it.  Moonstone acts as the ultimate fertility crystal by sparking passion in new lovers and reuniting old ones. Also encourages sound sleep and beneficial dreams. more about pearls

July: Birthstone is the Ruby. Red. Vitality

 The Ruby’s color of “blood” led to an association with vitality and physical strength for the ruby. Ancient Hindus believed that those who offered rubies to the god Krishna would be emperors in a future life. People in India and Burma have also believed that rubies offered safety and peace, and medieval Europeans thought that these gems guaranteed health, wealth, wisdom, and success in love. Today, a ruby makes a great gift for someone who could use a reminder that they are full of energy and life and have a lot to offer the world around them.  More about the Ruby

August: Birthstone is the Peridot. Olive Green. Beauty

Peridot is always a yellow-green and the darker a specimen, the more valuable it is. The Egyptians thought that Peridot protected against nightmares and brought the wearer confidence, good luck and health. In fact, it’s believed that some of Cleopatra’s famous emeralds were actually Peridot. It is sometimes called the evening emerald for its light green color. When set in gold, this gem was said to protect the wearer from nightmares. more about peridot

September: Birthstone is the Sapphire. Blue. Fidelity, Truth

The meaning of birthstonesBlue has long been considered the color of fidelity. The magnificent and holy Sapphire, in all its celestial hues, is a stone of wisdom and royalty, of prophecy and Divine favor. It is forever associated with sacred things and considered the gem of gems, a jewel steeped in the history and lore of nearly every religion. Many sources list that sapphires are believed to symbolize wisdom, virtue, good fortune, and holiness for royals. In an engagement ring, a sapphire means faithfulness and sincerity, too. more about sapphire

October: Birthstone is the Opal. Multi-colored. Faithfulness, confidence.

October birthstoneOpals can exhibit many different colors within a single stone.That’s why it believed to possess supernatural powers. In ancient Rome, this gem symbolized love and hope. The ancient Greeks believed opals gave their owners the gift of prophecy and guarded them from disease. Europeans have long considered the gem a symbol of hope, purity, and truth.  Once, it was thought to have the power to preserve the life. Others say necklaces with opals set in them were worn to repel evil and to protect eyesight. more about opals

November: Birthstone is the Citrine or Golden Topaz. Both: love, vitality, energy, prosperity

The Topaz, symbolizes love and affection. It is believed to give the wearer increased strength and intellect. The Citrine is known as “healing quartz,” as legend has it that citrine promotes vitality and energy for wearers it. According to  Chinese feng shui philosophy, citrine creates wealth and abundance. Citrine is thought to offer the same benefits as topaz, including the ability to calm, heal, and encourage prosperity. Citrine, is often confused with golden topaz. More about citrine More about Golden Topaz

December: 3 birthstones: Turquoise, Zircon, Tanzanite.

December birthdays have claim to three gemstones; Zircon, Tanzanite and Turquoise. Each of these gemstones carries a unique blue tone.  Zircon can be found in a variety of colors, but blue is the overwhelming favorite. 

The turquoise  December birthstone

Turquoise is among the oldest known gemstones and its popularity has spanned the globe for centuries. It graced the necks of Egyptian Pharaohs and adorned the ceremonial dress of early Native Americans. This beautiful robin’s egg blue gemstone has been attributed with healing powers, promoting the wearer’s status and wealth, protecting from evil and bringing good luck.

The ZirconDecember birthstone

In the Middle Ages, Zircon was said to aid in resting, bring prosperity and promote honor and wisdom in its owner. Today, the most popular colors of Zircon are the vivid blue and bright Caribbean Sea colors.

DeThe Tanzanite

Tanzanite possesses an exotic velvety blue with a rich overtone of purple, a color unlike any other. It brings wisdom, truth, dignity and spiritual mastery. A stone of judgment and long life, it promotes introspection and can result in profound wisdom when used well. more about turquoise    

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