Monday, 10 December 2012
What’s Special About Your Birthstone?
Your birthstone is the gemstone that corresponds with your month of birth. Read on for short reviews of each month’s official gemstone and the properties that make each jewel special.
January – Garnet
This beautiful red stone, which signifies friendship and trust, was named for its similarity in colour to the pomegranate seed. In addition to being given as a gift to those with a January birthday, garnets are traditional gifts for a second wedding anniversary.
February – Amethyst
The amethyst has a rich history, having long been associated with many myths and legends, including the notion that the gem keeps wearers clear-headed in the face of bacchanalia. The amethyst was particularly popular in the Middle Ages when the purple stone was a symbol to denote royalty. King Edward VII’s wife, Queen Alexandra, was particularly fond of amethyst.
March – Aquamarine
This blue-green stone has long been associated with serenity and levelheadedness. In the past, aquamarine was believed to protect sailors out on the open water. This stone, with its pale, almost icy blue tone, complements spring and summer wardrobes.
April – Diamond
The diamond has become the most valuable and desired gem of all. While the April birthstone is said by some to have healing properties, in recent years it has become tainted with violence and exploitation, so make sure you opt for ethically sourced stones.
May – Emerald
Mined in Africa as early as 300 BC, this forest green gem is said to provide the wearer with wealth and foresight. Emeralds are also a symbol of rebirth, and their vivid green colour complements all skin tones.
June – Pearl
The pearl was a favourite gemstone of leaders in the Roman Empire and has remained popular throughout history. Pearls are unique in that they are the only gems that originate from living creatures, and no cutting or polishing is needed to reveal their magnificence.
July – Ruby
Beutiful red rubies are said to give the wearer much wisdom and success in love. High quality rubies are rare, and their value is tied to the deep crimson hue. Rubies are a variety of corundum – a gemstone that when found in any colour other than red is called a sapphire.
August – Peridot
The green-yellow peridot is said to bring the wearer much power and influence, and provides legendary healing properties. Currently, the main supply of peridot is in Arizona.
September – Sapphire
Sapphire is said to protect loved ones from harm. In the middle ages, clergymen adorned themselves in the stone to symbolize proximity to heaven. Like rubies, sapphires are a variety of corundum, but are found in a very wide range of colours. Normally thought of as blue gems, sapphires can be yellow, green, orange, pink, purple or even white.
October – Opal
Opals are a hauntingly beautiful stone originating from the Greek word “opallos” meaning “to see a change (in colour)”. They range in colour from milky white to jet black, with hints of exquisite mini-bursts of colour.
November – Topaz
The November birthstone is available in a wide array of colours. Though many confuse it with citrine quartz for its yellowish hue, quartz and topaz are actually separate species of mineral. While most are familiar with yellow topaz, it can also be found in orange, pink, purple, and even blue.
December – Tanzanite
Tanzanite, with its rich blue hue, is sometimes mistaken for sapphire. Although its lower cost made it a popular sapphire substitute for many decades, it is now appreciated for it’s own beauty and distinct splendour. Tanzanite is exclusive to the area of Tanzania where it was first discovered.
Birthstones make very thoughtful and special gifts, but always review of the sources of any gemstones you purchase, to ensure that they were produced in an ethical way. Because love shouldn't hurt.