Birthstones are one of the most interesting pieces of jewelry to have. A birthstone is a gemstone attached to a person’s birth month. As you can imagine, many people find them special.
If you’re curious about the birthstones associated with your birth month, you’re in the right place. This article has compiled facts about all the birthstones by month. You’ll learn all you need to know about your birthstones, from their symbolism to the stories behind them.
How do birthstones work?
Birthstones are gemstones assigned to each month, representing a person’s period of birth. To understand the history of birthstones, we’ll need to go as far back as ancient Israel.
As described in the book of Exodus, 12 gemstones were embedded in the breastplate of Aaron, the high priest of Israel. Each of the gemstones represented a specific tribe of Israel.
Two historians, Josephus from the first century and St. Jerome in the fifth century, later drew a connection between these 12 gemstones and the 12 zodiac signs. But it wasn’t until the 18th century in Poland that people started to associate gemstones with birth months.
In 1912, the National Association of Jewelers in the US released a list of gemstones assigned to each month. The list solidified the concept of birthstones and made it clear what gemstones were considered birthstones.
The birthstone list has remained fairly constant since then. However, the gem associations in the US and UK have made a few changes over the years to include other cheaper and more available gemstones.
What are the birthstones by month?
Here’s an organized list of the birthstones by month and their symbolism.
💡 Take Note: We’ve collapsed the modern and traditional variations of the list, so some months appear to have more than one stone.
Garnet is derived from two words: “gernet,” which means a dark red color, and “granatum,” which means seed (because the stone looks like a pomegranate seed).
Although garnet is more popular as a red gemstone, it comes in other beautiful colors like orange, purple, and green, making it perfect for jewelry pieces.
Garnet is believed to keep the wearer safe from harm. It was popular among travelers, warriors, and members of royalty. It symbolizes perseverance, commitment, and strength.
Amethyst is a lovely quartz stone with colors ranging from a pale purple/lilac to a reddish-purple.
💡 Did You Know? In Ancient Greece, people believed amethyst stopped them from getting drunk. In fact, the word amethyst comes from the Greek word “amethystos,” which literally translates to “not intoxicated.”
Because of its purple color, amethyst is used to adorn royal jewelry. Amethyst gems represent serenity, healing, and courage.
March: Aquamarine and Bloodstone
Aquamarine is a blue variation of the silicate mineral beryl. It can be greenish blue, light, or pale blue. Aquamarine is coined from the words “aqua,” which means water, and “marine,” which means sea. It symbolizes calm, serenity, and tranquility.
The Bloodstone is another gemstone associated with March. It is a dark green gem with some splashes of red across it, which gives the stone its name. Bloodstones symbolize courage.
Diamonds are the most popular and expensive gemstones. Throughout ancient history, diamonds have symbolized a lot of things.
To the Greeks, they were stones that protected their owners from poison. They also believed that they were the tears of the gods. The Greeks named them “adamas” which means “invincible,” probably due to their hard nature.
Diamonds were worn on the breastplates of armor for battle as a sign of strength and courage. In Hindu mythology, they were called vajra – meaning lightning – and were the weapon of Indra, king of the gods.
Today, diamonds symbolize strength and good health. They also symbolize eternal love and commitment – which is why they’re a popular choice for engagement and wedding rings.
Emerald is the stunning birthstone for May, and it is the most popular green gemstone in the world. Along with rubies, sapphires, and diamonds, emeralds are considered one of the most valuable gemstones.
Cleopatra of Ancient Egypt was said to have loved emeralds so much that she acquired possession of all its mines in Egypt. Emeralds signify many things, including fertility, loyalty, love, growth, and wisdom.
June: Pearl, Alexandrite, and Moonstone
Pearl is the traditional birthstone for June. It is unique because, unlike other birthstones, it is produced by living things – mollusks.
Mollusks produce pearls as a reaction to an irritant in their shells. When irritants enter a mollusk’s shell, they cover it with layers of calcium carbonate to protect themselves from the irritation it causes.
Since natural pearls are expensive, people have taken to culturing pearls themselves by artificially inserting irritants into their shells. As a result, the majority of pearls now found on the market are cultured pearls. Pearls symbolize the virtues of modesty and purity.
Alexandrite is another June birthstone. It is an attractive gemstone and a variety of chrysoberyl. Alexandrite is fascinating because of its ability to change colors from green to reddish-purple depending on the lighting.
The stone is very rare but has recently been found in Africa. Alexandrite symbolizes luck and intellect.
The final June birthstone is the moonstone. Moonstones come in different colors but are often found as white or gray gemstones. They have a luster resembling the moon’s pale glow, which gives them their name. Moonstones symbolize magic, fertility, and abundance.
Rubies are the most popular red gemstone in the world. Some cultures consider them the king of gems.
💡 Fun Fact: The Burmese Ruby from the Mogok Valley in Burma is the most valuable variety. It is highly prized because of its deep blood-red appearance.
Rubies mean different things to many people. To some, they represent life and blood; to others, love and passion.
The Burmese warriors often placed rubies on their skin when going to battle for protection and courage. Rubies have also been associated with royalty, wisdom, and power.
August: Peridot, Spinel, and Sardonyx
Peridot is a unique type of green gemstone. It is formed from basalt, an igneous rock created from volcano lava eruption. You can find peridot as crystals on the green beaches of Hawaii.
The Hawaiian people once believed that peridot crystals were tears of the volcano goddess, Pele. Peridot is one of the gems thought to protect its wearer from harm and evil. It symbolizes peace, good health, and harmony.
Spinel is relatively new to the list of birthstones. This gemstone is special because it occurs in almost all the colors of the spectrum. It can appear as a ruby red, blue, or dark pink gemstone.
Spinel is known as a soothing stone. In ancient times, people believed it had a rejuvenating energy responsible for relieving stress, sadness, and anxiety.
Sardonyx is a variety of Chalcedony composed of alternating layers of sard and onyx. It showcases a beautiful pattern of white, orange, or red hues in parallel bands. Sardonyx is associated with happiness, strength, and protection.
Sapphires are one of the big four gems. Their beautiful blue brilliance puts them at the top of the list of prized gemstones.
Sapphires were a favorite among royalty because they exuded wealth, and according to ancient folklore, they protected people from envy, harm, and poison. They symbolize integrity, loyalty, and beauty.
October: Opal and Tourmaline
Opal stones come in many different colors. Their structure also allows them to reflect numerous colors of the spectrum at the same time. Opals are unique because each stone has a different color combination.
💡 Did You Know? Black opal is the rarest variety, so it’s more expensive. Opals symbolize hope, faithfulness, and harmony. Over the centuries, they’ve been worn to ward off evil and get good luck.
Tourmaline is another very colorful gemstone. It exhibits a wide range of colors. Bicolor crystals, like the watermelon crystals, composed of pink and green colors, are among its most common varieties. Tourmalines are a symbol of protection and reconciliation.
November: Topaz and Citrine
Topaz is the traditional birthstone for November. It occurs in several colors, but blue topaz is most commonly used for jewelry.
Topaz gets its name from the island of Topazios, where it was first mined. The gemstone symbolizes love and protection and is believed to improve the intellect of whoever wears it.
Citrine is another November birthstone. Its abundance and hard nature make it accessible and desirable. Large deposits of citrine are found in Brazil, but the mineral is also found in countries like Australia, Sri Lanka, and Mexico.
Citrine is associated with optimism, confidence, and positivity. It was often used to manifest financial abundance in a person’s life.
December: Turquoise, Blue Zircon, and Tanzanite
The turquoise gemstone comes in diverse colors, but bright blue is the most preferred color.
💡 Did You Know? Humans have used turquoise for over a thousand years, and because it was discovered so early, many Turquoise deposits are now depleted. The few deposits left are found in China, Iran, Egypt, and the US.
Turquoise is believed to bring good fortune and happiness to its wearer.
Zircon is another blue stone assigned to December. The stones also come in various colors, but blue is well known. Zircon has a very high refractive index, making it attractive to the eyes. Cambodia and Myanmar are the primary sources of zircon in the world.
Zircon is associated with honor and wisdom. It was also used to induce sleep at a time.
The final birthstone on our list is tanzanite. Tanzanite is a gemstone from the African country Tanzania. The gem is quite rare since it is only found in Tanzania for now. It naturally occurs as a reddish-brown mineral, but after heating, it assumes a brilliant blue-violet color similar to sapphire.
The stone is fascinating because it changes color to other shades of blue depending on the angle at which light is hitting its surface. Tanzanite is said to help the wearer live with a compassionate heart and a more enlightened mind by making the heart and mind one.
Birthstones by Month: Chart
|1||January||Garnet||Dark red, Brown, Black, Yellow.|
|3||March||Aquamarine Bloodstone||Light Blue Dark green With red specks|
|6||June||PearlAlexandrite Moonstone||WhiteLight purpleWhite/Gray|
|8||August||PeridotSpinelSardonyx||Yellow, green Blue, pink, redBrown /orange bands|
|10||October||OpalTourmaline||Blue, black, pinkMulticolored|
|12||December||Blue ZirconTurquoise Tanzanite||Sky blueBlue-greenBluish-violet|
Frequently Asked Questions About Birthstones
Do you still have questions about birthstones? We’ve answered some frequently asked questions here.
How do I find my birthstone?
Birthstones are assigned to each month of the year. So, all you have to do is check which birthstone was assigned to your month of birth.
Why do some months have more than one birthstone?
After the first traditional list was created in 1912, multiple options were added over the years to provide cheaper alternatives to the expensive traditional stones.
What is the rarest birthstone?
Alexandrite is probably the rarest birthstone to find. This is because it has a unique structure and color pattern and is not mined in many countries. However, other gemstones like tanzanite and blue and red diamonds are also quite rare.
What is the luckiest birthstone?
Citrine tops the list. In ancient times, merchants often used it to bring prosperity to their trade. The belief surrounding the stone was that it transformed any negative energy into positive energy.
What is the most common birthstone?
Peridot is the most common birthstone. It’s popular in at least forty states in the US. Emeralds, rubies, and sapphires follow closely behind.
Connect With Your Birthstone
Birthstones are a unique group of gemstones that you can feel connected to. Each birthstone has a rich history behind it. They carry a lot of material and spiritual value and look fabulous as jewelry pieces.
If you’ve found our guide to birthstones by month useful, don’t hesitate to tell your friends about it. Everyone should be interested in knowing their birthstones!
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