What are Birthstones?
Birthstones are stones that are associated with certain months of the year.
- Garnet refers to a variety of minerals that typically shine with a rich red color, yet they could potentially be different colors: greens, oranges, pinks, red and even some blues. Historically, the gem traces its roots back to Ancient Egypt as a symbol of wealth and power. It is now associated as the stone of love and is the birthstone for January.
- Amethyst is a variety of quartz that is most popular purple gem and one of the most popular gemstones in general. With amethyst deposits located in the United States, Canada, France, India, Africa, Mexico, Morocco, Russia and more, it is no wonder that this stone is known worldwide. The stone is the birthstone for February and is associated with faithfulness.
- Aquamarine, “the water of the sea”, owes its namesake to its sparkling ocean-like color that is reminiscent of beautiful blue water. It is commonly found in Brazil and Africa, and is very alluring. It is a variety of Beryl that not only represents the sea but the heavens as well, and as such it holds special significance as one of the birthstones for March.
- Bloodstone, also known as Heliotrope, is a mixture of quartz that mainly appears green jasper with splatters of red hematite. Heliotrope, a Greek word for “turning to the sun,” was believed to be able to reflect the sun. Found largely in the Middle East, the stone has become very popular across the world as one of the birthstones for March.
- Made of pure carbon, the diamond is the hardest and one of the most beautiful gemstones. Although commonly thought of as white, they come in several colors such as yellow, red, blue, green and pink with varying saturations. Diamonds are symbolic of love, and as the premier stone for engagements and weddings they are the perfect birthstone for April.
- Emeralds have long been praised by the wealthy for its vivid green color and beautiful appearance. Emerald is a variety of Beryl, with deeper colored stones being the most valuable. Made famous by Cleopatra’s obsession with them, they soon became a very valuable substance in Egypt and it retains this value to this day. It is perfect as the birthstone for May, with the beautiful green color being reminiscent of the incoming Spring season.
- Pearls are beautiful, round, creamy white colored gemstones produced naturally with a reflective luster. It is the only gemstone to be produced by living creatures, in part by mollusks or clams. Pearls can be found worldwide, but the Persian Gulf has become known for producing pearls of the highest quality. Pearls are one of 3 birthstones for June.
- Alexandrite is one of the rarest gemstones, and has only been known for about 200 years. The June birthstone Alexandrite is a color changing stone, with it changing from a blueish color during the day to a light purple-reddish color during the night. Due to its rarity, Alexandrite is more valuable than rubies or diamonds. Its unique qualities make Alexandrite, the June birthstone, one of the most desired gemstones.
- Moonstones are known for their colorless appearance with a blue shimmer, that is very reminiscent of the moon. They also can appear yellow, gray, green, blue, peach and pink. The stones have a dull white glow which makes them very visually appealing. They are found in few places, including India, Australia and the United States, making high-quality moonstones rare. As one of the 3 June birthstones it is highly valued and popular.
- Rubies are viewed as the royal gemstone, with their vibrant red color having been cherished throughout history. They have long been seen as the stone of youth with the blood red color symbolizing vitality. In their purest form, some rubies are valued more than diamonds. Rubies have more applications beyond jewelry, such as in machines, and are the birthstone for July.
- Peridot’s lime green color makes it stand out from other gems, making it one of the only stones that comes in only one color. Known as the “evening emerald”, peridot is renowned for its vibrant and light green color as opposed to the more rich green color of emeralds. Unlike other stones, this gems main supply comes from within the US in Arizona. It is one of three birthstones for August.
- Sardonyx is an interesting stone with its reddish base being striped with white bands. Found in India and Turkey, Sardonyx is a stone that has a long history with natives, having been believed to protect against evil spirits. It was a stone traditionally held only by the elite, but has since become more common. It is one of three birthstones for August.
- Although often mistaken for ruby, Spinel is a stone with a unique crystal structure and luster, with some spinel even having magnetic properties. Although red is the most common color, spinel also appears as blue, pink and orange. It is one of the three birthstones for August.
- Known for their rich blue color, Sapphires can also appear as most other colors, with the red variety being known as a ruby. There is a special variety of sapphire known as “padparadscha” that has a pinkish-orange color and is known to be the most valuable variation. Sapphires are the birthstone for September, and have been associated with nobility and discipline.
- Opal is a special stone that can display the various colors of the rainbow. Being one of the more delicate stones out there, opal is very treasured and is viewed as a stone of good luck. Opal is found mostly in the Australian outback, making them very popular across that continent. Opal is one of two birthstones of October.
- Tourmaline is somewhat unique in that it appears in every color of the rainbow. Due to this, there are many different varieties of tourmaline that stand apart from one another. It is also unique in that the stone can be electrically charged and act as a magnet, yet this does not detract from its beauty. Tourmaline is one of the two birthstones of October and is thought to ward off negative energy.
- Citrine is a gem composed of quartz that ranges from yellow to orange in color. It owes its namesake to the citrus fruits, lemons and oranges, for their similar color schemes. Citrine is mostly found in Brazil and Spain and is circulated worldwide. It is often confused with Topaz. Citrine is one of two birthstones for November.
- Topaz is available in many colors but is most commonly associated with the yellow variant. In its purest form it is colorless, but the most valued color is topaz with an orange-pinkish tint. Like many other gemstones, its largest supplier is Brazil. It is one of the two birthstones for November.
- Tanzanite is blueish-purple stone that is found exclusively in Tanzania, to which its name is derived from. Although primarily blue, when viewed from different angles it displays different hues. Its beautiful deep colors and rarity makes it a very treasured stone, not just for those who have it as their birthstone. It is one of the three birthstones for December.
- Turquoise is known for its exotic light blue color, to the point where the color is named after the stone, not vice-versa. The stones biggest supplier, unlike other stones, is the United States. It has been viewed throughout history as a protector, and has been used in everything from talismans to crowns. It is one of the three birthstones for December.
- Zircon is a gem that comes in colors ranging from brownish red to bluish green. The stone known for being the oldest mineral on Earth which gives information on the Earth’s formation. It is primarily found in Australia and Sri Lanka. Zircon was famous for warding off evil spirits in the Middle Ages, and is now one of the three birthstones for December.