Traditionally, a birthstone is associated with each month of the year. For example, the birthstone for January is a garnet, while lucky babies born in April get a diamond as their birthstone. The origin of birthstones is believed to date back to the breastplate of Aaron which contained twelve gemstones representing the twelve tribes of Israel. The current list dates back to 1912 with only one addition since then – the tanzanite was added to December.
There are numerous legends and myths about birthstone healing powers and their therapeutic influence. According to these legends, wearing a gemstone during its assigned month heightened its healing powers. For the full effect, individuals needed to own all twelve and alternate them monthly.
Peridot, Sardonyx, Spinel
Tanzanite, Zircon, Turquoise
For babies born in January, the garnet is the perfect gem to represent their birthstone. This beautiful stone, which is most commonly red but can be found in a range of other colors, symbolizes peace, prosperity and good health. Some say it even has the power to give the wearer eternal happiness, health and wealth.
For individuals with February birthdays, the amethyst makes a perfect birthstone. This month is often cold, dark and short for many people around the world, so the amethyst—which is often associated with qualities of peace, courage and stability—is the right gem for individuals who need a little extra warmth and strength this time of year.
For the lucky individuals born in March, two birthstones are associated with this early spring month: aquamarine and bloodstone. Both stones are very different from one another in appearance, but each share a similar symbolism of preserving or enhancing the health of the wearer.
For those fortunate to be born in April, the most prized gemstone of all is their birthstone. For this month, diamonds truly are a girl’s (or a boy’s) best friend.
May birthdays fall right in the heart of spring, and the emerald is the perfect gem to symbolize and celebrate this month. Prized for its brilliant and beautiful green color, the emerald is often favored by the rich and famous to wear as statement pieces for big events.
June is one of only two months that has three birthstones associated with it, giving the lucky people born in June a choice of gemstones between pearl, alexandrite and moonstone. June’s birthstones range from creamy-colored opalescent pearl and moonstone to the rare color-changing alexandrite—one of the most valuable gems on earth.
Ruby, the king of precious gems, is the birthstone for fortunate folks born in July. Symbolic of the passion and energy associated with the color red, the vibrant ruby is said to bring love and success.
We have a birthday present for those born in August: the stunning spinel has been added to your month’s birthstone lineup! August now joins June and December as the only months represented by three gems. The original birthstone for August was Sardonyx, and then peridot was added, becoming August’s primary gem. Now spinel adds its multitude of color choices!
September’s birthstone is the sapphire—a precious gem of wisdom, loyalty and nobility. This stone is said to focus the mind, encourage self-discipline and channel higher powers. When people say “sapphire,” they’re usually referring to the royal blue variety of this gem, although it can occur in all colors of the rainbow (except red, which is classified as ruby instead).
Individuals born in October get to choose between two birthstones—tourmaline and opal. Each gem then unveils nearly limitless possibilities, as each one comes in a rainbow of shades and color combinations. In fact, both of October’s birthstones came to earth through a journey involving rainbows, according to legend.
Individuals born in November can choose between two sunny gemstones to brighten up this chilly month. November’s birthstones, topaz and citrine, are both known for their calming energies, bringing warmth and fortune to those who wear them. Topaz and citrine look so similar, in fact, that they’ve often been mistaken for one another throughout history. They are actually unrelated minerals, and topaz occurs in a wide spectrum of colors far beyond yellow.
December’s birthstones offer three ways to fight the winter blues: tanzanite, zircon and turquoise – all of them, appropriately, best known for beautiful shades of blue. These gems range from the oldest on earth (zircon), to one of the first mined and used in jewelry (turquoise), to one of the most recently discovered (tanzanite). All of these stones are relatively inexpensive, but their beauty rivals even precious gems.