Birthstones describe precious stones which have come to represent a month of the year. These days we take for granted the fact that each month lays claim to its own gemstone and that gemstones represent the months. Which stones, though, represent which months and what are they said to mean?
Garnets come in a veritable rainbow of colours. Of those colours, the red Bohemian garnet is by far the most well known. According to ancient legend, garnets light up the night skies, warding off evil spirits and bad dreams. Perhaps this is why garnets, in modern times, have come to represent both trust and friendship.
A variation of quartz, amethysts can be found in most purple hues from deep and rich stormy violets to light, icy lilacs. In ancient Greece, people believed amethysts were a hang over cure and provided protection against the intoxicating powers of Bacchus, the god of wine. Even today, amethyst is sometimes referred to as the sobriety stone and is said to carry sobering properties, bringing calm, clarity and balance to its wearers.
The name aquamarine can be loosely understood to mean seawater and is used to describe the stones clear, blue appearance. Probably because of its impressive water-like appearance, the stone is said to represent and celebrate youth, longevity and health.
The stone of all stones, legend has it that diamonds form when lightening hits the earths surface, imbuing surrounding stones with magic. The diamond is a popular wedding stone due to its perceived purity and strength. Further, it is thought to represent purity and everlasting love.
Emeralds haves long been associated with fertility, and are also known as the stones of Venus, because their colour connotes greenery and so the blooming of new life. In Ancient Egypt, mummies were often buried or entombed wearing emeralds and decorated with the symbol of verdure (the symbol of flourishing greenness) to represent eternal life and youth.
According to Persian mythology, pearls are the tears of the gods. Moonlike in their appearance, pearls are the only stone known to man to be created within a living creature. Hence, pearls are synonymous with mystery and are said to carry celestial powers.
Famous and loved for their characteristic and intense red colour, rubies represent passion, courage and love. The rubys colour has cemented its reputation as one of the most valued gems known to man. Wearing rubies is said to bring good fortune and they have long been a favourite stone amongst kings and emperors.
Peridot is one of the only gemstones that only form in one colour. The unique, lime-like green hue belonging to the peridot is said to be a gift given by Mother Nature to the world in celebration of new life and beginnings. Hence, when given as a present, peridots are said to provide a person with healing properties and protect against illness and ill feeling.
Sapphire derives its name from the Greek word for blue. No other blue gemstone is as coveted or intensely coloured as the sapphire; hence, it is often considered the ultimate blue stone. Sapphires highly saturated in colour or formed with a high level of transparency are most valued. The sapphire is said to represent truth, trust and loyalty.
The name tourmaline means mixed stone as tourmaline can be found in a wide range of colours, including red, magenta, peach, yellow, green, blue and even black. Bi-colour and tri-colour variations of tourmaline also exist, such as the wonderfully named watermelon tourmaline which features white, pink and green bands of colour. Tourmalines of different colours each carry their own unique meanings.
A delicate and transparent stone, topaz can be found in hues of red, yellow, green and blue. The rarest and so most coveted examples o Topaz is known as the Imperial Topaz and is a fiery orange in colour with pinkish undertones. In ancient Egypt, the discovery of the yellow topaz was understood as a gift from the Sun God and the stone was thought to be imbued with the power to break enchantments and restore its wearers wellbeing.
December Turquoise and Zircon
Both turquoise, one of the worlds oldest known stones, and zircon, one of the worlds most popular stones in recent times, are both worn to represent the month of December. Both stones share bluish hues, though the milky and veined appearance characteristic of turquoise immediately sets it apart from zircon, with its crisp, clear and vivid sea-like look. The two stones also differ in that the turquoise, thanks to its ancient Greek advocates, has come to represent healing and protection against evil while the topaz is thought to represent wisdom. The stones do unite though in that both are said to bring their wearers prosperity and good luck.