Birthstones: A Beloved Tradition

Posted in: Jewellery

Wearing the gemstone associated with your month of birth is a time old tradition that has been popular in many cultures since ancient times.The gems we now associate with birthstones are taken from the months of the Georgian calendar year. These range from precious stones, such as Ruby, Emerald, Sapphire and Diamond to semi-precious stones such as Amethyst, Garnet and Peridot - each with a rumoured healing property and is suspected that wearing them during their designated month is said to heighten those properties.

Whatever healing properties the stones possess, giving jewellery set with the recipient’s birthstone adds a special element of personalisation, and is a custom that never wavers despite changing jewellery trends.

January
Garnet
The garnet stone is most recognisable in a deep reddish-brown colour and is found all over the world from Madagascar to USA. Its excellent hardness, 7 – 7.5 on the Mohs scale makes it ideal for everyday wear,providing it is treated with love and care.

Garnet is said to represent passion and love and can encourage creativity and self-confidence in the wearer.

Traits for those born in January: hard-working, organised, attentive, loyal

February
Amethyst
The amethyst stone is a violet or purple variety of quartz, and has been popular throughout history. The ancient Greeks adorned their wine cups with the stone as they believed it protected against drunkenness and seduction. This gemstone is a hard stone, ranking 7 on the hardness scale also making it an ideal stone for everyday jewellery.

Amethyst is said to provide balance, peace and can offer protection from bad dreams and stress.

Traits for those born in February: intelligent, romantic, honest, humble

March
Aquamarine
The aquamarine ranges in colour from the palest blue to a strong sea blue-green colour. From the beryl family, the aquamarine is almost always free of inclusion and ranks at 7.5- 8 on the Mohs scale, making this stone tough against scratches.
Old tales promise the wearer of an aquamarine a happy and prosperous marriage.

Traits for those born in March: intuitive, artistic, peaceful, sensitive, trustworthy

April
Diamond
The Diamond is a true paradox of style and substance and is the hardest of all gemstones at 10 on the Mohs scale - making it the hardest natural substance on the planet! The ancient Greeks believed that diamonds were fragments of stars that had fallen to earth and that they would provide the wearer with love and joy.

This sentiment still rings true today, and the diamond remains the most popular choice for engagement rings.

Traits for those born in April: diplomatic, caring, brave, adventurous

May
Emerald
The radiant green gemstone is part of the beryl stone family and ranks at 7.5- 8 on the Mohs scale of hardness. Found in Columbia, India, Madagascar, India and Russia, most emeralds will carry some inclusion called fissures that unlike other gems do not diminish their value.

Emeralds are said to promote domestic bliss and loyalty.

Traits for those born in May: deep, imaginative, understanding, high spirited

June
Pearl
A natural pearl is created when an oyster covers a foreign object in layers of lustrous nacre. Historically pearls held enormous value as they were created by chance and thousands of oysters had to be searched to find a pearl.
Throughout history, pearls have been believed to provide a cure for a whole host of illnesses, and are also believed to represent wealth, power and longevity.

Traits for those born in June: polite, friendly, executive, talkative

July
Ruby
The fiery red Ruby ranks at 9 on the Mohs scale making it one of the hardest minerals found on earth. Part of the corundum family of stones, all red varieties of the stone are called rubies and any other colour is classified as a sapphire.

The majestic red colour of the ruby is associated with love, warmth and vitality.

Traits for those born in July: fun, sentimental, homely, witty

August
Peridot
The green-gold Peridot is one of the world’s most ancient gemstones; as far back as 1500BC the Egyptians set their jewellery with this stone and it was popular during medieval times. The peridot ranks at 6.5-7 on the Mohs scale, so it is fairly robust and easy to care for.

Known as the emerald of the crusaders, the Peridot is said to protect from evil spirits.

Traits for those born in August: suave, fearless, observant, quick

September
Sapphire
The Sapphire belongs to the corundum family of gemstones and can be found in a range of colours including blue, pink, orange, purple, yellow and white, although the blue variety is probably the most popular. The hardness of the sapphire is exceeded only by the diamond, as it ranks at 9 on the Mohs scale.
The Sapphire is thought to protect the wearers loved ones against envy and harm.

Traits for those born in September: kind, calm, organised, understanding

October
Opal
The Opal shines and sparkles with a continually changing play of colours. Almost 95% of the opals in the world come from Australian mines. Opals come in many different varieties such as the Dark or Black Opal, White or Light Opal, Milk or Crystal Opal, Boulder Opal and the Fire Opal.

Opals are said to help the wearer find true love.

Traits for those born in October: chatty, fair, decisive, self-sufficient

November
Topaz
The Topaz is found in a myriad of colours such as yellow, brown, green, blue, red, pink and colourless. A symbol of beauty and splendour, the topaz is said to protect the wearer against enemies.

Claimed to be one of the gemstones that forms the foundations of the twelve gates of the Holy City in New Jerusalem, the topaz is a symbol of beauty and splendour.

Traits for those born in November: inquisitive, patient, unique, sharp

December
Turquoise
The Turquoise has been esteemed for thousands of years as a holy gemstone, and a bringer of good fortune. This talisman is a popular choice for jewellery, and while it has a hardness of 6 on the Mohs scale, it is often covered with a colourless wax in order to improve its wearing ability. Usually found in Mexico, USA, Israel, Iran, Afghanistan and China, this beautiful stone is usually cut into cabochons or beads.

Traits for those born in December: logical, high humour, sociable, generous

By her who in January was born
No gem save Garnets shall be worn
They will ensure her constancy
True friendship and fidelity.

The February born shall find
Sincerity and peace of mind,
Freedom from passion and from care,
If they, the Amethyst will wear.

By her who in March was born
No gem save Bloodstone shall be worn
They will ensure her constancy
True friendship and fidelity.

She who from April dates her years,
Diamonds shall wear,
lest bitter tears
For vain repentance flow.

Who first beholds the light of day
In spring’s sweet, flower month of May
And wears an Emerald all her life
Shall be a loved and a loving wife.

By her who in June was born
No gem save Pearls shall be worn
They will ensure her constancy
True friendship and fidelity.

The gleaming Ruby should adorn,
All those who in July are born,
For thus they’ll be exempt and free,
From lover’s doubts and anxiety.

Wear a Peridot or for thee,
No conjugal fidelity,
The August born without this stone,
`Tis said, must live unloved; alone.

A maiden born when autumn leaves
Are rustling in September‘s breeze,
A Sapphire on her brow should bind;
To bring her joy and peace of mind.

October‘s child is born for woe,
And life’s vicissitudes must know,
But lay an Opal on her breast,
And hope will lull those woes to rest.

Who first comes to this world below
In dreary November‘s fog and snow,
Should prize the Topaz amber hue,
Emblem of friends and lovers true.

If cold December gave you birth
The month of snow and ice and mirth
Place on your hand a Turquoise blue;
Success will bless whate’er you do.

—Gregorian Birthstone Poems, author unknown