Associating gems with birth months was first mentioned in the Bible, which states in Exodus 28 and 39 that Moses was directed to make a breastplate of the High Priest of the Hebrews and that he included 12 gems in the design. Over the next centuries, the stones were associated with zodiac signs and later linked to birth months. Some months have multiple birthstones because the original stones are too rare or expensive to meet consumer demands.
First Months' Gems
Garnet is January's deep scarlet birthstone and stands for everlasting friendship. If you were born in February, your birth gem is amethyst, which is purple quartz and commonly includes hues of red and violet. It supposedly has powers to keep the wearer's mind sharp. March has two birthstones, aquamarine and bloodstone. The former is light blue to bluish green and is said to instill calmness in the wearer. Bloodstone is a dark green gem with tiny specks of dark red that reportedly fend off blood diseases.
Gems for Spring and Early Summer
If you were born in April, your diamond birthstone is considered the most prized. The sparkle of the stone, which can be clear or colored, signifies clarity and abundance. The deep green color of May's birthstone, the emerald, symbolizes rebirth, good luck and youth. Three gems are associated with June: pearl, alexandrite and moonstone. Pearls, the only gems harvested from a living creature, the oyster, come in various tints and colors. Alexandrite changes colors in different lights, appearing green in daylight or under fluorescent lights, and reddish purple in incandescent light. Moonstones vary in color and luminescence. They sometimes have a cat's eye center or a multifaceted star pattern and have colors ranging from pale champagne to peach, blue and green.
July, August and September Birthstones
Rubies--which range in color from dark red to reddish purple--represent luck in romance, good health, monetary success and wisdom, and are the birthstones of July. If you have an August birthday, both peridot and sardonyx are appropriate birthstones. Peridot gives its wearer power and influence and has colors ranging from shades of green to brown. Sardonyx is a type of onyx and its stone is comprised of reddish brown colored layers outlined in white. Wearers of sardonyx are said to have an abundance of courage. The birthstone for September is sapphire, a gem with colors ranging from light to dark blue or green. It supposedly keeps the wearer's loved ones out of harm's way.
Tourmaline and opal are the October birthstones. Tourmaline is the only birthstone that often has several colors in the same gemstone. Opals are best known for drastically changing color in different light, and have an eerie, spherical depth. The birthstones for November are topaz and citrine. Topaz is available in a myriad of colors, the most cherished being orange with hints of pink. Citrine, often associated with healing powers, ranges from yellow to dark orange-brown. Three birthstones are linked to December. Tanzanite, a relatively new gemstone, is deep blue-violet and closely resembles sapphire. Zircon is found in a wide range of colors and is associated with pain relief, resistance to disease and sound sleeping. Turquoise, one of the oldest gemstones, has translucent to opaque colors that vary from greenish blue to robin-egg blue.
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- List of Birthstones & Gemstones by Month
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