Birthstones have a special place in our hearts and are believed to have unique qualities and significance based on the month you were born. Wearing birthstones allows you to showcase your unique personality and gives others a glimpse into your individuality. When you’re searching for birthstone jewelry or looking to identify your birthstone, you’ll find that there’s more than one gem to choose from. Each month offers a selection of birthstones, allowing for diverse options.
While birthstones by month are a popular choice, you might also be interested in alternative options, such as the gem associated with your zodiac sign or a stone that holds special significance to you. We’re here to assist you in discovering your birthstone or selecting the perfect birthstone gift for someone special in your life. These beautiful gemstones have captivated humans for centuries, and each one tells a story. In this article, we’ll explore the fascinating world of birthstones, their meanings, and the magic they bring to each birth month.
How To Find the Right Birthstone?
While you can’t choose the month you were born in, you do have options when it comes to selecting your birthstone based on your unique personality and style.
- Find by Birth Month: Over a century ago, jewelers assigned a specific stone to each month, which remains the most popular and widely recognized choice.
- Find between Traditional and Modern Birthstones: The list of birthstones has evolved over time to include more modern options for certain months. If you were born in March, June, August, October, November, or December, you have two birthstone choices for your birth month.
- Find by Birthstone Colors: If you have multiple options for your birthstone, you can opt based on your color preferences.
- Find by Birthstone Meanings: Gemstones carry symbolic meanings that may influence your birthstone selection. If the meaning of your birth month gem doesn’t align with your personality, you may prefer a different stone that resonates with you.
- Find by Zodiac Sign: Some prefer to match their birthstone with their zodiac sign rather than adhering to a century-old standardized selection. This alternative is more personalized.
- Find by Day of the Week: Each weekday is associated with a distinct gemstone and color. You can choose to wear the stone corresponding to the day you were born or switch your jewelry daily for variety.
These choices allow you to find the perfect birthstone that reflects your unique character and preferences.
A Guide to Find the Right Birthstones by Month
January Birthstone: Garnet
Garnet serves as the traditional birthstone for January, symbolizing qualities like faith, fidelity, and genuine friendship. Its name originates from the Latin word for pomegranate due to its striking deep red hue. Historically, garnet was worn for added protection and courage in battles or during journeys, and it was considered a safeguard against poison. The gem held a special place among Vikings, often found in their unearthed jewelry. In medieval medicine, garnet was believed to have anti-inflammatory and fever-reducing properties, and it was also associated with bringing sleep and prosperity to its wearer.
- Color: Deep red
- Mohs Hardness: 7-7.5
February Birthstone: Amethyst
Amethyst, the birthstone for February, embodies qualities of intellect, temperance, and love. This stunning gem, with its rich purple or delicate lavender hue, is most commonly found within geodes. Throughout history, amethyst has maintained popularity among religious leaders due to its reputed ability to restrain excessive passion, conquer temptation, and promote virtues.
Amethyst holds special associations with both St. Valentine and the Greek god of wine, Bacchus. Its name is derived from the nymph Amethystos, who, as the myth goes, transformed into the gem to escape Bacchus’s pursuit. In ancient times, Hildegard von Bingen suggested that amethyst could be used to treat skin conditions and cure tumors. It was also believed that sipping wine from an amethyst cup could protect against drunkenness.
- Color: Violet
- Mohs hardness scale: 7
March Birthstone: Aquamarine and Bloodstone
Aquamarine, the modern birthstone for March, is often referred to as the “stone of the sea.” Its name originates from the Latin words “aqua,” meaning “water,” and “marina,” meaning “sea.” The gem’s enchanting clear blue hue resembles the surface of ocean waves or the delicate seafoam. Legend has it that mermaids are associated with the origin of this stone, and sailors believed that aquamarine possessed the power to protect them from perils at sea by invoking the influence of Neptune, the god of the sea.
Aquamarine is renowned for its exceptional clarity, giving it a remarkable level of transparency and brilliance. It is thought to bring tranquility and is often associated with fostering a joyful and enduring marriage, making it a splendid alternative for engagement rings.
- Color: Pale blue
- Mohs hardness scale: 8
April Birthstone: Diamond
Diamond, the birthstone for April, stands as the most resilient among all birthstones. Its remarkable durability and timeless allure have established it as the quintessential choice for engagement rings. In Western cultures, diamonds have been linked to the planet Jupiter, while the Hindu religion associates them with Venus, representing love. The diamond’s exceptional clarity has contributed to its reputation as a symbol of purity.
Throughout history, diamonds were considered a form of medicine, primarily reserved for affluent royalty and esteemed religious leaders in ancient civilizations.
- Color: Clear
- Mohs Hardness: 10
May Birthstone: Emerald
Emerald, the birthstone for May, is renowned as the “stone of joy and vitality.” In ancient times, it symbolized fertility and the concept of rebirth. The vibrant green hue and its association with new life make emerald a perfect gem for the spring season. Unlike flawless gems, emeralds possess character-enhancing flaws or inclusions, often referred to as “Jardins,” a French term alluding to the resemblance of these markings to miniature wildflower patches in a lush, green field.
Medieval beliefs credited emeralds with the power to alleviate headaches and epilepsy while rejuvenating the spirit.
- Color: Green
- Mohs Hardness: 7.5-8
June Birthstone: Pearl and Alexandrite
Pearl, the modern birthstone for June, embodies values of wisdom, integrity, and truth. Pearls are celebrated for their exquisite perfection, displaying a smooth surface and a lustrous sheen. Various creation myths have enveloped the pearl over time. Some ancient cultures believed it to be the creation of mythical beings such as nymphs and dragons, while others attributed its origin to thunderstorms or the tears of deities. In reality, pearls develop within mollusks and require several years to form. Due to their delicate nature, pearls demand extra care and attention. Additionally, moonstone, with its resemblance to pearls, serves as an alternative birthstone for June.
- Color: White
- Mohs Hardness: 2.5-4
July Birthstone: Ruby
Ruby, the birthstone for July, serves as a symbol of love, power, and passion, making it an emblem not meant for the faint of heart. As the gemstone of love, rubies are the ideal choice for anniversary or Valentine’s Day gifts. The value of rubies is greatly influenced by their remarkable color; the deeper the red, the more precious the ruby. In the past, rubies were often affixed to weapons, believed to offer protection and competitive advantage due to their vibrant red hue, which could instill fear in adversaries.
Throughout history, rubies found application in ancient and medieval medicine, where they were believed to enhance blood circulation, stimulate the heart, and provide various other remedies. The ruby is also associated with enhancing concentration and fervor, with wearers thought to be both invincible and irresistible.
- Color: Bold red
- Mohs hardness scale: 9
August Birthstone: Peridot and Sardonyx
Peridot, the modern birthstone for August, holds deep significance. Its bright and vibrant presence is known to evoke feelings of joy and positivity, making it a symbol of creative expression and eloquence. What sets peridots apart is their formation through volcanic activity, making them one of the rare gemstones, alongside diamonds, to originate from the Earth’s crust. Due to their lively and vivid green color, peridots are often considered the perfect gemstone for the summer season.
Beyond their aesthetic appeal, some individuals turn to peridots for their potential detoxifying effects, metabolism-boosting qualities, and ability to uplift low spirits. Classified as a type of mineral called olivine, peridots exhibit a wide spectrum of green shades, ranging from subdued olive or forest green to striking lime.
- Color: Green
- Mohs Hardness: 6.5-7
September Birthstone: Sapphire
Sapphire, the birthstone for September, is a celestial gem renowned for its ability to enlighten the mind with wisdom, spiritual insight, and mental clarity. In matters of the heart, the sapphire represents qualities of loyalty, faithfulness, and enduring love, which has led it to become a favored alternative for engagement rings. Many believe that sapphires also instill personal motivation and self-assurance.
In ancient times, sapphires were utilized in traditional medicine to treat eye ailments. It’s worth noting, however, that before the advent of modern mineralogy, sapphires were often mistaken for lapis lazuli, another beautiful but semi-precious stone known for its vibrant blue hue.
- Color: Dark blue
- Mohs Hardness: 9
October Birthstone: Tourmaline, Opal, and Aquamarine
Tourmaline, the birthstone for October, holds unique significance. Pink tourmaline, in particular, is associated with gentle and compassionate energy, aiding in the restoration of relationships, healing of broken hearts, and fostering a love for humanity. While tourmalines exist in various colors, the rare pink variety is specifically linked to the month of October. Among the distinctive types, watermelon tourmaline stands out, displaying both pink and green hues, symbolizing qualities of compassion and selflessness.
Beyond its symbolic meaning, some believe that tourmaline possesses beneficial properties, including aiding digestion and enhancing the immune system. Notably, when rubbed, tourmaline can generate an electrical charge, and when exposed to light, it may exhibit a striking optical effect known as “cat-eye,” a phenomenon referred to as chatoyancy.
- Color: Pink
- Mohs Hardness: 7-7.5
November Birthstone: Topaz and Citrine
Topaz, the birthstone for November, is often referred to as the “firestone” due to its bold and intense energy. It ignites a sense of purpose, enthusiasm, and passion while bestowing self-confidence and a radiant aura. Additionally, topaz is believed to encourage acts of kindness and charity. In ancient times, this gemstone was associated with the sun gods Ra and Jupiter. Legend has it that Topaz has the power to quench thirst and ward off bad dreams.
Naturally, topaz can be found in clear, colorless, orange, or golden-brown hues, but it is frequently treated to enhance its color, resulting in exquisite variations like the enchanting blue topaz.
- Color: Orange or golden-brown
- Mohs Hardness: 8
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December Birthstone: Turquoise or Blue Topaz
Turquoise, the birthstone for December, possesses a serene and calming quality that brings tranquility to both mind and spirit. It fosters effective communication, dispels chaos, and contributes to restful sleep, making it a valuable aid for meditation. Due to its soothing properties, turquoise was historically utilized to cool the temper of fiery individuals or reduce fever in patients.
Turquoise exhibits various shades, with the bright blue variation being the most recognized. There are distinctions such as sky blue topaz for pale blue, Swiss blue topaz for medium blue, and London blue topaz for the deepest shade.
- Color: Bright blue
- Mohs Hardness: 8
Determining your birthstone based on your birth month can be a fun way to add a personal touch to your jewelry or find a meaningful gift for someone special. Each birthstone carries its own unique symbolism and history, making it more than just a beautiful gem. Whether you choose your birthstone, a zodiac stone, or one that holds a special meaning to you, wearing these gemstones can add a touch of individuality and significance to your life.
Birthstones have both astrological and traditional origins. Some people choose their birthstones based on their zodiac sign, while others follow the traditional list of birthstones assigned to each month.
Yes, you can wear a birthstone from a different month if it holds special significance for you. Many people choose gemstones based on personal meaning rather than their birth month.
Birthstones are believed to bring various qualities, such as luck, protection, and healing, to the wearer. They are often associated with specific virtues and attributes.
No, birthstones can be used in various forms, including loose gemstones, amulets, or as part of crystal healing practices. They don’t have to be set in jewelry.
Yes, some months have multiple birthstones, and alternative lists of birthstones exist, offering more options based on individual preferences and beliefs.