A Year of Birthstones

by - Wednesday, August 30, 2017

September Sapphires
Many people place great importance on the month of one’s birth, and throughout the ages, various traditions have evolved to encapsulate its meaning. One of these traditions is the birthstone. A birthstone is a gem associated with a month on the calendar, each with a unique symbolism and historical story. When worn by those born in that month, it is sometimes thought to enhance their life with its distinct properties.

A Guide to Birthstones by Month

January – Garnet 
Though it can come in a variety of colors, the deep red garnet is the most cherished variety. It has been used in jewelry for millennia, appearing as necklace beads in artifacts dating back to 3000 B.C.E. The durability of the garnet is as enduring as its appeal; these days it is frequently found in delicate pieces like artisan rings and earrings. A symbol of courage, strength, and hope, it is a fitting birthstone for the start of the year.

February – Amethyst 
This majestic purple gemstone is thought to imbue its wearer with greater peace and courage. This gemstone is one of the most popular varieties of quartz with a hue that ranges from lightest lavender to deepest purple. In ancient Rome, amethyst was thought to give the wearer mental clarity and protect them from inebriation when drinking wine.

March – Aquamarine
Aquamarine gems radiate with the colors of the Caribbean Sea beneath sunny skies. The stone, which comes from the beryl family of gems that includes emerald, is usually blue or blueish-green, with a clarity that runs from crystal clear to translucent to opaque. According to legend, aquamarine was a gift from the mermaids, and has long been worn as a protective talisman among sailors.

Birthstone Jewelry
April – Diamond and White Topaz 
Among the most prized of all the gemstones, diamonds are associated with enduring love due to their clarity and unmatched toughness. The name of the gem derives from the Greek adamas, which translates to invincible. While the sparkling, clear white version often seen on engagement rings comes to mind first when people think of diamonds, the jewel comes in many colors, including red, pink, blue, green and yellow, with varying levels of intensity. Diamonds are joined by white topaz as April birthstones. Lesser known than the diamond, white topaz is a highly pure colorless variety of its namesake gem. From the Greek word topazos, meaning to seek, white topaz is revered for assisting in clearing thoughts and intentions and substituting negativity with love and joy.

May – Emerald 
With its brilliant green hue, the emerald is the perfect gemstone to celebrate the verdant displays of spring. The name is derived from the Greek word for green, smaragdus. The color of emeralds can range from light green to the deepest green. The stone is believed by some to bestow its wearer with good health, fortune and vitality.

June – Pearl and Moonstone 
Mirroring their astrological sign of the Gemini twins, June babies have two birthstones: pearl and moonstone. It is now common knowledge that pearls are made by oysters, but before their origin was known, several legends were crafted to explain their creation. One holds that pearls are created by moonlight-filled dewdrops falling into the ocean, while another suggests they are the tears of the Gods. The reality of a sea creature turning a grain of sand into a gemstone is nearly as fanciful. The oldest known gem, pearls are a symbol of purity, innocence, and integrity. June’s second gem, moonstone, is prized for its distinct adularescence, a quality similar to the shifting light of the moon upon water. Romans once believed that moonstone was solidified rays of the moon, while modern Indians treasure it as a sacred stone that can bring about beautiful dreams. Moonstone comes in a variety of colors, all of which have an ethereal sheen that brought about its name.

July Ruby 
This deep red stone has long been a symbol of love and passion, as well as of royalty. In the same corundum family of stones as sapphire, the name ruby comes from the Latin word for red, rubeus. The name for the fiery gemstone in ancient Sanskrit translates to “king of precious stones.” Rubies are believed to offer courage, wealth, and love when worn.

August Peridot

August Peridot 
Peridot is beloved for its crisp lime green color and well known for its unusual routes to the Earth’s surface. The gemstone is primarily formed deep within the mantel and brought to the surface via volcanic eruptions. Hawaiian legend says the beautiful stones are the tears of Pele, the goddess of volcanoes, fire, and lightning. In rarer instances, the stone is found within meteorites. Peridot is believed to protect the wearer from misfortune and possess healing properties.

September – Sapphire
When thinking of sapphire, most people envision a brilliant blue, but the gem exists in almost all colors of the rainbow. Sapphires are prized for their unique brilliance and strength, surpassed in hardness only by diamonds. Due to the way it is formed, sapphires may appear to change color in different lights or when viewed from differing angles—some even contain multiple colors. These properties make them very valuable, especially in their blue and extremely rare orange-pink varieties. In some traditions, sapphires are associated with wisdom, truth, mental focus and health. They are said to symbolize loyalty and faith.

October – Opal and Tourmaline
Opal beguiles with its iridescence of cool or fiery colors. An Arab legend says that opals fall to earth in flashes of lightning, while Australian Aborigines believed the stones appeared wherever the creator touched the ground. Opals are said to symbolize hope and innocence, and are associated with friendship and healing. If you prefer tourmaline, you have many varieties and colors to choose from. The name comes from the Sinhalese phrase tura mali, meaning “stone of mixed colors.” Indeed, one prized variety called watermelon tourmaline features pink and green sections. Many believe the gemstone protects against toxins and negative thinking.

December Turquoise
November – Citrine
Citrine’s name is derived from the French word citron, meaning lemon. As its name suggests, it has a golden color reminiscent of citrus fruit. The “success stone,” as it is colloquially called, can often be found in merchant’s cash registers as it is thought to bring prosperity and good fortune. Mystics believe it has myriad healing properties and will wear citrine jewelry to restore balance and health. With so many perceived benefits, it’s no wonder this member of the quartz family is one of the most popular gemstones around.

December – Turquoise
Cool shades of blue and soft green in turquoise, December’s birthstone, brighten winter’s chill. Known as the “fallen sky stone”, turquoise has been valued for its beauty and cultural significance around the world for thousands of years. Formed in crevices of rocks, its blue-green hues come from a chemical reaction with copper, and are seen as a symbol of happiness. Turquoise is believed by some to repel negative energy and increase confidence, while others value it solely for its unique aesthetic appeal.

Ultimately, a gem’s power lies in how you feel when you wear it. Perhaps the birthstone that coincides with your birth month feels earth-made just for you. Possibly you are drawn to a jewel that matches your zodiac sign, or is connected with your birth month from another birthstone tradition. No matter. If a gemstone helps you feel beautiful, strong, protected, passionate, creative, or peaceful, embrace it fully as your own.

Discover all of our September Sapphire jewelry here.

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