Monthly Birthstone Jewellery Guide

Saturday, 3 October 2020
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Birthstone Jewellery Guide

Monthly Birthstone Jewellery Guide

The practice of attributing a gemstone to a birth month goes back to ancient times. Traditionally one single gemstone is associated with each whole month, although there are a few months where multiple birthstones are linked to that month. Over the years the original birthstones associated with birth months have changed although many have deep historical connections with the past. Often the choice of a birth stone was linked to beliefs the gem had incredible powers such as luck, health and prosperity.

Historically the most important aspect of a gemstone was the colour and not the actual type of gem. This was due to the fact, they we unable to distinguish between the different types of gems, as we can today. As an example, it was not possible for them to distinguish between a Garnet and a Ruby, as both were red gems.

Gemstone jewellery is a popular gift because it is a gift that has personal significance to the beneficiary and the vibrant colours of birthstones make them beautiful to wear. Check out your birth month, or that of your partner and browse the many options available.

 January Birthstone – Garnet

January Birthstone - GarnetThe Garnet is the birthstone for people born in the month of January. It is also the Zodiac stone for Aquarius (Birthdate Jan 20 to Feb18) the stone is considered the gift to celebrate your second wedding anniversary.

Garnets have been admired since 3000 BC having been used as beads in necklaces. The name Garnet’s meaning is seedlike and relates to likeness of small garnets to the seeds of the pomegranate. It is said that Garnet brings prosperity, friendship, security, health and peace.

Garnet - January BirthstoneThe most common and popular colour of Garnets is red, with the most popular types being Pyrope, Almandine and Rhodolite. However, Garnets are available in orange, purple, pink, green, yellow, brown and blue. Garnets range from very affordable to expensive depending on the quality of the stone.

Garnets are found in Mozambique, India, Russia, South America, Madagascar, Pakistan, and the United States.

February Birthstone – Amethyst

February Birthstone AmethystThe Amethyst is the birthstone for people born in the month of February. It is also the Zodiac stone for Pisces (Birthdate Feb19 to Mar 20) and the stone is the gift to celebrate your sixth wedding anniversary.

Amethysts were prised by many ancient civilizations. In Ancient Greece it was symbolic for wisdom, strength and stability. They were valued more than the same current highly valued gemstones today, such as sapphires and the rubies.

The colour range of Amethysts is from pale lavender to deep violet. Amethysts are renowned for their beautiful colour, but another aspect that makes them very desirable is the vast array of different shapes and sizes, which adds to the affordability of the stone. Amethyst is a type of quartz and the stone gets its colour from traces of iron and aluminium. Amethyst colour complements settings in yellow gold, rose gold and white gold metals, making them a great stone for any occasion.

Today, the most important sources of amethyst are in Africa especially Zambia and South America. Brazil is still a major supplier, as is Bolivia.

March Birthstone – Aquamarine

March Birthstone AquamarineThe Aquamarine is the birthstone for people born in March.  It is also the Zodiac stone for Pisces (Birthdate Mar 21 to Apr 19) and the stone is the gift to celebrate your nineteenth wedding anniversary.

Aquamarines have for centuries been a symbol of youth, hope, health and fidelity. Aquamarines were thought by many ancient civilisations to have medicinal properties and were used in powdered form to help cure infections, particularly eye ailments. The stone is also used in meditation as an aid to inner tranquility., harmony and enhance personal connections.

The stone was named for its vivid blue colour which is reminiscent of the sea. A quality of Aquamarine is its capacity to sparkle and glitter subdued lighting. The range of colours are from a stunning pastel sky blue to a greenish-blue to a deep dark blue. The darker shades are much rarer and are the most expensive. Generally, the larger the stone the deep the colour. Aquamarine is a form of “Beryl” and it’s natural structure often has no inclusions  which adds to the beauty and durability of Aquamarines. With clarity and less natural inclusions than most gemstones Aquamarines are extremely durable and great for every day wearing.

Today Aquamarines are found in Brazil, Pakistan, Kenya, Madagascar, Nigeria, Zambia, Mozambique, China, Myanmar, Russia and Ukraine. There are also small deposits in the USA in Colorado and California.

April Birthstone – Diamond

Birthstone April - DiamondThe Diamond is the birthstone for people born in April.  It is also the Zodiac stone for Aries (Birthdate Apr 20 to May 20) and the stone is the gift to celebrate your sixtieth wedding anniversary.

Diamonds have been associated throughout history with love, so they are the perfect gift for a loved one. Diamonds are very closely associated with engagement rings, whether solitaire or a cluster of diamonds. Traditionally diamonds were white and only recently have coloured diamonds become fashionable. Coloured diamonds can be found in various rarer colours including pink, red, yellow, blue, and a variety of others as well.

There is a standard for grading diamonds being known as the 4C’s.  Colour, clarity, cut and carat weight.

Diamonds are the hardest substance known to mankind and as such have always been highly prized.

May Birthstone – Emerald

May Birthstone - EmeraldThe Emerald is the birthstone for people born in May.  It is also the Zodiac stone for Taurus and Gemini (Birthdate May 21 to Jun 20) and the stone is the gift to celebrate your fifty-fifth wedding anniversary.

Emerald’s have been prized throughout history with Cleopatra being an avid fan of the green stone, and many Egyptian mummies have been found with emeralds in their coffins to assist in the afterlife, as they were thought to symbolize eternal youth.

Emerald’s is a form of “Beryl” with small amounts of chromium or vanadium giving the gemstone its distinctive green colour. Emeralds nearly always have some fault or inclusion in the stone, so any emerald that has none is highly regarded. All emeralds are green and the deeper the green colour the more valuable the stone. The rarest and reputably the most valuable exhibit an intense bluish hue in addition to their bold green colour.

The largest source of emeralds is Columbia, with Brazil and Zimbabwe also producing gemstones on a regular basis. 

June Birthstone – Pearl

June Birthstone - PearlThe Pearl is the birthstone for people born in June.  It is also the Zodiac stone for Gemini and the stone is the gift to celebrate your thirtieth wedding anniversary.

Pearls are the only gem to be made by a living creature, from a variety of species of oysters and muscles.  The traditional Pinctada Maxima produces the South Sea pearl, with beautiful colours from white to off white, silver and creams to deep golden tones.  The Pinctada Margaritifera, known as the Black Pearl oyster produces pearls that have an amazing colour spectrum from lustrous deep black colours to the vibrant rich greens, hues of blues, and stunning aubergines, to light greys and interesting taupe colours. Both these species of shell grow pearls in various sizes and shapes which creates great desire and intrigue.

Pearls are harvested from saltwater oyster as well as freshwater muscles.  There are many different types of pearls and each one is appealing to different women. Pearls are thought of as being naturally spherical, however this is not always the case with as little as approximately 15% to be considered to qualify as round. The rest are categorised according to their vast variety of shapes, with the size and the colour contributing to determining their value.

Pearls were prized as precious objects from around 2300 B.C. in Mesopotamia. Up until approx. 120 years ago, all pearls occurred naturally and were found when the oyster was harvested for food or to make “Mother of pearl” from the oyster shell. A Japanese man Kokichi Mikimoto created the process of the cultivated pearls and so pearls were able to be produced in commercial quantities and a whole industry was born. The South Sea Pearls are produced mainly in Australia, Japan, Tahiti, and other pacific island nations.

July Birthstone – Ruby

July Birthstone - RubyThe Ruby is the birthstone for people born in July.  It is also the Zodiac stone for Cancer and Capricorn (Birthdate Jul 23 to Aug22) and the stone is the gift to celebrate your fortieth wedding anniversary.

Rubies have been revered throughout history and it was believed they bestowed love, health and wisdom upon the wearer. Rubies are considered the most valuable gemstone with the ruby’s colour being its most important feature. Rubies colour range from purplish and bluish red to orange-red, with rubies of a rich red colour being the most prized.

The ruby is the second hardest of the natural gemstones and is considered durable enough for regular everyday wear. It is a form of the corundum mineral species, and its red colour emanates from the element of chromium. Rubies are classified by three distinct elements:

Hue – this refers to the colour in the most common sense of the word

Saturation – this refers to the intensity of the hue or

Tone – this refers to the shade of the stone

Rubies were predominantly found in South East Asia and were traded along China’s Silk Road from around 200 B.C. They were extremely important to Ancient Hindus who referred to them as the “King of Gems”.

The majority of rubies today, come from Myanmar. 

August Birthstone – Peridot

August Birthstone - PeridotThe Peridot is the birthstone for people born in August.  It is also the Zodiac stone for Leo.

Peridots it was believed in ancient times is said to bring the wearer magical powers and healing properties which offered protection against nightmares when presented as a gift. The signature lime green colour is believed to instil power and influence in the wearer. Peridots were highly prized by the Egyptians who would often wear them instead of emeralds and were known by them as “the gem of the sun”.

Birthstone July - PeridotPeridot gets its colour from amounts of iron and magnesium, resulting in the yellowish green colours.

Peridots are mined in many countries including Australia, Brazil, China, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Mexico, Myanmar, Norway, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and several States in the U.S. (Arkansas, Arizona San Carlos Reservation, Nevada, New Mexico, Hawaii).

 

September Birthstone – Sapphire

September Birthstone - Sapphire BlueThe Sapphire is the birthstone for people born in September.  It is also the Zodiac stone for Taurus and Librans and the stone is the gift to celebrate your fortieth fifth wedding anniversary.

Sapphires were believed to protect those close to you from harm in the Middle Ages They were also thought to represent honesty, loyalty, trust and purity. This tradition is still alive today with Sapphires being a popular choice for an engagement ring.

Most people believe that Sapphires only come in blue. They do however come in pink, yellow, orange, peach and violet colours. Of all the coloured Sapphires the most revered is the rare and beautiful Padparadscha. This gem is pink-orange stone which exhibits a distinctive salmon colour. The colour has been described as the colour of a tropical sunset. They are extremely rare, and as a consequence they are among the most expensive gemstones in the world. Sapphire is a Corundum mineral the same mineral as Rubies. The blue colour in Sapphires is due to the trace elements of iron and titanium.

Sapphires are mined in many parts of the world. Myanmar, Kashmir and Sri Lanka are where the most prized Sapphires are found, exhibiting a highly saturated violet-blue colour. Sapphires are also found in Thailand, Vietnam, China, Australia, Brazil, Africa and North America (mainly Montana). Madagascar currently leads the world in production.

Sapphires became a symbol of royal love when Lady Diana Spencer was given a 12-carat blue sapphire engagement ring. Her son Prince William gave, his late mother’s ring to his finance, Catherine Middleton in 2010.

October Birthstone – Opal

October Birthstone _ OpalThe Opal is the birthstone for people born in October. It is also the Zodiac stone for Librans (Birthdate Sep 23 to Oct 22) and the stone is the gift to celebrate your fourteenth wedding anniversary.

Opals are truly unique gemstones with each one as unique as your fingerprint due in the main to the kaleidoscopic colour effect when the stone is moved. The fire in each stone can show flashes of bright reds, yellows, with calming flashes of blue and green. The most prized Opals are black opals from Lightning Ridge in Australia. With opals there are a multiple choice of white opal, black opal, fire opal-red to orangey red, occasionally yellow and the more common colours of pink or blue. It is a gem that can satisfy at any price point.

Opals are one of the first items of jewellery and was often worn as a protection from evil spirits and the occult. The Romans considered opals the most precious of gemstones as they contain the colours of other gems.

Australia is the main producer of Opals worldwide.

November Birthstone – Citrine

November Birthstone - CitrineThe Citrine is the birthstone for people born in November. It is also the Zodiac stone for Cancer (Birthday) and the stone is the gift to celebrate your thirteenth wedding anniversary.

Citrine is French for lemon which is reflective of the juicy yellow colouring which ranges through to a bright orangey brown. The colour in the stones is due to the presence of iron in the crystal. The stone was once considered to be a protection against snake venom and evil whereas today it is known as the merchant’s stone and is associated with success and prosperity. It is also believed to have health benefits especially the heart, kidney, digestive tract, liver, and muscles.

Citrine is plentiful and consequently is far more affordable than other gemstones. It is available in many shapes and sizes with larger stones available to make a statement.

Most Citrine is mined in Brazil with small quantities found in Russia, Colorado, Madagascar, Bolivia, Myanmar, UK, Canada, Sri Lanka, Spain, and some states in the U.S.A.

December Birthstone – Tanzanite

December Birthstone -TanzaniteDecember is the blue month and there are a few gemstones that are associated with December birthstone. These include Blue Topaz, Turquoise, and Tanzanite. The most popular is Tanzanite and it is the major birthstone for people born in December. It is also the Zodiac stone for Pisces (Birthday) and the stone is the gift to celebrate your twenty fourth wedding anniversary.

Tanzanite is found in only one place on earth in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. Its colour is an exotic velvety blue interspersed with a rich overtone of purple.  The overall effect is unique with a colour which is completely unlike any other. It is one of the most popular blue gemstones being available in a variety of shapes and sizes.

Smaller sized stones are usually of a lighter tone and a lavender colour, while the larger sized stones are generally the rich deeper more beautiful blue.

Tanzanite is believed to promote truth, enlightenment and intuition.

The history of birthstones is fascinating and is etched in history. For more background click here.

Author Bio.

Jill Hansen runs Anastasia’s Of Broome and is a highly recognised expert is the field of South Sea Pearls having trained in seeding pearls in Cook Islands by Japanese Pearl Technicians. She established a wholesale pearl business selling pearls all over the world. Jill pioneered the combination of pearls and diamonds to create Lust™ Pearls, a unique fusion of these beautiful gemstones. She is an accredited diamond expert and is happy to use and impart her knowledge to help customers make informed decisions.

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