Mostly gifted for birthdays and anniversaries, birthstones are a cherished tradition throughout the world. Although birthstones have religious origins, suggesting that the 12 stones represented the 12 tribes of Israel, they are now most commonly used to celebrate the month in which someone was born or that of a significant event.
The stones used for each month have varied slightly throughout the years and can be categorised as ancient, traditional and modern birthstones. The key feature that carries throughout time is the colour of the stone as that is seen as the most significant and important factor, such as the ruby later being replaced by the garnet, both being a deep red.
Here at Sundari Jewellery we carry a wide and beautiful range of precious and semi-precious gemstone jewellery with birthstones, perfect for daily wear or a special occasion.
The birthstone for January is the deep red Garnet and is the only stone to be associated with just one month, regardless of culture. The word is derived from the Latin word ‘Granatus’, meaning seedlike as the stone has a colour and shape the similar to that of a pomegranate seed.
The stone is believed to represent faith and purpose and is thought to keep the wearer safe on their travels throughout life, giving calm and direction in darkness.
The stone for February is the purple Amethyst, historically worn by Royality it was used as a symbol of wealth and was also popular in ancient Egypt where it was first set into jewellery. The stone is believed to give the wearer courage to overcome difficulty and also strengthen emotional relationships. Some believe that to make the most of its powerful qualities it should be worn on the middle finger or around the neck.
Marchs’ birthstone is the pale blue Aquamarine, known for its connection to the sea. Early sailors used to believe that by wearing an Aquamarine talisman, etched with the Neptune, the god of the sea, that it would protect them when out at sea. The stone is believed to have healing properties and a link with new friendships, affection and love. Some say that by wearing an Aquamarine you can expect an increase in courage, creativity and overall happiness.
One of the most famous birthstones belongs to April and that is the Diamond. This stone is the hardest naturally occurring substance and is often linked to eternity, such as everlasting love and carries the well-known phrase ‘diamonds are forever’. Throughout history the diamond has been thought to represent many things; religious icons, strength for warriors, tears of a weeping god and outer rings of stars that had fallen to earth. But one thing that is still known, is the diamonds beauty, brilliance and indestructability.
The Emerald is the birthstone of May. This widely known as one of Cleopatras favourite stones and the ancient romans adored them so much that they dedicated them to Venus, the goddess of love and beauty. This stone is a symbol of growth, wisdom, patience and spirituality. Some believe it is best to be worn on the little finger to take advantage of its power but this brilliant green stone will look beautiful on any part of the body.
The birthstone for June is the Pearl, which is thought of as a symbol of purity and the Ancient Greeks said that pearls were tears of joy from Aphrodite, the goddess of love. Made from calcium, this birthstone is different from the others as it is made inside a living shell. The Pearl is thought to calm restless minds and help the wearer succeed in life. Other stones that are associated with June are moonstone and alexandrite, this is due to their opalescent properties.
The stone for July is the Ruby, known for having the deepest colour of all the stones, used to be referred to as ‘king of gems’ and was believed to defend the wearer from evil. Due to the blood like colour of the Ruby, it has been associated with health, vitality and physical strength but in modern times thought to signify love and passion. It is said that the wearer will be blessed by the positive power of the sun and good fortune will come their way.
The light green birthstone for August is the Peridot. It was once believed that peridots found in volcanic ashes were the tears of the volcano goddess, Pele. This stone is believed to protect the wearer from nightmares, ward off evil and bring prosperity and happiness. The stone is known to be able to show the same striking lime green glow in all lights and is sometimes referred to as the ‘evening emerald’, for its light green colour.
The deep blue sapphire is the birthstone of September and symbolises loyalty throughout the ages. Once believed to protect against poison, it was thought that if you placed a venomous snake in a vessel made of a sapphire that the snake would die. This birthstone was a favourite among priests and kings, believed to reflect wisdom and the brighter the sparkle of the Sapphire, the more honest the wearer is thought to be.
The birthstone of October is the Opal. This stone has been compared to galaxies or fireworks and is loved for its everchanging, mesmerising colours. The word Opal, comes from the Latin word ‘Opalus’, which means precious jewel. The stone is believed to ward off evil, protect eyesight and also symbolises the faithful and confident nature of the wearer.
The yellow Topaz is the birthstone of November but Citrine is also often used as they are both classed as sunny stones that bring warmth and calm energy. Topaz was thought of by ancient Greeks to bring healing, life and strength and many believe it is a very magical stone that brings great protection and intelligence to those that wear it.
Both Tanzanite and Turquoise are thought of as the birthstones for December. Turquoise being a stunning blue-green colour and Tanzanite a ‘velvety’ colour, ranging from rich blue to violet. Tanzanite is thought to be one of the most spiritually valuable stones and is thought to offer wisdom, dignity and openness to new spiritual experiences. Turquoise is thought to symbolise luck, good fortune and success as well as relaxing the wearers mind.