Birthstones have long been used to represent the months of the year, and their thousands-year-old history is interesting as much as it is illuminating. From the use of gemstones in the Bible to the official birthstone list of 1912, these vibrant jewels have a powerful symbolic value. There are various theories as to how birthstones came to be associated with certain birth months, and the Bible is one of the earliest sections of that history. Birthstone rosaries are still popular today, and birthstone jewelry is a common gift.
Birthstone Chart By Month
Birthstone Meanings for Each Month + Jewelry Ideas
Find your month, learn about its birthstone, and enjoy our birthstone jewelry recommendations…
January Birthstone – Garnet
The gemstone associated with January is garnet. Although inexpensive, garnet comes with a myriad of captivating colors ranging from yellow, orange, rare green, and the most recognized, deep red. For thousands of years, garnet gemstones have been used by different civilizations all around the world to make pieces of jewelry and decorate other items like clothing, furniture, and weapons.
Jewelry made with these deep red stones has been considered by ancient cultures as protective amulets with a calming essence and healing properties. Therefore, if you are looking for a garnet January birthstone to start the year off right, take a look at the below mentioned January birthstone jewelry…
February Birthstone – Amethyst
The glittering purple gemstone called amethyst is considered the gemstone of February. For the ones fortunate to be born in February, amethyst is your go-to gem. The purple February birthstone has been associated with healing properties among ancient cultures.
The Chinese, associated amethyst with wealth and money, while the medieval people believed the purple gemstone could protect them from drunkenness, poisons, as well as help soldiers in battles achieve victory. Looking to have some of that purple hue of amethyst that people have come to love? Check our curated jewelry ideas for the February Birthstone…
March Birthstone – Aquamarine
One of the most beautiful months of the year is March. Birds start singing, the sun shines through the clouds, and every color of flower whispers for new beginnings. The lucky ones born in March can choose to accessorize themselves with an Aquamarine piece of jewelry.
As Ancient Romans believed, Aquamarine stones were sacred to Neptune, the God of the sea, and they had fallen from the jewel boxes that belonged to sirens. In other parts of the world, other ancient civilizations believed Aquamarine provided courage and sharpened the mind, while others associated it with happiness and healing powers. The value of Aquamarine relies on its hue and clarity with the richer blue color being the most sought after. And for March Birthstone Jewelry Ideas, take a look at these recommendations…
April Birthstone – Diamond
The traditional birthstone of April is the ever-coveted diamond. The stone made for forever, a girl’s best friend, and the ultimate symbol that seals love bonds all around the world when put in a finger. For the ones born in April, to have your official and traditional birthstone doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have to hit the bank. These affordable April birthstone jewelry recommendations are up to the challenge…
May Birthstone – Emerald
Alongside rubies and sapphires, emeralds are considered to be some of the most desirable colored gemstones in the world. The birthstone of May, Emerald, has for a long time now been appreciated for its rich color, durability, and connections to motifs of eternal love. For these reasons, and more, emerald is a precious, expensive stone whose cost deprives many of having it in their jewelry box. However, if you’re a May baby who wants to celebrate your birth month but can’t afford a piece of large emerald jewelry, opt for lesser carat weights of less saturated synthetic emeralds. Find entry-level May birthstone jewelry ideas below…
June Birthstones – Moonstone, Alexandrite, and Pearl
Different from other months mentioned this far, for June there are three official birthstones: Moonstone, Alexandrite, and Pearl. The latter is not a stone, technically speaking. Instead, pearls are the natural phenomenon that is born inside an oyster. The other alternative, moonstone, which is notoriously known for its adularescence, is defined by the peculiar bluish flash of light that dances over the normally colorless stone. The third official birthstone of June, Alexandrite, is a stone best known for the rich red/purple hue it shines when put under incandescent light. Because these stones are so uncommon, they are quite pricey. To triple the fun with June’s birthstones check our recommendations below…
July Birthstone – Ruby
The July birthstone slashes a brilliant splash of red across the calendar at the halfway point of the year, celebrating the year’s midway point with the bold blood-red of the ruby gemstone. Rubies have been linked with elegance and richness for centuries, second only to diamonds in terms of desirability.
Rubies have long been connected with intense passion and romance, courtesy of their blood-red hue. They were worn as protective amulets by a few ancient societies, while others used them as a symbol of blood ties. As rare and property-rich gemstones, rubies come with a cost. Expect to pay anywhere between $800 up to $5000 for most low-carat good quality ruby jewelry. Check our recommendations…
August Birthstones – Spinel, Peridot, and Sardonyx
Much like with June, there are three official birthstones for August as well: Spinel, Peridot, and Sardonyx are all three linked with this month. To begin with, spinel is the youngest birthstone to officially be correlated with August. It is a stunning gemstone that is known for its brilliance that comes in a variety of colors, ranging from deep red to glorious purple. It is a valuable gemstone and can cost anything from $500 up to $10.000 per carat.
Continuing now with sardonyx, the traditional birthstone of August that also happens to have the oldest roots of correlation with this month. This stone comes in mixed colors, (usually orange to black) and has long been used for making amulets, seals, and cameos. Although a rich in history gemstone, which has been widely used throughout human history, sardonyx is inexpensive.
The third August birthstone, peridot, is a gemstone that resembles a green shining apple, so coveted for its rich light green, similar to emerald. The stone has been valued since Ancient Egypt when Egyptians cherished it as the gem of the sun, capable of keeping nightmares at bay. For the perfect August birthstone, check our recommendations below…
September Birthstone – Sapphire
Sapphire, the fourth gemstone (along with diamond, ruby, and emerald) makes the quadruplet of the world’s most precious and coveted gems. It is available in a range of hues, including yellow, pink, green, white, purple, and black, with blue being the most popular. Many ancient civilizations have considered sapphire as a heavenly beacon, harvesting it for thousands of years, and using it to decorate temples, holy places, or jewelry and clothes. In addition to its beautiful shine, the popularity of sapphire, the September birthstone, also comes thanks to its durability, measuring a 9.0/10 on the Mohs hardness scale. Looking for your September birthstone? Check our September birthstone jewelry recommendations…
October Birthstones – Opal and Pink Tourmaline
The official birthstones for October are Opal and Pink Tourmaline. Both are bedazzling gems that will surely look good on you. The traditional Opal is valued for its ability to omit colors from within the stone. It was considered to be a symbol of purity from Romans, who believed it would protect them from sickness. The Arabic people considered opals as stones that had fallen from the heavens in lightning flashes while the indigenous Australians believed opals were left behind by their forefathers as a symbol of their presence. As for Pink Tourmaline, the second October birthstone is such a stunning stone, that is often mistaken with the more expensive emeralds and rubies. It comes in a range of colors, more than any other gemstone, but pink is the designated color for October. Check our birthstone jewelry recommendations for the October-born…
November Birthstones – Topaz and Citrine
Topaz is the traditional November birthstone, but citrine is also on the table as an option. Both stones resemble November’s melancholic colors through their rich orange with pink undertones. Topaz has been mined for thousands of years while the other alternative citrine is unusual to be found in nature, therefore it is synthetically made. Both stones are durable, topaz measures 8/10 on the Mohs hardness scale, and citrine 7/10. They both make great everyday jewelry. Check our recommendations for the November birthstone purist…
December Birthstones – Lapis, Tanzanite, Zircon, and Turquoise
Each December birthstone comes with frosty blues appropriate for the start of the winter season. The four birthstones for December: lapis, turquoise, tanzanite, and zircon; come from all over the world and signify deep historic ties to ancient cultures and spirituality. They range in color from dazzling blue-greens to deep violets. Natural turquoise is a delicate gem with a characteristic bluey-green hue. Zircon is a clear, vivid blue mineral that is quite rare. Tanzanite is a purple-blue stone with a unique appearance and high durability. Lapis boasts a light blue with a rich cobalt hue. Check our recommendations for December Birthstone jewelry…
Brief History of Birthstones Genesis
According to the Book of Exodus, God commanded a Hebrew high priest called Aaron to build a breastplate with 12 gemstones set in a filigree setting in four rows of three. The twelve gemstones were believed to have supernatural powers to predict the future. The twelve stones, one for each of the names of Israel’s sons, are inscribed with the name of one of the twelve tribes like a seal. These were the stones:
First row: carnelian, beryl, and chrysolite
Second row: agate, jacinth, and amethyst
Third row: onyx, topaz, and jasper
Gemstones And The Apostles
During the eighth and ninth centuries, Christians would wear one stone for each month. These 12 stones were correlated with the 12 apostles as follows:
Jasper for Peter – Ruby for Andrew – Emerald for James/ John – Carnelian for Philip – Peridot for Bartholomew – Aquamarine for Thomas – Topaz for Matthew – Sardonyx for James – Chrysoprase for Thaddeus – Zircon for Simon – Amethyst for Matthias – and Sapphire for Paul.
The Ratna Pariksha Book (Hindu Roots)
The roots of birthstones can also be traced back to a 5th Hindu scripture. The Ratna Shastra describes a relationship between jewels and gods, as well as months, days of the week, and specific attributes. Nine jewels were used in this ritual, and they were always coupled with a vivid red gem, such as ruby. The jewels, when worn together, can bring good luck, peace, and protection to the person who wears them.