What Is My Birthstone?: Birthstone Jewelry Guide

October 01, 2019

If you’re looking to buy something special for someone you love (or for yourself!), what better way than to personalize the gift with their own gemstone?

Birthstones are associated with each month of the year, so no matter who you’re shopping for, you can find the perfect jewelry gift for them just by researching their birth month’s gemstone.

Check out our birthstone guide below and then test your newfound knowledge at our upcoming All That Glitters jewelry sale coming up at Unclaimed Baggage Center!

January - Garnet

This gemstone is full of fascinating folklore and rich history. According to the American Gem Society, the word “garnet” comes from the 14th century Middle English word gernet, meaning “dark red.” The word also is derived from the Latin word granatum, which means “seed,” drawing inspiration from the gemstone’s resemblance to the red seeds of the pomegranate. Although garnet is most well known to be red, there are also different color variations from greens, oranges, pinkish oranges, purplish reds and even some blues. 

Meaning: Peace, prosperity and good health. Garnet also symbolizes deep and lasting friendship.

February - Amethyst

Because of its rich purple color, historically amethyst was associated with Bacchus, the god of wine. The name amethyst comes from the Ancient Greek word methustos, which means “intoxicated.” It was believed that if you wore this gemstone it could protect you from drunkenness. If wine isn’t your thing, other legends thought amethyst kept its wearer clear-headed and quick-witted in battle and in business affairs. We could all use that! In past years, amethyst was prized as highly as diamonds and was worn by royalty. If amethyst is fit for a queen, a piece of amethyst jewelry would make a perfect gift!

Meaning: Peace, courage and stability

March - Aquamarine & Bloodstone

Aquamarine

This stunning blue gem got its name from from the Latin word aqua, meaning water, and marina, meaning the sea. It was said to calm waves and keep sailers safe while they were at sea. But aquamarine isn’t just for seafaring folk! This gemstone is said to help enhance the happiness of marriages. Sounds like a great anniversary gift to us!

Meaning: Long unity and love; tranquility

Bloodstone
Bloodstone (also known as helioptrope) is a really interesting looking dark green gemstone with flecks of red. Sometimes called the martyr's stone, the lore surrounding this gemstone is that it was created when drops of Christ's blood stained jasper at the foot of the cross. In ancient times, some people believed the bloodstone to be magic and could change the weather, make them invisible or heal the wounded. Nowadays many people wear the bloodstone as a good luck charm!

Meaning: Strength; preserved health and youth

April - Diamond

So April pretty much lucked out in the birthstone department because diamonds are always an incredible gift. Since you probably know the basics about them already, here are a few fun facts you might not know! Diamonds are the strongest gemstone, and they can only be cut with other diamonds. But did you know diamonds can burn? In order to burn, the American Gem Society says a diamond has to be heated to between 1290 - 1650 degrees Fahrenheit which can be reached in some house fires and with jewelers’ torches.

Meaning: Strength, purity and lasting love

May - Emerald

Emerald got its name from the Greek word “smaragdus,” which literally means green. This rich green gemstone was mined in Egypt as early as 330 BC, and pharaoh Cleopatra was widely known for her love of emeralds. Like bloodstones, emerald was thought to have powers that would help with epilepsy, bleeding and other maladies. It’s one of the four recognized “precious” gemstones alongside diamonds, rubies and sapphires.

Meaning: Peace, serenity and new beginnings

June - Pearl, Alexandrite and Moonstone

Pearl
Pearls are arguably one of the most beloved types of gems, even if they aren’t always the most expensive. Good news for those buying a gift for June babies! Pearls are either cultured (grown by a mussel farmer or oyster farmer under controlled conditions) or natural (formed when an irritant finds itself inside the oyster’s soft tissue muscle accidentally), and they can come in a whole rainbow of colors. No matter what taste or budget, pearl jewelry is always a great choice!

Meaning: Purity, loyalty and integrity

Alexandrite
This gemstone is described as “emerald by day, ruby by night,” as it changes colors from bluish green to purplish red. Because of alexandrite’s rarity, this gem is more expensive than even diamonds.

Meaning: Luck, increased creativity and love

Moonstone

Moonstones are known for their shimmery appearance which earned them their name. Roman natural historian Pliny wrote that a moonstone’s appearance shifted with the phases of the moon. The moonstone appears to have a light inside because of its internal structure which scatters the light that strikes it, creating a phenomenon known as adularescence. 

Meaning: Youth, tranquility and calm

July - Ruby

Rubies are some of the most valuable and sought after gems in the world — even called the “king of precious stones” — so consider yourselves very special, July babies! Because of their strength and durability, rubies are not only used for jewelry but for watchmaking, medical instruments and lasers. Historically, rubies were believed to predict misfortune or danger, cure inflammatory diseases and soothe anger.

Meaning: Power, passion, wealth and protection

August - Paridot, Sardonyx and Spinel

Paridot
This lime green gemstone is one of few that only come in one color, though shades may vary from yellowish-green to olive to brownish-green. Peridot forms deep inside the Earth’s mantle and is brought to the surface by volcanoes. Sometimes peridot is also found in meteorites. Also, remember when we said Cleopatra was so fond of emeralds? Some believe her collection might have actually been peridot, as they tended to get them confused through medieval times.

Meaning: Prosperity and good fortune

Sardonyx
Sardonyx is a combination of two types of chalcedony (cryptocrystalline quartz): sard and onyx. It’s known for its different zebra stripe-style bands of colors from brownish red to brown to dark orange sard alternating with white or black layers of onyx. This gemstone has always been relatively inexpensive, which makes it a great option for a jewelry gift on a budget!

Meaning: Courage, happiness, and clear communication

Spinel
If you like the look of a ruby, but don’t love the price tag, spinel is a great choice. Although mistaken for a ruby or pink sapphire when it has its most desirable red/pink coloring, spinel also comes in other colors like cobalt blue, bright orange, lavender, black, violet blue, greenish blue, grayish, pale pink, mauve, yellow or brown.

Meaning: Peace and harmony

September - Sapphire

Consider yourself lucky, September folks! The sapphire is a very prized gemstone, typically known for its rich blue hue. It’s also available in every color except red, which earns the classification of rubies instead. Sapphires have been revered throughout history across many cultures. Ancient Hebrews believed that the Ten Commandments were engraved on tablets of sapphire, and Ancient Persians believed the earth actually rested on a giant sapphire, which made the sky blue.

Meaning:  Wisdom, virtue and good fortune

October - Opal and Tourmaline

Opal
The lore of the opal is almost as fascinating as its gorgeous kaleidoscopic rainbow colors. The name “opal” originates from the Greek word opallios, which meant “to see a change in color.” It was discovered in Australia in 1850, where aborigines believed that the creator came to Earth on a rainbow, leaving these colorful stones where his feet touched the ground. And during the Middle Ages, people believed that the opal carried the powers of each gemstone whose color appeared in its sheen, making it a very lucky stone to wear.

Meaning: Good luck, love and passion

Tourmaline
Tourmaline gets its name from the Sinhalese word toramalli, which means “stone with mixed colors,” because it typically has multiple colors in one crystal. Thanks to its range of colors, tourmaline is a desirable gemstone for jewelry, and would make a great gift option. One cool fact about this gemstone is that through heat and pressure, tourmaline can become electrically charged and act as a magnet.

Meaning: Calmness, courage and wisdom

November - Topaz and Citrine

Topaz
Historically, most every yellow stone was called topaz, even though topaz is actually available in several different colors from brownish orange to yellow. Topaz can also be turned blue with treatment, but because it isn’t natural, it’s a very affordable option.

Meaning: Love and affection

Citrine
Quartz’s transparent yellow to brownish orange variety is known as citrine. The word citrine is believed to be derived from the French word for lemon (citron), which is fitting for its usual yellow hue. Historically, citrine was believed to help calm the wearer and keep their temper even-keeled. Nowadays, citrine is readily available and is also a great affordable jewelry gift.

Meaning: Imagination, comfort and energy

December - Tanzanite, Turquoise, Zircon

Tanzanite
We hope you like blue gemstones if you’re a December baby, because this is the first of three! Tanzanite is blue-purple variety of the mineral zoisite that is only found in one part of the world — Tanzania. This new varietal of zoisite wasn’t found until 1967, and since there is only one small stretch of the world where you can find it, it’s a very treasured gem.

Meaning: Spiritual healing

Turquoise
Turquoise is well-known for its powdery blue to greenish robin’s egg blue coloring, and unlike many other gemstones, the United States is the world’s leading supplier. Throughout history, turquoise has been admired for its color, and was used on ancient Egyptian tombs and also on King Tut’s iconic burial mask. Aztecs also highly valued turquoise and used it for shields, ceremonial masks and weapons.

Meaning: Protection, energy and good luck

Zircon
If zircon makes you think of cubic zirconia, think again! Zircon is a lovely gemstone which can be found in a variety of colors like red, orange, yellow, green, blue and brown — but of course its blue varietal is the most popular. As the oldest mineral on earth, it dates back to more than 4.4 billion years. Historically, people believed zircon gemstones could induce sleep, ward off evil and promote prosperity.

Meaning: Good energy, prosperity and honor

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