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What’s in a Gem? The Meaning of the Birthstone

Published date: 16 March 2020

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Each birthstone is steeped in ancient mythology and folklore and is said to have certain abilities and bring various benefits for its wearer. Modern-day tradition believes the stones have protective and healing powers attached to them and that wearing them enhances these powers, while many simply believe birthstone jewellery is a classic way to express individuality. Today, birthstone jewellery makes a thoughtful gift for birthdays and other special occasions because it’s so meaningful and personal.

January: Garnet

Most commonly a deep red wine body colour, January’s birthstone is derived from the Latin for seed-like – granatus – and looks similar in appearance to a pomegranate seed. Garnets are said to ward off evil and symbolise protection and safe travel so incorporated in jewellery, it makes a great gift for someone planning a long journey. View garnet gemstones now.

February: Amethyst

A member of the quartz family of gems, dazzling amethyst is a deep violet colour and signifies peace, courage and stability. Ancient Greeks believed this gemstone protected its wearer from drunkenness and that it brought on wisdom. Because it’s available in different shapes and sizes, it’s one of the more affordable stones. View our range of amethyst gemstones. 

March: Aquamarine and Bloodstone

March birthdays are most commonly associated with aquamarine, which is primarily found in Brazil, Sri Lanka and South East Asia. Sought after because of its stunning colour and crystal structure, aquamarine represents youth, hope and health. The size of the stone often impacts the colour, with smaller pieces more vivid. Alternatively, bloodstone is also favoured for March birthdays. It’s a dark green cabochon with red inclusions. Its alternative name heliotrope comes from the Ancient Greek word for ‘to turn the sun’. Take a look at our range of aquamarine and bloodstone gemstones now.

April: Diamond and Rock Crystal

Diamonds have long been thought of as objects of desire so those with an April birthday may be in for a real treat. Diamonds symbolise purity, everlasting love and faith, which is fitting because their immense strength makes them the hardest element in nature. This stone is believed to increase happiness and prosperity. Looking for a more affordable gem to offer customers? Rock crystal is also an April birthstone and a symbol of human spirit and intellect. View our rock crystal gemstones range.

May: Emerald and Chrysoprase

The birthstone of May is emerald – a dark green stone that’s said to represent hope and regeneration. The deeper the shade of green, the more rare and valuable the emerald. Equally beautiful, chrysoprase also takes the spotlight as a May birthstone. This distinctive green stone is a semi-precious alternative to emerald and said to represent optimism, happiness and joy. View chrysoprase gemstones now.

June: Pearl and Moonstone

Pearls make such unique jewellery pieces because they can vary in colour, from white and cream to blue and lavender. These striking gems are said to be a symbol of purity and chastity. June’s second birthstone, moonstone, is traditionally gifted to celebrate the 13th year of marriage and is a silvery white colour. It’s so named because of its tiny albite inclusions that reflect light, just as the moon does. See our extensive range of pearl and moonstone gemstones now.

July: Ruby and Carnelian

Renowned for its vibrant red colour, hardness and rarity, the ruby is thought of as the king of all gemstones. Rubies symbolise courage and power but they remain a great signifier of love as well. Meanwhile, semi-precious stone carnelian also represents July birthdays and comes in unique patterns of oranges and reds. View carnelian gemstones now.

August: Peridot and Sardonyx

Yellow-green in colour, peridot is believed to signify beauty thanks to the fact that it emits the same glow whether viewed in natural or artificial light. The darker the colour of the stone, the higher its iron content and the more valuable it’s deemed to be. Sardonyx is also a birthstone for August. It combines alternating layers of sard and onyx to create a unique red-white striped effect. It’s said to be a stone of strength and protection. View peridot gemstones now.

September: Sapphire and Lapis Lazuli

Sapphires are believed to protect their wearer from evil and stress. While they’re most commonly blue in colour, they can also be indigo, pink and yellow. Popular alternative lapis lazuli – another of September’s birthstones – is uniformly blue. This stone is associated with encouraging honesty in relationships and making better decisions. View sapphire and lapis lazuli gemstones now.

October: Opal

October’s birthstone opal is always a popular choice for jewellery because of its stunning mix of colours. Opals diffract light and the variety of colours on display simultaneously will depend on the impurities found within the stone. This means each gem is brilliantly unique. Opal is said to signify hope and confidence. Explore our range of opal gemstones.  

November: Topaz and Citrine

Topaz is most commonly associated with November birthdays and comes in a variety of yellow of hues. However, it’s also available in popular shades of blue and in its purest form is colourless. Topaz is thought to bring many benefits. Ancient Greeks believed it gave them strength, while people in India believed that, worn above the head, topaz would ensure a long life filled with beauty and intelligence. Meanwhile, citrine is also gifted in celebration of a November birthday. This transparent yellow-brown gem has often been mistaken for topaz, with many believing it brought the same powers and benefits as its fellow November birthstone. Some consider citrine healing and comforting, while others believe it sparks imagination and invites fresh beginnings. View topaz and citrine gemstones now.

December: Tanzanite and Turquoise

Velvety blue tanzanite is a favourite among jewellery wearers thanks to its unique appearance and the fact it can only be found in one place in the world – the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro. It has rich overtones of purple, making it quite unlike any other gem. Tanzanite is associated with generosity and friendship. Turquoise is also a birthstone of December and can make just as much of a statement as tanzanite. A sky blue-green colour, turquoise is respected for its intensity. It’s said to be a protective stone and wearers can expect to be shielded from exhaustion and depression. View turquoise gemstones now.

Birthstones make a thoughtful gift for celebrating a birthday or anniversary. Want to add these stunning stones to your jewellery making offering?
View Burhouse’s extensive wholesale jewellery range and browse by gemstone, or use our handy reference chart below.

Birthstones make a thoughtful gift for celebrating a birthday or anniversary. Want to add these stunning stones to your jewellery making offering?

View Burhouse’s extensive wholesale jewellery range and browse by gemstone, or use our handy reference chart below.

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