I have not been able to get my birthstone articles out as fast as I originally planned. The holidays hit and well…you know the rest. My friend Gina offered to let me use this great summary article, so of course I took her up on it. Enjoy…
Everything About Birthstones
by Gina Ritter
As a new parent or an old pro, there’s something wonderful about the birthstone. What does it mean? What can we find with our birthstone on it? Even children love to learn about their birthstones and receive special gifts.
January Birthstone: Garnet
Garnet, usually noted as the color red, is actually a gem of nature with its colors ranging from deep red to orange, yellow and green. Only blue is not found among garnets. Garnet is believed to be able to illuminate the night and protect the wearer from wounds, ill health and evil.
February Birthstone: Amethyst
The word “amethyst” comes from the Greek, meaning “not drunken,” and the gem is purported to have originated when the god Dionysus took out his anger on mortals.
March Birthstone: Aquamarine
Aquamarine is a beautiful light blue-green stone whose name is derived from the Latin “beryllus aquamarinus,” meaning “resembling seawater” — “aqua” meaning water and “mare,” sea. Since it’s the color of the sky, aquamarine is presumed to be heavenly or eternal. It’s also the color of water, carrying the legend that it was originally found in a mermaid’s treasure and making it a sailor’s talisman. Its light blue color symbolizes sympathy, trust, harmony or friendship in a relationship, and aquamarine is supposed to be the ideal gemstone for lovers or couples to give them happiness and riches.
April Birthstone: Diamond
While you may think of diamonds as being colorless or yellow, they really come in a rainbow of colors. Although they tend to be pale, they come in oranges, greens, pinks and blues, pale to bright yellows and several shades of brown now being given names like “cognac” and “champagne.” “Diamond” is from the Greek “adamas,” meaning unbreakable or unconquerable. Diamonds were believed to render poison harmless and to drive away insanity and bad dreams.
May Birthstone: Emerald
The name emerald was derived from French “esmeraude,” formed from a Latin root word meaning “green gemstone.” Like the garnet, the emerald is a natural color also linked to the earth goddess and fertility. “Emerald green” gained its named from this amazingly deep and beautiful green color. In lore it was sacred to the goddess Venus and interestingly, it’s been worn to ease the pain of childbirth. Emeralds promise good luck, well-being and healing.
June Birthstone: Pearl
Pearls are an organic gem, formed by an irritation in a sea oyster or freshwater mussels. Long ago, pearls were important financial assets, comparable in price to real estate, as thousands of oysters had to be searched for only one pearl. They were rare because they were created only by chance. Now, men culture pearls by setting a sea shell piece in the oyster and returning it back to the water until a sufficient amount of time has passed for it to create a pearl. The goddess Venus was linked to pearls as a symbol of innocence.
July Birthstone: Ruby
An extremely rare flawless ruby is more valuable than a diamond, a true emperor of the gemstones. Historically, the ruby is associated with royalty, love and vividness, passion and power. It was attributed to the power over life and death, strengthening the heart, diluting poisons and prevention of blood loss. Red emanates warmth and a strong sense of life.
August Birthstone: Peridot
The peridot is a light green color perfect for summer and said to rid night terrors and bad thoughts with some healing powers for the liver. The Egyptians used peridots and the ancient Romans coveted its brilliant green sparkle, naming it “evening emerald”. Peridot is also found in European medieval churches.
September Birthstone: Sapphire
In ancient times, the sky was believed to be “a gigantic blue sapphire stone into which the earth is embedded.” Buddhists believe the sapphire brings purity and spiritual enlightenment. The sapphire is found in all the colors of the sky as well as all the colors of the sunset, including yellow, pink, orange and purple (but not red; in fact, a red sapphire is actually a ruby). Interestingly, a large percentage of the population favors the color blue, and sapphires are connected to sympathy and harmony, friendship and loyalty. Sapphire blue is related to reliability, loyalty, faithfulness, love and yearning and like aquamarine, is considered a gem for couples and lovers. Sapphires are also connected to identifying liars, protection from black magic, visions and the ability to read the future.
October Birthstone: Opal and Tourmaline
In ancient Egyptian legend, the “rainbow gemstone” tourmaline got its amazing colors from heat while traveling to the sun on a rainbow. No two are alike, and it is thought to possess magical powers, especially in love, stability and friendship.
Opals carry a mystical healing power, according to the ancients, and can solve depression and help find true love. When the zodiac sign bearer carries an opal, his or her personality and positive characteristics are amplified. Opal reflects changing emotions and moods of people and our moods will choose the color of opal we prefer that day. In the time of the ancient Australian aborigines, it is reported that the creator came down to Earth on a rainbow to spread peace, and where his foot touched the ground, opals were formed in rainbow colors. The Roman senator Nonius chose exile rather than surrendering an opal to Mark Antony.
November Birthstone: Topaz
Topaz is used for clear sight and to break the chains of magical enchantment, protect the faithful against harm and increase strength. It’s said to change color in the presence of poisoned food or drink and to be colored with the golden glow of the mighty Egyptian sun god Ra. Rubbing or gentle heating of topaz electrifies it, causing it to attract small particles like bits of paper or hair. The Romans associated topaz with Jupiter, who also is the god of the sun. Topaz was said to cure insomnia, asthma and hemorrhages. The word “topaz” comes from the Sanskrit “tapas,” meaning ‘to glow.” Topaz is colored amber gold, peach, warm brown or oranges, blue and rarely pink. Citrine is a form of topaz.
December Birthstone: Blue Zircon
In the Middle Ages, zircon was said to aid sleep, bring prosperity and promote honor and wisdom in its owner. The name probably comes from the Persian word “zargun,” which means “gold-colored,” although zircon comes in pastel blue, bright blue, green, and dark red, yellow, brown, and orange. Zircon is said to rid wearers of bad dreams and spirits, grief, melancholy and sleeplessness. Zircon is often confused with the man-made diamond, cubic zirconia.
© Gina Ritter