Find out Your Birthstone!
Birthstones are gemstones that represent the month of a person's birth. For example, opal is the birthstone for the month of October, so people born in October have opal as their birthstone. Birthstone jewellery is an excellent birthday gift because it shows you care for your love one and friends.
The history of birthstone
Experts found that the practice of associating certain gemstones with certain months of the year dates back at least 2000 years. George Frederick Kunz, a mineralogist and gemologist in the late 1880s wrote in his book, The Curious Lore of Precious Stones:
"The origin of the belief that to each month of the year a special stone was dedicated, and that the stone of the month was endowed with a peculiar virtue for those born in that month and was their natal stone, may be traced back to the writings of Josephus, in the first century of our era, and to those of St. Jerome, in the early part of the fifth century. Both these authors distinctly proclaim the connection between the twelve stones of the high-priest’s breastplate and the twelve months of the year, as well as the twelve zodiacal signs."
George also wrote that people started to wear stones as natal stones until a comparatively late date although there was early proof of birthstones. This custom began in eighteenth-century Europe and quickly spread to the United States and other countries later.
Types of birthstone
The birthstone list has been modified several times after the first standardisation of the list since 1912. There are still multiple "birthstone lists" in use around the world. Here is the birthstone list that was recently published by the Gemological Institute of America.
January - March
- January: Garnet
Many people think of a red gem when they think of garnet, it is actually available in almost every color. The garnet has been a popular gem throughout history, which is one of the oldest gemstones dating back to 3000 B.C. There are many beliefs that garnet is not only positive to physical health but also mental health. Today, the Mozambique variety of garnet is quite popular.
- February: Amethyst
It is also the gemstone for the 6th anniversary of marriage. In the old-time, amethyst played a significant role in the Christian church, worn on Bishops’ rings. The amethyst was as precious as a diamond. Then great finds in South America and elsewhere made it more plentiful. As its rarity decreased, so did its price.
- March: Aquamarine
The seawater color of aquamarine has given this gemstone its name as the name “aquamarine” is derived from the Latin word for seawater. In 1910, the largest ever aquamarine was found in Brazil, which was cut into smaller stones, yielding over 200,000 carats. It is believed that one who wears aquamarine has a better ability to think clearly and make quick decisions.
April - June
- April: Diamond
Diamond is the world's most popular gem. Many people enjoy diamonds because of their brilliance and because of its dispersion. The diamond is also the stone that marks the 60th anniversary of marriage. It is believed that the first diamonds were discovered in India, at least 3000 years ago. Today, the diamond engagement ring has become a near-universal symbol of love and marriage.
- May: Emerald
The first-known emerald source was Egypt around 3500BC. No other green gemstone rivals emerald’s luxuriant green hue. It is so prized, that carat for carat, a fine emerald maybe two to three times as valuable as a diamond. In China, Thursday was the day for wearing green and emeralds for good luck.
- June: Alexandrite, Cultured Pearl and Moonstone
If you were born in the month of June, you are lucky enough to have three birthstones to call your own.
Pearl is one gem that does not come from the earth. It is a gem that forms in mollusks (clams, oysters, mussels, and such), which can be found in fresh and saltwater. Moonstone is one of the most plentiful in the world, however fine gem-quality moonstone is scarce. It is a relatively soft stone but given the proper care, it can last a long time. Alexandrite is an extremely rare gemstone and a fairly modern one to boot. Major alexandrite deposits were first discovered in 1830 in Russia’s Ural Mountains.
- July: Ruby
Known as the “King of Gems,” ruby has a scarlet color and intensity like no other red gemstone. Myanmar (formerly Burma) is the source for the world’s finest quality rubies, known as “Burmese rubies.” The highly valued ruby also has the name of “pigeon’s blood.”
- August: Peridot
Peridot is the yellowish-green to greenish-yellow gem variety of the mineral olivine. It appeared in priests’ jewelry as early as the second century BCE, used for centuries as a protective talisman. Peridot is the perfect choice for lovers of light green.
- September: Sapphire
Sapphires have been long associated with royalty and romance and are also said to symbolise fidelity and the soul. The sapphire is corundum, in the same family as the ruby. The only difference between them is just the colour. The attribute of the hardness of the sapphire makes it a perfect choice for jewellery that needs to stand up to everyday wear, such as in rings or bracelets.
- October: Opal and Tourmaline
Opal is valued for its shifting colours in rainbow hues – a phenomenon known as “play-of-colour.” The fields of Australia are the most productive in the world for opal. Tourmaline is one of the most colourful gemstones, found in a range of colours from rich reds to peach, greens, blues, and violets. The Chinese have engraved and carved figures with tourmaline for many centuries.
- November: Citrine and Topaz
Citrine and Topaz reflect the warm tones of the fall season. Most topaz and citrine birthstones are affordably priced, as good-quality gems are not as rare as for many of their counterparts. Topaz was a relatively costly gem, but the discovery of large deposits in Brazil has greatly reduced its price.
- December: Turquoise, Blue Zircon, Tanzanite
Just like the birthstone of June, December also has three kinds of the birthstone for people born this month. They are all cool blue gemstones. Turquoise is one of the most ancient gems ever discovered, but the tanzanite is one of the newest. Zircon is also an old type of gem. Victorians had a fondness for blue zircon. Fine specimens can be found in English estate jewellery from the 1880s.
Jewelers.org. 2019. Birthstone Jewelry | Jewelers Of America. [online] Available at: <https://www.jewelers.org/gift-guides/birthstone-jewelry-guide> [Accessed 8 June 2020].
Gia.edu. 2020. Birthstones | Birthstone By Month | GIA. [online] Available at: <https://www.gia.edu/birthstones> [Accessed 8 June 2020].
King, H., 2020. Birthstones By Month: Chart And Photos. [online] Geology.com. Available at: <https://geology.com/gemstones/birthstones/#birthstones> [Accessed 8 June 2020].