Birthstones

JANUARY - GARNET:

I'm a January girl, so have always loved a deep red garnet, my birthstone. The first piece of 'grown-up' jewelry I ever received was a delicate garnet and opal ring, given to me by my aunt. It had been hers when she was a teenager, and that made it even more special to me.

There are countless beliefs about January’s birthstone:

Garnet is an ancient symbol of friendship, inspiring commitment and love while promising passion, loyalty, faith, fidelity and truth. Garnets are worn to enhance strength, regulate the heart and ward off nightmares or depression. The stone is said to balance energy, bringing serenity, calm, courage and hope. Garnet inspires contemplation and truthfulness, and allows one’s inner spirit to radiate.


FEBRUARY - AMETHYST:

Crystalline quartz in shades of purple, lilac or violet is called amethyst, and has long been a symbol of purity, royalty and religion. Ancient Greeks wore amethyst as protection from self-deception, seduction, fear and drunkenness.

Up until the 18th century, amethyst was included among the most valuable gemstones (along with diamond, sapphire, ruby and emerald). Since the discovery of extensive deposits in Brazil, however, it has become less valued, but is eternally beautiful.

Amethyst is said to symbolize piety, humility, sincerity and spiritual wisdom. It is often worn by healers to focus their energies, and amethyst crystal clusters are often placed within a space to keep it clean, calm and positive.


MARCH - AQUAMARINE:

With a name that literally means "ocean water," the blue of aquamarine can range from the pale blue color of the sky to the strong sea-blue of the ocean.

The stone is said to have originated in the treasure chests of mermaids, and has, since ancient times, been regarded as the sailors’ lucky stone, instilling them with courage and protecting them from drowning.

Beyond that, aquamarine is said to promise a happy marriage and bring joy and wealth to those who wear it.


APRIL - DIAMOND:

April’s birthstone is diamond, a sparkling stone that can be transparent to opaque and colorless to black.

The purest of all gemstones and the hardest substance known to man, diamond has the ability to reflect light, which many believe increases personal clarity of mind and body. Diamonds are said to symbolize innocence, eternity and spirituality, while increasing health, healing and courage.

Within the past century, diamonds have often been considered the stone of choice for engagement rings.

Forty-nine percent of diamonds mined today come from South Africa, with others coming from mines in Canada, India, Russia and Australia.


MAY - EMERALD:

May’s birthstone is the emerald, said to promise good luck, harmony, wisdom and well-being, while also bringing love and loyalty. The emerald has long been a symbol of hope, used by healers to help mend a broken heart.

The Incas and Aztecs regarded emerald as a holy gemstone. Its green is the color of springtime and new life, conveying harmony, joy and a love of nature.

High quality, fine emeralds are even more valuable than diamonds.




JUNE - PEARL, MOONSTONE & ALEXANDRITE:

June has three different birthstones ... so choose your favorite:

Pearls are organic gems, created when an oyster covers a grain of sand or other foreign object with beautiful layers of nacre. Years ago, pearls were important financial assets, comparable in price to real estate, as thousands of oysters had to be searched to find a single pearl.

Today pearls are cultured by men. Shell beads are placed inside an oyster and the oyster is returned to the water. When the pearls are harvested, the oyster has covered the bead with layers of nacre. Most cultured pearls are from Japan, while freshwater pearls are primarily from China.Pearls are said to represent purity, faith and sincerity.

The moonstone is characterized by an enchanting play of light and owes its name to the mysterious shimmer, which changes as the stone is moved. This gemstone was very popular during the Art Nouveau period and adorns many jewelry creations of Lalique and his contemporaries

Moonstone is surrounded by mystique; in many cultures it is regarded as holy, magical and a symbol of fertility. It is said that wearing a moonstone strengthens intuition and the capacity to understand.

The rare alexandrite is named after the Russian Tsar Alexander II, as the first crystals were discovered in 1834, on the day the future tsar came of age.

The sensational feature of this stone is its ability to change color: green or bluish-green in daylight, and red or raspberry red in incandescent light. Finely faceted alexandrites above one carat are among the most expensive gemstones in the world, even more rare than fine ruby, sapphire or emerald.

Alexandrite is considered a stone of very good omen, supposed to strengthen the wearer’s intuition, aid creativity and inspire imagination.


JULY - RUBY:

Red is the color of love, radiating warmth and vitality. It is also the color of the ruby, long considered the king of gemstones. For thousands of years, the rare ruby, with its magnificent color, a hardness second only to diamonds, and fiery brilliance, has been considered one of the most valuable gemstones on Earth. The red of a ruby may differ significantly, from light raspberry to deep magenta, pure red or slightly purple, to burgundy or brown. But no matter its color, ruby is said to bring spiritual wisdom, love and wealth.


AUGUST - PERIDOT:

Peridot is one of the few gemstones that exists in only one color -- a bright shade of green, symbolic of happiness, loyalty and friendship. Through ancient times, it was believed to promote healing and understanding, while preventing night terrors and warding off evil. More recently, it is believed to help with relationships; alleviate depression, anger, fear and anxiety; as well as bring about prosperity and growth.

It was used by ancient Aztecs, Incas and Egyptians (who only mined it during the night) to cleanse and heal the heart. Today, most of the world's peridot is mined in Arizona.


SEPTEMBER - SAPPHIRE:

Sapphires are said to represent beauty, prosperity and intuition. Clergymen in the Middle Ages wore blue sapphire rings, believing the stone to be symbolic of heaven, while healers and medicine men long believed that touching a blue sapphire to the eyes would soothe and improve vision.

Natural sapphires are found in every color -- blue, yellow, pink, violet, purple, orange, gray, black, green and even colorless. If the stone contains chromium, which yields a red tint, then the resultant gemstone is a ruby. Sapphires are among the hardest of stones, making them perfect for all forms of jewelry.


OCTOBER - OPAL:

Opal, along with tourmaline, is the birthstone for October. Opals are revered as a symbol of hope, health and wealth, as well as a representation of fidelity and purity. The stone was dubbed ‘Queen of Gems’ by the ancient Romans because it encompassed the colors of all other gems. 


There are many beautiful varieties of opal, including the highly valued black opal (which has a dark blue, gray or black body) fire opal (which features bright yellow, orange or red), and the more common white opal -- each with its own unique characteristics. The most common characteristic associated with opal is its colorful play of colors.

It was likely because of this colorful appearance that Australian aborigines believed opals were formed when the Creator arrived on Earth at the end of a rainbow and touched the ground with his foot. In that place, according to legend, the rocks came alive with color and sparkled.


NOVEMBER - CITRINE:

Citrine (part of the quartz crystal family) is the birthstone for November. Throughout history, various cultures have attributed citrine with bringing optimism, joy, wealth, prosperity, success and protection from evil.

Citrine owes its modern popularity to its beautiful sunny yellow to orange to brown hues and its affordability.


DECEMBER – TURQUOISE:

Turquoise, the birthstone for December, is considered a healing stone, purifying the spirit and body. It is a protective stone, and has been used for amulets since time immemorial. It helps to protect, lift depression, promote self-confidence, and endurance, as it unites the energies of sky and earth. American Indians consider turquoise a holy stone.

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