Gemstones have been associated with different months for many centuries and across various cultures. Jewellery set with a birthstone makes the perfect christening or anniversary gift.
Discover the qualities associated with each birthstone.
A variety of silicate mineral, the gemstone varieties occur in shades of green, red, yellow, and orange with reddish shades the most common. The word garnet comes from the 14th century Middle English word gernet, meaning 'dark red'. Garnet it is a stone of physical love and relationships, and a spiritual stone of protection and meditation.
A violet variety of quartz. The name amethystos, came from ancient Greek. Ancient Greeks wore it in the belief that it would prevent intoxication. In the Middle Ages, it was considered a symbol of royalty and used to decorate English regalia. Amethysts are said to be a stone of spiritual protection and purification, cleansing the energy field of negative influences and attachments.
A blue variety of beryl. The name derives from the Latin aqua marinus, meaning water from the sea. The ancient Romans believed that aquamarine would protect against any dangers while travelling at sea and that it provided energy and cured laziness. Aquamarine means serenity and harmony. It is a stone of courage, its calming energies reduce stress and quiet the mind.
Diamond is a solid form of carbon and the hardest substance on earth. The word Diamond comes from ancient Greek, adámas, and means unbreakable. The Greeks believed diamonds were tears of the gods; the Romans believed they were splinters of fallen stars and that they brought courage and bravery during battle. Today, diamonds are used to symbolize eternity and love.
Emerald is green beryl, coloured by trace amounts of chromium and sometimes vanadium. The word emerald comes via middle English emeraude, meaning green gem. The emerald, green by nature, is the most calming of all the colours. It encourages growth, reflection, peace and balance. It also represents healing and fertility.
A pearl is a hard glistening object produced within the soft tissue of a mollusc. The word pearl comes from the French perle, originally from the Latin perna based on the shape of the mollusc they originate from. Pearls have been associated with innocence and modesty. Because it comes from the sea, it also has associations with the moon and with water. Pearls are also traditionally considered appropriate jewellery for brides.
Ruby is a form of corundum, red in colour due to the presence of chromium. The name of the gemstone comes from the Latin ruber, meaning red. For thousands of years, Ruby was considered the stone of love, energy, passion, power, and a zest for life. Ruby is a symbol of good fortune, pure love, and loyalty.
Peridot is gem-quality olivine, found in volcanic rocks. The name Peridot is believed to come from either the Arabic word faridat meaning gem or the French word peritot meaning unclear. Peridot is one of the few gemstones that comes in only one colour. Peridot symbolizes strength. It is sometimes called the evening emerald for its light green colour.
Sapphire is a variety of the mineral corundum. It is typically blue, but natural "fancy" sapphires also occur in yellow, purple, orange, and green. The word Sapphire is a derivative of the Latin word for blue: sapphirus. The Sapphire, is a stone of wisdom and royalty. It is associated with sacred things and considered the gem of gems, a jewel steeped in the history and lore of nearly every religion.
Turquoise is an opaque, blue-to-green mineral prized as a gemstone for thousands of years owing to its unique hue. The word turquoise is derived from the French turquois for Turkish because the mineral was first brought to Europe through Turkey. Turquoise is perhaps the oldest stone in man's history, the talisman of kings, shamans, and warriors. It is a stone of protection, strong and opaque, yet soothing to the touch