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Birthstones By Month

A Definitive Guide

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Birthstones are one of the most beautiful and thoughtful presents you can give as a gift. They are very personal presents to offer, as every birthstone is associated with a specific month of the year. They hold mythical and astrological meanings, and they're even believed to having some unique healing powers.

A birthstone is a gemstone that is generally held in any form of jewelry; they can be found in necklaces, pendants, or rings. Each birthstone represents a specific day, month, or zodiac sign, depending on the chart you consult.



What Is the Origin of Birthstones?

Birthstones Collection

The origin of birthstones dates back to the Breastplate of Aaron, which is described in the Bible (Book of Exodus). The 12 stones in Aaron's Breastplate were said to represent the 12 tribes of Israel. These stones were split into four rows of three stones each to highlight their unique attributes.

In the first century A.D., the Jewish historian Josephus believed these 12 stones had a connection with the 12 zodiac signs. However, birthstones began to be widely associated with birth months in the 18th century.

In 1912, the National Association of Jewelers created a modern list of birthstones, which has not been changed since then. Right now, there are three sets of birthstones: ancient, traditional, and modern. These sets are currently seen as the actual chart of birthstones.

Birthstone Chart

Each birthstone is associated with a specific month of the year in the Gregorian calendar, and each one has its properties and meanings, you can discover the updated chart of the birthstones below.

Monthly Birthstones Chart

Month Modern List Ancient List
January Garnet Garnet
February Amethyst Amethyst
March Aquamarine Bloodstone
April Diamond Diamond
May Emerald Emerald
June Alexandrite Pearl
July Ruby Ruby
August Peridot / Spinel Sardonyx
September Sapphire Sapphire
October Tourmaline Opal
November Golden Topaz / Citrine Topaz
December Blue Zircon / Tanzanite Turquoise

Recent Changes

Alexandrite was added for June in a list-update made by the Jewelry Industry Council of America in 1952; pink tourmaline was also added for October. December's lapis was replaced with blue zircon, and March's primary gems were changed too.

The American Gem Trade Association and the National Association of Jewelers (now called Jewelers of America) added spinel as a new birthstone for August in 2016.

Although a modern list was created, the ancient list is still used to this day. Some people mix the gemstones from the two lists and use them as they see fit.

Birthstones Classified by Month

January's Birthstone - Garnet

The birthstone of January is considered to be one of the most diverse stones. Even though it is commonly found in red color, it can also be found in almost any color. Some garnets even change color if exposed to different lighting.

Garnet Faceted Crystal Garnet Faceted Crystal

Garnet consists of a group of many minerals such as pyrope, almandine, spessartine, andradite, and grossular. These minerals are considered important as gems and are the ones that cause the variations in color; andradite ranges from yellow to green, pyrope and almandine go from purple to red tones, and spessartine can be found in orange to yellow tones.

Indian astrology says that garner improves your self-confidence and mental clarity, which helps with being creative and having a clear, calm mind. It also believes that the stone can help to avoid negative feelings such as anxiety, depression, or anger.

As of today, garnet is mostly supplied by the African continent. Garnet is also found in Brazil, Afghanistan, India, Sri Lanka, the U.S., and many other countries.

This gem has a hardness of six and a half to seven and a half, and it goes with almost any kind of daily jewelry.

Learn About January Birthstone

February's Birthstone - Amethyst

Amethyst Geode Amethyst Geode

The amethyst gem is a purple variety of crystalline quartz. Its color ranges from lilac to deep purple, and it can be cut into a wide variety of shapes and sizes. This kind of stone can be mined as well as manufactured. Amethyst is traditionally gifted for a sixth wedding anniversary.

Amethyst is associated with Greek mythology with Bacchus, the god of wine, so many people believed that the birthstone would protect you from getting drunk. It was also believed to have mystical powers such as strength and empowerment.

This gem was generally found in Russia until the 19th century, as large deposits were discovered in Brazil. It was a rare gem until this discovery, but now it can be more easily obtainable. Today, amethyst can be usually found in South America, Africa, Brazil, and the U.S.

Amethyst has a hardness of seven. This means it can be used daily in rings and other jewelry, but since it's more easily damaged, it has to be cleaned and polished frequently.

Learn About February Birthstone

March's Birthstones - Aquamarine & Bloodstone

Aquamarine

Aquamarine - March's Birthstone Aquamarine

The aquamarine birthstone comes from the Latin' aqua marīna', which means 'seawater'. Its color ranges from deep green-glue to light-greenish blue. This birthstone was believed to bring happiness in marriage and protection, and it was also believed by ancient mariners to keep sailors safe and to calm waves. Aquamarine is also given as a present for the 19th wedding anniversary.

Aquamarine is mainly found in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil, and is also found in Pakistan. Other countries that mine this birthstone are Madagascar, Nigeria, Kenya, China, Russia, and some areas in the U.S.

This gemstone has a hardness of seven and a half to eight, meaning it's perfect for everyday use.

Bloodstone

Also known as heliotrope, this birthstone is a variety of cryptocrystalline quartz. Its color is an opaque green with some red spots made of iron oxides. The name bloodstone comes from a religious belief that states that the color represents the blood of Christ. In some ancient cultures, people believed that if the birthstone were placed in water, the sun would turn red.

Bloodstone (Heliotrope) - March's Birthstone Bloodstone (Heliotrope) - March's 2nd Birthstone

This birthstone is believed to have many properties, such as providing health and youth, strength, and invisibility. More recently, it's seen as a lucky charm. It can be found in the U.S., Australia, China, or Brazil, but it is mostly provided by India.

Bloodstone has a hardness of six and a half to seven. It is recommended for it to avoid hot temperatures, and to store it in a soft fabric to prevent scratches.

Learn About March Birthstone

April's Birthstone - Diamond

One of the most famous gemstones in the world is the diamond. It is found in most rings, and it's cherished for its beauty and value. Its name comes from the Greek word 'Adamas', which means 'unbreakable'.

This birthstone was claimed to have healing powers and the power to provide beauty, happiness, strength, and longevity. For many centuries, diamonds were used by royalty and the wealthy in Europe. It's the preferred choice for wedding anniversary gifts and engagement rings.

This birthstone is mined everywhere around the world. The major producers of rough diamonds are South Africa and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Russia, Australia, and Canada are considered the most significant producers by value and volume.

The diamond has a hardness of 10, which makes it very resistant and durable. To keep the gem's beauty over time, you have to clean it periodically.

Learn About April Birthstone

May's Birthstone - Emerald

It is the most popular green gem. Its color ranges from yellowish and bluish-green, to pure green. Ancient cultures believed the emerald had the power to make you more intelligent, and it was also believed to cure diseases. It is the gemstone given as a gift for 20th and 35th wedding anniversaries.

Uncut Emerald Uncut Emerald

Emeralds have been used by royalty for centuries. Its name comes from the Greek word 'smaragdos', which translates to 'green gem'. It was considered the 'greenest' gemstone and was also thought to have therapeutic properties because of the comfort that the color of the emerald provided to the eye. Science confirmed that the color green does relieve eye strain and stress.

This birthstone is mostly found in Colombia; it has been the source of emeralds for more than 500 years. It is also mined in Minas Gerais, Brazil, and Africa.

The emerald has a hardness rate of seven and a half to eight. To keep it from scratching, it needs unique care treatments such as avoiding heat exposure, harsh chemicals, and changes in air pressure.

Learn About May Birthstone

June's Birthstones - Pearl & Alexandrite

Pearl

This gem is found in salt and freshwater mollusks, and even inside living creatures. However, most of the pearls on the market are now cultivated since they rarely occur in nature. Pearls have been associated with innocence, purity, and humility; due to its meaning, pearls were traditionally given as wedding gifts.

This birthstone was believed to have excellent properties for the person like prosperity and living a long life. In the 19th century, some Arab physicians found that pearl powder could be used to improve eyesight and ease mental health issues such as depression.

Pearls are grown in many countries in the world, such as Japan, China, Australia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and the Arabian Gulf. However, China is the primary source of freshwater cultured pearls.

The hardness rate for pearls is two and a half to a four, so it's considered a very soft gem. It requires special care, so it doesn't scratch easily.

Alexandrite

This one is a very interesting birthstone, as it changes color in different lighting settings. Some of them can show pure green in daylight, but an intense red in incandescent light. This birthstone is very rare and expensive, so it's not easily obtainable. Most of the alexandrite comes from East Africa, Brazil, and Sri Lanka.

This birthstone has a hardness rate of eight and a half. It is a relatively hard gem, so it's suitable for use in rings and other daily-wear jewelry.

Learn About June Birthstone

July's Birthstone - Ruby

July Birthstone - Ruby July Birthstone - Ruby

The ruby is a hugely acclaimed gem. Its name comes from the Latin 'ruber', which means 'red'. It is associated with love and passion since its color is very intense. In Indian culture, it was seen as a symbol of power and energy; it was also called the 'king of precious stones' because of its rarity, beauty, and hardness. Rubies are traditionally given as gifts for the 15th and 40th wedding anniversaries.

Some essential producers of this birthstone are in Vietnam, Mozambique, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Madagascar. Rubies are rated nine in hardness, just next to the diamond, and it is usually heat-treated to remove silk and purplish coloration.

Learn About July Birthstone

August's Birthstones - Peridot, Spinel & Sardonyx

Peridot

The name Peridot comes from the Arabic word 'faridat', which means 'gem'. It was used for centuries as a protective talisman. Its color goes from greenish-yellow to yellowish-green. It is traditionally given as a gift for a 16th wedding anniversary.

This birthstone comes primarily from the U.S., Pakistan, Vietnam, Tanzania, Myanmar, and China. It has a hardness of six and a half to a seven, so it is relatively soft.

Peridot, the birthstone of August Peridot, the birthstone of August

Spinel

This birthstone's name comes from the Latin word 'spina' which means 'thorn', referencing spinel crystals. This birthstone comes in colors such as purple, orange, blue, green, pink, and intense red. This gem was believed to cure all kinds of blood loss and inflammatory diseases. It was also believed to promote harmony. Spinel is traditionally gifted on a 22nd wedding anniversary.

The most important sources of spinel include Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Myanmar, Tajikistan, and Tanzania. It has a hardness of eight, meaning it can be used in rings and daily-use jewelry.

Sardonyx

Sardonyx is a combination of two kinds of chalcedony: onyx and sard. Its colors go from brownish red to dark orange. Sardonyx was believed to represent the strength of spiritual life and currently is associated with happiness, stability in relationships, and courage.

This birthstone is found in Germany, Brazil, Madagascar, Uruguay, and the U.S. Its hardness is six and a half to a seven, so it can be worn with a ring.

Learn About August Birthstone

September's Birthstone - Sapphire

Sapphire has been cherished for many years, and it's associated with royalty, fidelity, and romance. Its name comes from the Greek word 'sappheiros'. Although the most popular color for this gem is pure blue, it can be found in every other color in the rainbow, except for red. Sapphires are given as gifts for the 5th and 45th wedding anniversaries.

This birthstone is mainly found in Sri Lanka, Kashmir, and Myanmar. However, this gem has also been found in the U.S., Thailand, Cambodia, Australia, and Madagascar.

Sapphire's hardness is nine, which makes it relatively hard. It can be worn with daily-wear jewelry.

Learn About September Birthstone

October's Birthstones - Opal & Tourmaline

Opal

This gem is known and valued for its shifting colors; this phenomenon was called 'play-of-color'. This birthstone is seen as a symbol of truth, purity, and hope; many people gift it for a 14th wedding anniversary.

The most important sources for Opal are Australia, Mexico, Brazil, and Ethiopia. However, there are deposits in many other countries. Its hardness is a five to a six and a half, and it needs to be cleaned carefully with soapy water to prevent damage.

Tourmaline

This birthstone also has color variety; it can have multiple colors in a single crystal. This made many people believe that this birthstone could inspire art. Many other healing properties are associated with the gem depending on the color. Tourmaline is gifted at eight wedding anniversaries.

Tourmaline crystals and gem Tourmaline Crystals and Gem

This gem is generally mined in Brazil, but it is also found in some countries in Africa and the states of California and Maine, in the United States. Tourmaline can be used for everyday jewelry wear since its hardness is seven to a possible seven and a half.

Learn About October Birthstone

November's Birthstones - Topaz & Citrine

Topaz

Topaz can be found in many colors, such as blue, orange, yellow, pink, violet, or brown. It has been associated with beauty, intelligence, and longevity. Blue topaz is given for fourth year anniversaries, and imperial topaz is given for 23rd year anniversaries.

One of the essential sources of topaz is in Minas Gerais, Brazil. However, it's also found in countries such as Mexico, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, and the U.S. Its hardness is an eight, making it a durable gem.

Citrine

This gem has gained a lot of popularity in recent years since it's one of the most affordable gems. Its color ranges from yellow to a brownish orange.

This birthstone can be found mainly in Bolivia, Spain, Mexico, Uruguay, and Madagascar. It's a very durable gem since its hardness is seven, making it very desirable among people.

Learn About November Birthstone

December's Birthstones - Turquoise, Zircon & Tanzanite

Turquoise

Turquoise is a gem that has been used for thousands of years. Its color ranges from blue to green. It was thought to have beneficial powers such as good fortune and health. This gem is considered a national treasure in Tibet. In Europe, gifting this gem in a ring means "forget me not", and it is also gifted for an 11th wedding anniversary.

This birthstone is very affordable, and most of the U.S. production comes from Nevada and Arizona. However, the largest producer of this gem is in China.

Although it has a hardness of a five to a six; therefore, it can be treated to improve its durability.

Zircon

This birthstone is widely known for its brilliance. It is available in many colors, such as red, orange, brown, yellow, green, and blue. The primary sources of production are in Sri Lanka and Australia.

Zircon has a hardness of a six to a seven and a half. It can be used in everyday jewelry if treated correctly. It's also commonly heat-treated to produce varieties in color.

Tanzanite

Tanzanite was just added as of December's birthstone in 2002. It was distributed mainly by the company Tiffany & Co. This company believed that this gem has international appeal and launched a big advertising campaign in 1968 to promote it. The gem is called 'Tanzanite' because it was discovered in Tanzania.

This birthstone has high clarity and vivid colors, making it very attractive. It is commonly gifted on a 24th wedding anniversary. The only place on earth in which tanzanite is mined commercially is The Merelani Hills in Tanzania.

This birthstone's hardness is a six to a seven. It is resistant to heat, light, and common chemicals. It's best used for earrings or pendants.

Learn About December Birthstone

Conclusion

Every birthstone has a unique meaning and value. They make excellent gifts, and they are all associated with positive and pure things. Therefore, knowing the birthstone's value can make it even more special for the person wearing it.