Birthstones are nothing new to the world. There roots are set deep in the course of history and within the magic of superstition. For centuries, certain precious gems have been seen as having certain mystical powers that assist those who wear them. It wasn’t until the Middle Ages that people began to believe the stones were most potent during certain months of the year. That is how certain stones became associated with certain months of the year. People who were wealthy could own all 12 birthstones and wear a different one each month. However, superstition and belief soon changed again. It was later thought to bring bad fortune should you wear a stone that wasn’t from your month of birth.
Later, in the 1900′s, birthstones saw another change. Now, six of the stones were replaced with gems that could be more easily acquired in modern times. However, these six months still acknowledge the ancient birthstone and the modern birthstone. In the text below you’ll find the description and meaning of the various birthstones, both modern and ancient.
There is more than one August birthstone. The first August birthstone is the sardonyx, which is the ancient birthstone and is an odd reddish brown color. Roman soldiers once wore sardonyx rings to symbolize their daring, cunning, and bravery on the battlefield.
The modern August birthstone is the peridot, which is a very, very light green. The peridot promotes vitality in the wearer and calms anxiety. It is also said to bring wealth to the wearer. It’s meaning is original Arabic and means “gem”.
The birthstone for the month of January is the garnet, which is a beautiful, dark red color. This color and gem is associated with blood and the force of life. A person wearing this birthstone is believed to be shielded from the horrors of nightmares and should easily find guidance when times seem the darkest. The name of the garnet comes from the ancient Greek language and means “red grain”, such as pomegranate. Necklaces and bracelets were often made by the ancient Egyptians in time past as well.
The purple amethyst is the birthstone for the entire month of February. The purple amethyst symbolizes peace and tranquility of the mind and in life. These are the properties that are most often associate with the amethyst, as well as protection in life. Long ago, in the time of the Greeks, people wore the amethyst because they believed it promoted sobriety. That is where the name amethyst comes from, which translates to “not drunk” in the Greek language. Catherine the Great was known to wear necklaces made with amethyst on many of her journeys.
March is one of the six months that has two birthstones. The ancient bloodstone is the dark green Heliotrope. The heliotrope was believed to instill serious courage, bravery, and ignite passion in the wearer. The color is a very deep and dark green, which almost appears black from a distance with small streaks of glittering red. People during the Middle Ages thought these red streaks were the blood of Christ and the stone contained special healing powers. The name of the Heliotrope comes from the Greek phrase, “turning to the sun”.
The more modern birthstone is the aquamarine, which is a very light blue color and means “ocean water”. This stone is said to protect those people at sea and promotes good health in those who wear it. Most importantly, it is believed that a person at sea wearing aquamarine will be protected from seasickness and relieve any sense of depression. Another power of the aquamarine is a happy and long-lived marriage.
The birthstone for April is the diamond, which everyone is familiar with. The diamond symbolizes power and strength in the wearer. The name of the stone comes from the Latin word “unbreakable”. It was thought that a person wearing a diamond was protected from the evils of black magic. It is also thought to give the wearer the strength to win in battle. Of course, diamonds are never cheap and are a staple of modern culture.
A green Emerald is the May birthstone. The name itself even means green in Latin. It is thought to be a stone that promotes purification and divination. Many people are unaware that Cleopatra collected many emeralds and even owned her own emerald mines. This is a very vibrant and beautiful gem.
June is the 2nd month which has 2 separate birthstones. The ancient birthstone is the alexandrite. The alexandrite gem is a reddish orange color and appears very unique when compared to other gems. It is said to promote high self esteem alongside good luck and good fortune in those who wear it.
The more modern birthstone for June is the pearl; a beautiful, sparkling white color. It is the Greeks who believed the pearls were actually tears from the Goddess Aphrodite that had solidified on Earth. It was later cultivated during the 13th century by the Chinese. A single pearl takes as long as five years to develop.
Are you familiar with the red ruby? Who isn’t? The ruby is the July birthstone and it symbolizes harmony and beauty. Ruby is said to contain a flame that can never be extinguished, thus it now is said to represent everlasting love, which shall never fizzle. If the ruby is worn on the left hand, then it is said to bring good luck to the wearer. It’s name is Latin and literally means “red”.
The September birthstone is the sapphire: an incredibly beautiful blue color. The sapphire represents honesty and good faith in the wearer. It’s original meaning is “blue stone” in Greek. Egyptians also loved the sapphire and believed it was the eye of Horus. It was often worn by priests because it represented purity. It was also worn by royals for it’s powers in wisdom. It was also part of Princess Diana’s engagement ring.
October has two birthstones. The modern birthstone is the opal. The opal represents purity and innocence that is often associated with kids. The ancient birthstone is the pink tourmaline and it represents compassion or love.
The ancient birthstone of November is the citrine, which is commonly associated with warmth and energy. The modern birthstone is the topaz, which is a yellow color and represents good health and state of mind.
This is the final month and the last month with two birthstones. The modern birthstone is the zircon, which is a deep blue color. The zircon promotes success and prosperity. The ancient birthstone is the turquoise, which is also blue, but brings forth good fortune and everlasting happiness.