Birthstones have a long and colourful history. They’re thought to have first made an appearance in western culture during the 1st Century. A historian called Josephus is credited with linking a beautiful gemstone with each month of the year. Hayzed Magazine explains more about the very beginnings of birthstones:
“He was a Jewish historian and his ideas helped form the Aaron’s Breastplate, a sacred item worn by priests of the faith. The breastplate would have space for gems to be worn one at a time, depending on the month. In more recent times, these individual stones have become more associated with individuals born during the month each gem was assigned to.”
Since then birthstones have been fixtures in folklore, myths and legends, as well as symbols of various unique meanings and traits.
Birthstones were once connected to astrology too, with a person’s star sign used to determine their birthstone historically. Carrying your birthstone with you is also thought to bring luck and offer protection, even to this day.
But enough about their history, let’s get down to which gem is your birthstone and what it all means!
If your birthday falls in January, your birthstone is the garnet. Despite its deep, fiery nature, the garnet is actually a symbol of peace and good health. It also represents lasting friendship, making it a great gift for that special someone in your life.
With its beautiful, deep violet colouring, the amethyst is a birthstone that is certain to be adored by those lucky enough to have a birthday in February.
The amethyst is a popular gemstone in its own right, and was even more valuable than diamonds back in the day. A symbol of peace, bravery and strength, an amethyst birthstone is a stunning addition to any jewellery collection.
March’s birthstone is aquamarine, a magical gemstone usually seen in pale pastel shades, but available in rarer, more valuable deep blue colours.
Its colouring is one of the reasons why the Romans and Greeks referred to aquamarine stones as ‘sailor’s gems’. Legend has it that these sailor’s gems were placed on ships to ensure a safe and successful voyage.
In many civilisations, aquamarine stones are also said to bring good health and youthfulness.
The diamond is probably the most recognisable and iconic stone in our rundown. It’s also April’s gemstone. The diamond is a symbol of eternal love, which is one of the reasons why it’s been the go-to stone for engagement and wedding rings for as long as we can remember.
Thanks to their beauty and pretty much indestructible nature – the word ‘diamond’ comes from the Greek word for invincible – they’ve long been revered and the subject of myths and legends.
Those born in May can count the emerald as their birthstone. With its vibrant green shade, the emerald is a magnificent stone that represents wisdom and growth during the modern-day.
There’s often some confusion about which birthstone is associated with June. Whilst rare gem alexandrite is often linked to this month, it’s the pearl that’s the true birthstone of June. The pearl is a symbol of purity.
As one of the more delicate gemstones in our rundown, pearls need to be cleaned and maintained with care to ensure the natural beauty they are known and loved for shines through for many years to come.
Rubies are the gemstones associated with July. Known for their vivid red colour, you won’t be surprised to hear that they’re a symbol of love. Rubies were also well known for their protective qualities, with the stone thought to repel evil and bring good fortune.
The peridot comes next, and wearers with an August birthday are said to be bestowed with power and influence thanks to the semi-precious stone.
Peridots were popular during Egyptian times. Yet their links to love, soothing feelings of nervousness, and casting out negative vibes remain prized right up to the modern-day.
The birthstone of September, the sapphire, has similar protective qualities, safeguarding its wearer from stress and harm.
The blue sapphire is the most common, but this beautiful stone can be found in every colour of the rainbow. One elusive type of sapphire is particularly special, however. Known as ‘phenomenon stones’, the anatomy of these sapphires scatter, reflect, refract and absorb light to produce a dramatic colour changing effect.
An opal, the birthstone of October, is regularly referred to in folklore, with Europeans once thinking that the stone could be used to unlock powers of invisibility. It was also thought to have powerful healing qualities, with it specifically being used to protect eyesight.
Opals are available in a wide variety of colours, including clear, white, grey, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, magenta, rose, pink, slate, olive, brown and, the rarest of them all, black.
Topaz is the birthstone for November and, thanks to its historic connection with the Ancient Egyptian sun god, is a symbol of strength.
December’s birthstone, tanzanite, is one of the most unique gemstones on the planet. It’s sourced from one place, Tanzania, and is therefore extremely rare. If you’re lucky enough to receive tanzanite birthstone jewellery, its velvety, warm shade is a symbol of friendship and generosity.
You can find the most stunning birthday jewellery right here at Dainty London.nt Shop our birthday collection here.