Birthstones – symbolism

Traditionally, a birthstone is associated with each month of the year.

January : Garnet

garnet-crystal

Symbolism & meaning: Passionate devotion, friendship, vitality, balance, purification, love, strong, intense feelings.
Zodiac sign: Capricorn / Aquarius
Derives from: The Latin name – granatus, (pomum granatum = pomegranate).

Garnet was very popular in ancient Rome and Greece. The garnet was used as a talisman and was a prized jewel. They were especially used inlaid in gold cells in the cloisonné technique, a style often just called garnet cloisonné, found from Anglo-Saxon England, as at Sutton Hoo, to the Black Sea.

February : Amethyst

amethyst-crystal

Symbolism & meaning: The amethyst birthstone symbolizes sincerity and security, spirituality and contentment.
Zodiac sign: Aquarius / Pisces
Derives from: The Greek word – ametusthis.

The gem’s rich colour is associated with royalty and nobility.  In ancient history, the amethyst was considered to be a precious stone valued as much as a diamond. The amethyst is said to have been Catherine the Great’s favourite gemstone and dark-hued stones are found in today’s British Crown Jewels.

March: Aquamarine

aquamarine-crystal

Symbolism & meaning: Aquamarine symbolises loyalty, honesty and beauty.
Zodiac sign: Pisces / Aries
Derives from: Latin words, aqua (water) and marina (the sea)

It was said to calm waves and keep sailors safe at sea. March’s birthstone was also thought to enhance the happiness of marriages.

April: Diamond

diamond-crystal

Symbolism & meaning: Inner strength, invincible, balance, clarity and abundance
Zodiac sign: Aries / Taurus
Derives from: Greek word – adamant = the hardest metal.

It is a precious gemstone and is the most popular of all gemstones. You’ve probably heard the slogan many times that “a diamond is forever.” The stone became the symbol of deep, everlasting love.

Ancient Greeks named the diamond “adamas,” meaning “invincible,” “indestructible,” “proper,” and “untamed.” Warriors in ancient Greece wore diamonds as the stones were thought to strengthen the warriors’ muscles and bring them invincibility.

May: Emerald

emerald-crystal

Symbolism & meaning: Wisdom, faith, and domestic bliss or success in love
Zodiac sign: Taurus / Gemini
Derives from: Latin word – smaragdus

The earliest emeralds were mined in Upper Egypt as early as 2,000 B.C. They were mined throughout the reign of Alexander the Great and were well-loved and collected by Cleopatra. The Aztecs and Incas also coveted emeralds, and the Moguls of India revered them so much they inscribed the gems with sacred text to be used to ward off evil.

June: Alexandrite

alexandrite-crystal

Symbolism & meaning: Intuition, creativity and imagination
Zodiac sign: Gemini / Cancer
Derives from: Russia’s Prince, Alexander II

It was first discovered in Russian emerald mines and named after the then reigning prince of Russia, Alexander II. The fine stone is very rare and thus extremely valued.

The month of June has three birthstones – Pearl, Alexandrite, and Moonstone.

July: Ruby

ruby-crystal

Symbolism & meaning: Love and passion
Zodiac sign: Cancer / Leo
Derives from: Latin word – ruber

Rubies are said to attract good luck for the wearer. Ancient Hindus believed rubies were a sign of protection from evil. Today, ruby has come to symbolise love and passion. Rubies were also highly prized by ancient Chinese warriors who were known to wear rubies on their armour.

August: Peridot

peridot-crystal

Symbolism & meaning: symbolizes strength, truth, and loyalty. Can bring happiness, love, dignity, and strengthen friendship.
Zodiac sign: Leo / Virgo
Derives from: Old French word – peritot

The Peridot is very often confused with the emerald, and is sometimes called “the evening emerald.” It is said to symbolise strength, and if set in gold will protect the wearer from evil.

September: Sapphire

sapphire-crystal

Symbolism & meaning: according to Christianity, deep blue colour of sapphire symbolises heavenly grace. It also represents truth, honesty, purity.
Zodiac sign: Virgo / Libra
Derives from: Greek word – sappheiros

The blue sapphire represents peace and serenity. It is seen many times in ancient religious writing to symbolise purity, wisdom, loyalty and faith.

 

October: Tourmaline

tourmaline-crystal

Symbolism & meaning: strong calming effect, relief from stress
Zodiac sign: Libra / Scorpio
Derives from: Sinhalese term – turmali.

The stone was first discovered by Dutch traders off the West Coast of Italy in the late 1600’s or early 1700’s. The name tourmaline comes from the Sinhalese term “turmali” which was the name given to all coloured crystals on the island of Sri Lanka at that time.

The month of October has two birthstones – Opal and Tourmaline.

November: Citrine

citrine-crystal

Symbolism & meaning: Happiness, positive energy and stamina, success and prosperity.
Zodiac sign: Scorpio / Sagittarius
Derives from: French word – citrine.

Also referred to as the “success stone,” wearing citrine can bring prosperity in business, attract wealth, encourage stamina and positive energy, as well as promote positive energy. In ancient times, it was given to women by sun gods to protect them against evil.

The month of November has two birthstones – Citrine and Topaz.

December: Zircon

zircon-crystal

Symbolism & meaning: Prosperity, wisdom, honour and self-respect
Zodiac sign: Sagittarius / Capricorn
Derives from: Persian words – zar and gun, meaning gold-hued

The crystal structure of zircon is tetragonal crystal system. The natural colour of zircon varies between colourless, yellow-golden, red, brown, blue, and green. Colourless specimens that show gem quality are a popular substitute for diamond and are also known as “Matura diamond”. In the Middle-Ages, Zircon was said to aid in resting, bring prosperity and promote honour and wisdom in its owner. Zircon is an underrated but magnificent gemstone that has been worn and treasured since ancient times. Don’t be confused by the name. Zircon is not the synthetic material known as cubic zirconia. It’s a completely distinct, natural species.

The month of December has three birthstones – turquoise, tanzanite, zircon.