The practice of associating gemstones with a particular birth month dates back to ancient times. People throughout the ages have believed that each stone possess different powers and potential healing qualities. The list of birthstones has evolved over time, this current list represents that endorsed by the American Gem Society.
JANUARY - GARNET
The beauty of the garnet is that it comes in a rainbow of colors ranging from deep red to bright green to oranges, browns, pinks and purples. The word garnet derives from the Latin word granatum, meaning pomegranate, because the deep red of the garnet stones resemble the deep red seeds of the pomegranate fruit. In ancient times, the Celts and medieval jewelers extensively used garnet in their jewelry making because it was considered to have protective powers, such as protecting one from nightmares, or protecting travelers from accidents.
The healing properties of garnet include: balancing the mind, emotions and the body - bringing the heart in alignment with a higher expression of love. Garnet stones help people to discard their old way of thinking and old patterns of behavior that no longer serve them. Garnet is believed to open the pathways to abundance and vitality.
FEBRUARY - AMETHYST
Purple is a color that has been esteemed since ancient times as being a color that marked royalty. The beautiful amethyst stone comes in a variety of shades ranging from dark, royal purple to pale lilac. The word amethyst come from an ancient Greek word for "not drunk or sober," as it was believed by the Greeks and Romans to ward off the intoxicating powers of Bacchus, keeping its wearer quick witted and clear headed . Amethyst has been used for centuries in royal jewelry and it is mentioned in the Old Testament book Exodus as one of the stones on the breastplate of the High Priest Aaron.
Amethyst is popular for its use as a purifying crystal. It helps ward off negative influences and protects one from environmental stress. Amethyst is believed to calm one's nervous system, as well as, ease headaches and migraines. Amethyst also has the potential to support in enhancing one's spiritual awareness.
The name of this gemstone derives from the Latin word for water and means "of the sea," as it reminds people of a beautiful, bright color of the sea. Because this stone is the color of the sky and the water, it is believed to embody eternal life. Through the ages, aquamarine was thought to represent youth, hope, health and fidelity.
Some beneficial properties and uses of this stone include: encouraging verbal expression and harmonious communication, soothing powerful feelings such as grief and loneliness. People wear this stone to enhance communication and to enable their highest truth to be expressed in the world.
Diamonds, the hardest substance found in nature, have a long history of folklore, such as, the belief that they were formed by lightning striking the earth. Diamonds have long been regarded as the ultimate gift of enduring and love. Diamonds can come in a range of colors from clear to blue, black, green, pink and yellow. Some of the most famous diamonds in history include Koh-i-Noor Diamond and the Hope Diamond, which are followed with long histories of intrigue and mystery.
Out of all the gemstones, the diamond is believed to carry the highest healing quality and to encourage full awareness of spiritual energy within the physical body. Diamonds can help people recall their true destiny and purpose in life.
Emeralds are one of the most precious gems. The emerald has long been thought to represent rebirth and love because it is the color of spring, the season of new life. It is a stone that is believed to grant its owner foresight, good fortune and youth. Emerald, derived from the word smaragdus, which means green in Greek, was mined in Egypt as early as 1500 B.C.E. In the Bible (specifically Exodus), emeralds are mentioned along with other stones as symbols of the tribes of Israel.
The emerald is associated with the heart and it is said to enhance wisdom and inner knowing, as well as enhancing love in a relationship. Emeralds can be worn to bring love into one's life.
JUNE - PEARL
Pearls were used in jewelry at least as far back as ancient Greece, and until the 20th century pearls many cultures considered them to be one of the most valued gems, if not the most valuable. The rules of the Byzantine empire dictated that only the emperor was allowed to wear pearls; other societies had similar rules about who could and could not wear these little treasures. In Tudor England, the 1500s were known as the pearl age. Pearls are unique and have been so highly valued because they are the only gems from living sea creatures and require no faceting or polishing to reveal their natural beauty.
In terms of healing qualities, pearls have a gentle energy. They are symbolic of the moon and its influences on the inner cycles of the bodies. Pearls can harmonize the emotions and ease mood swings. Pearls are also known to bring emotional peace and spiritual tranquility.
JULY - RUBY
Rubies are by far one of the most precious gems on the planet, along with diamonds and emeralds. They are the second hardest mineral found on Earth after diamond. They have been valued since ancient times as symbols of royalty and were set into crowns and diadems as symbols of wealth, strength, and power. The word ruby comes from the Latin ruber, which means red. Rubies are the most frequently named gemstone in the Old Testament, where for example, God placed a ruby on Aaron's neck as the "lord of gems."
Rubies are believed to have very effective healing qualities. They can increase the wearer's life force in the body and arouse passion for life. If one places a ruby over his/her heart, it will activate feelings of love and protect the wearer from negativities.
AUGUST - PERIDOT
The Egyptians mined peridot as far back as 3000 years ago on an island in the Red Sea called Zebirget. The use of Peridot dates even farther back than that, and it is said that the stone was a favorite of Cleopatra because of its power to protect against evil spirits, especially when it was set in gold. In the medieval era in Europe, people used peridot in the design of sacred spaces, for example, it is used in the Shrine of the Three Kings in Cologne Cathedral, Germany.
The stones properties include the ability to: clear old life patterns and encourage new experiences; strengthen the heart chakra; encourage mental clarity and clear decision making. Peridot like emeralds can also be worn to attract love into one's life. Peridot is also believed to host magical powers and healing properties to protect against nightmares and to bring the wearer power, influence, and a wonderful year.
Sapphire, the September birthstone, has been popular since the Middle Ages and, according to folklore, will protect your loved ones from envy and harm. The color of sapphire is most famously featured in the cathedral of Chartres in France. Medieval clergy wore sapphires to symbolize heaven, while commoners thought the gem attracted heavenly blessings. Today sapphires can be worn by everyone. They can help to awaken leadership qualities within you, revealing to you the nature of your unique gifts.
Sapphire blue is the color of the throat chakra, which is connected with creativity and self-expression. Wearing sapphires can help people tap into their creativity and express it to the world. Sapphires connect people to their deepest dreams and helps them to come alive.
The word sapphire comes from the Hebrew word sapir. Like the ruby, sapphires also show up in the Old Testament in Exodus, where God gives instructions for making a breastplate for Aaron the high priest, which requires 12 sacred stones to complete the design, one of which is sapphire. The stones represent the 12 tribes of Israel.
OCTOBER - OPAL
Some say the name opal derives from the Greek Opallos, meaning "to see a change (of color)." Others say the word opal derives from the Sanskrit word upala, meaning precious stone. There is debate about the origin of the word, and most recently, the argument for it deriving from the Sanskrit is winning the most traction among scholars.
Opals range in color from milky white to black with flashes of yellow, orange, green, red, and blue. An opal's beauty is the product of contrast between its color play and its background. In India the opal is regarded as having magical properties. In the Middle Ages in Europe, opal was considered a stone that could provide great luck because it was believed to possess all the virtues of each gemstone whose color was represented in the color spectrum of the opal.
Generally, in crystal healing, opals are seen as emotionally supportive, stabilizing mood swings and helping to increase trust in one's feelings. White opal is useful in opening the gates to spiritual expansion.
NOVEMBER - CITRINE
Citrine has been worn for centuries as jewelry - examples survive from as far back as the Roman times. It has often been cut into rounded cabochon shapes and often set in rings.
Citrine is known as the "healing quartz". This golden gemstone is said to support vitality and health while encouraging feelings of hope, energy and warmth within the wearer. Citrine is often used to bring the energy field of its wearer of it into alignment with his/her physical body. Citrine cal also help restore balance to one who has a lot of stress or has experienced a traumatic event. The sparkling beauty of this stone can also attract abundance, so people will place it in their homes to encourage a better flow of material energy.
DECEMBER - TURQUOISE
The name turquoise, from the French expression Pierre tourques or Turkish stone, originated in the thirteenth century and describes one of the oldest known gemstones. Turquoise has been mined since at least 6000 BCE, with the oldest known mines located in the Middle East. In Islamic countries, such as Persia, turquoise was used in a myriad of ways ranging from elaborate jewelry to inlays on boxes, furniture, mosaic floors and walls. The popular use of turquoise spread from the Middle East to India where it is famously featured in the Taj Mahal. In central America it was a popular stone used by the Aztecs to create sacred objects such as ceremonial knives and masks. In China, the sone has been carved into jewelry and statues for thousands of years. The Ancient Egyptians also used the stone extensively in necklaces, rings, beads and the carving of scarabs - sacred beetles associated with the god Khepri.
Turquoise varies in color from greenish blue, through robin's egg-blue, to sky blue shades, and its transparency ranges from translucent to opaque. Turquoise is plentiful and is available in a wide range of sizes. The turquoise stone is linked to powerful personal protection, which has been one of its many uses over the millennia. Turquoise enables communication from the highest source of love. It eases feelings of negativity and low self-esteem.
- For more information on Crystals and Gemstones you can check out the American Gemstone Society's Website.
- Another book that was referenced for this article is: Crystals by Jennie Harding.
Article Written by Rajmani Sinclair
Written on June 21, 2016