What Are Birthstones?
Birthstones (or Birth Stones) — it’s the gems that uniquely correspond to those people, who were born at a certain time in a certain month, under a certain zodiac sign. Each birthstone has its own history, meaning, mystical & healing properties according to the information from ancient sources & legends.
What are those ancient sources that tell us about the birthstones? — The earliest sources that tell us about the birthstones are: «the Exodus» [28.17, 28.18, 28.19, 28.20, 28.21] (the second book of the Bible) & «The Book of Revelation» [21.19-21.20] (often known as «the Apocalypse»). In these ancient sources we can find the mention of 12 precious stones, divided into 4 groups (or rows).
Here we can see the ancient list of the birthstones by month: a sardius, a topaz, a carbuncle,— the 1’st row; an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond,— as the 2’d row; a jacinth, an agate, and an amethyst,— as the 3’d row; a beryl, an onyx, and a jasper,— as the 4’th row.
The ancients associated these 12 stones with the 12 tribes of Israel. These 12 stones, associated with the month of birth, are known as the «Birthstones» at the present time.
George Frederick Kunz (an American mineralogist and mineral collector), in his book «The Curious Lore of Precious Stones», published in 1913, described these 12 stones as the «birthstones» for a firsts time. Kunz also published a table (chart), where we can find the birthstones by month, which are correlates with the birthstone charts of different countries and religions. George Kunz has published the «US Birthstones chart», which was officially accepted by the American National Association of Jewelers in Kansas in 1912.
List of modern Birthstones by month: Garnet, Amethyst, Aquamarine (Bloodstone), Diamond, Emerald, Pearls (Moonstone, Alexandrite), Ruby, Peridot, Sapphire, Opal (Tourmaline), Topaz (Citrine), Turquoise (Zircon, Tanzanite).
«The figure twelve appears to have been a favorite symbol with the ancients, who represented different objects or events by twelve different precious stones (now birthstones) as the tribes of Israel, the months of the year, and other subjects divided into the same number of parts.
Twelve gems engraved with anagrams of the name Jehovah, were employed by the Cabalists to predict zodiacal signs, and, under the Christian dispensation, different species were used to designate the twelve apostles, the Christian virtues, and other religious ideas.
The diamond symbolized life, joy, and innocence; the ruby, divine power and love; the sapphire, heaven, virtue, truth, and constancy; the emerald hope, faith, and victory; the amethyst, suffering, sorrow, love, peace, humility, purity, and modesty; the topaz, the goodness of God; the carbuncle, our Lord’s Passion».
It was these gems, that lately became known as birthstones.
Precious stones in Nature, Art & Literature (1886), S.M. Burnham
What are birthstones by month?
January Birthstone is Garnet, its color is usual Red, but it could be also green, blue, brown and even yellow. Garnet, among of all birthstones, fits to all ancient sources (such as Jews, Romans, Arabian, Poles, Russian and Italian) as a birthstone for January.
The Siberian Green Garnet is composed of cilicate, calcium, aluminum and chromium. Its color is due to the presence of this last metal in its composition. It comes from the Ural mountains in Russian Siberia. It is the only colored birthstone, except a certain shade of zircon,that is iridescent, like the diamond under gas light. Green garnets are usually very small. One of 33/8 carats is the largest yet known.
February Birthstone is Amethyst, its color is Purple or Violet. Amethyst is considered the best amulet to fight addictions, therefore, Amethyst is a stone of health from the ancient times. Amethyst, among of all birthstones, is often common in ancient Greek mythology.
March birthstone is Aquamarine (alternative birthstone − Bloodstone), its transparent gem with greenish-blue tint, but often pale-blue. The varieties of this birthstone are divided as follows: Aquamarine, pure pale sky blue; Siberian aquamarine, pale greenish yellow; aquamarine chrysolite, greenish yellow with vivid luster. The best beryls come from Siberia, Brazil, Scotland and France. The common varieties occur in every part of the globe and are found in great abundance in the United States.
April Birthstone is Diamond. The diamond cutters of India call a rough diamond «Labora», because its beauty can’t be developed except by skillful and patient work. The art of cutting a diamond was not brought into Europe from the East until 1295.
A few centuries later, Louis de Berquen, of Bruges, discovered that diamond dust was better for the task than corundum, which until then had been used by the French lapidaries and Vincenzio Peruzzi, of Venice, in the latter half of the 17th century, for the first time cut a diamond into a brilliant, that is, with thirty-three facets above, and twenty-five below the girdle.
It has index 10/10 by Mohs Scale of Hardness, so Diamond is the hardest among all of birthstones. All women loved, is love and will love diamonds for its luxurious shine, refraction and influence in to the world of fashion.
Diamonds occur in nearly all colors, the three shades most in demand being blue white,steel white, and pure white. The steel white has no perceptible color, but their luster resembles that of polished steel.
May Birthstone is Emerald and its color is Green. The bulk of an emerald is large in proportion to its weight, one of equal weight with a sapphire, for instance, being nearly twice as large. A rich, soft, deep, velvety shade of green is the color demanded for a perfect emerald, but the birthstone occurs in every tint from a greenish blue to a pinkish brown.
The finest emeralds come from Peru,the next in quality are found in the Tyrolian Alps, in Bavaria, where they are cut from the steep rocks in which they are imbedded, by miners who are held by ropes over the frightful abyss.
The ancients thought it a good omen to dream of an emerald and that to own one of unusual perfection was sure to bring renown and success.
June Birthstone is Alexandrite (alternative birthstones − Pearls & Moonstone). Its color could be dark blue-green, blue-green, dark grass-green, olive green in daylight and its color could be pink-magenta, red-purple, purple in the evening light.
The name of this gem comes from the Russian Tsar Alexander. Alexandrite is the rarest of all birthstones and is at present in great demand, fashion having stamped it with approval. It is when seen by daylight green in color with a rich russet tinge, but artificial light will change it to a full deep purple shade. It is found in Siberia.
July Birthstone is Ruby and its color is Red. The color of a perfect ruby matches exactly in shade the blood of a freshly killed pigeon, and its purity is often tested by placing it beside a drop of pigeon’s blood. It owes its color to the fact that one-sixth part of its chemical constitution is chromic acid.
There are four kinds of rubies: The oriental ruby, blood red in color and but little inferior to the diamond in hardness or the power to receive by polishing a brilliant vitreous luster ; the spinel ruby, rose red in color the balas-ruby, pale in color and of but little value; and the rubicelle, which is an inferior variety of the spinel, and yellowish red in color. The ruby stands among birthstones next in rank to the diamond, and often, when of the same size and perfect in every respect, exceeds it in price.
August Birthstone is Peridot, its color is pale-green. The best and most perfect crystals of Peridot come from Egypt, Vatolia and Brazil. The birthstone is olive green in color and has vitreous luster. The dark colored birthstones are the favorites, as they are capable of receiving a high polish. They are cut in rose or brilliant form generally. Louis XIII brought them into fashion in France and they are favorite jewels yet in Paris.
September Birthstone is Sapphire, its color is Deep-Blue. Sapphires come from Ceylon almost exclusively. They are found in other parts of the world, but never in sufficient quantity or perfection to form a market for their sale. The value of a sapphire does not increase in proportion to size as enormously as the ruby.
In trade it is known by four names: The male sapphire, which is the perfect stone of a rich, clear, soft blue shade; the female sapphire, whose color is specked with white; the very pale blue birthstones called a water sapphires; and the cat sapphire, which is of a blackish or greenish blue tint and not often transparent.
The remarkable coldness of the sapphire to the touch, due to its density, gave rise to the superstition that it would extinguish fire and keep its wearer chaste in thought and deed, losing its beauty if worn by an evil minded person.
For this supposed virtue it was chosen for the birthstone to be set in the ring worn after their installation by the Bishops of the Roman Church.
The largest known sapphire is called the «Wooden Spoon Seller», from the trade of the man who was lucky enough to find it. It was also named the «Respoli».
October Birthstone is Opal (alternative birthstone − Tourmaline) and it is multi colored gem. The Precious Opal, as the birthstone is named that is used for jewels, is found in Hungary, Faroe Islands, Saxony and South America. It is cut in a semi-circle, lens, or oval shape, very rarely with facets. The best specimens must be large and display a brilliant play of color, with the luster described by the Grecian poet «like the delicate complexion of lovely youth».
The Empress Josephine possessed a unique opal called the «Great Fire of Troy» from its superb fire sparkles. The opal cannot be imitated. It defies all attempts made to counterfeit its beauty in paste or by using thin plates of mother-of-pearl with inferior stones. These false opals do not deceive the most ignorant admirer of gems.
November Birthstone is Topaz (alternative birthstone − Citrine). The topaz has, when perfect, a beautiful clear wine yellow. It is generally cut as a brilliant and is used for all kinds of jewelry. It is found in almost every part of the world. In the «French Imperial Bibliotheque» are several engraved topazes, and a very large and beautiful one is in the Vatican, cut with an Indian Bacchus. Its name means «the search» from the Greek «topazos».
December Birthstone is Tanzanite (alternative birthstones − Turquoise & Zircon) and its color form Sapphire-Blue to the Amethyst-Violet. Tanzanite is very young gem in birthstone jewelry, it was discovered in 1967 in Masai tribe in Africa at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. One of the warriors of the Masai tribe brought Tanzanite, weighing 10 carats (2 kg) in the office of Manuel De Douša.
List of Birthstones by Month
|March Birthstones||Aquamarine, |
|April Birthstone||Diamond |
|June Birthstones||Pearls, |
|October Birthstones||Opal, |
|November Birthstones||Topaz, |
|December Birthstones||Turquoise, |
What is Birthstone Jewelry?
In the birthstone jewelry, used a variety of products, such as:
- Birthstone rings, including: mothers rings, birthstone earrings, birthstone charms, birthstone gifts, etc;
- Birthstone necklaces, including: birthstone necklace for mom, family birthstone necklace, personalized birthstone necklace, mothers birthstone necklace, etc.
Birthstones Online Welcome Message
Welcome to Birthstones Online. This informative site — it’s your online guide to Birthstones. If you want to make a gift to a lovely men or women, find your birthstone or get access to all information about gemstones,− Birthstones Online will help you to make a right choice!
Birthstones — it’s a mystical and interesting term. There are a lot of gems in the world, but you need to find your own stone which will match your birthday, your color, your month, your planet, your zodiac sign, etc.
Birthstones Online represents structured historical & modern information about birthstones, gemstones and jewelry. I hope this site will help you to find your birthstone and make a right choose when buying jewelry.
Birthstones Online / Birthstones by Month