Birthstones & Zodiacs
The Meaning of Birthstones
Your Guide To Birthstones for All 12 Months
January 11, 2019
Birthstones are special gems associated with each month, and all have their own unique significance. This significance is defined by a set of characteristics and attributes exclusive to that particular gem. These stones are available in a wide range of birthstone jewelry, from rings to earrings to bracelets, so you can proudly display the stone of your birth month for any occasion. Explore the world of birthstones and see what qualities your gem represents below.
This gem inspires love and devotion. The garnet is a stone of strength and safety, and as such, it helps to ground you and keep you connected to the present. These gemstones are found all over the world, and each color version of the garnet has its own spiritual properties. Although the most widely-known color of garnet is red, you can find this stone in many other colors, including green, yellow, and orange. Garnets are energizing, regenerative, and shield against negativity.
The name comes from the Greek word “Amethystos,” which translates as a cure for drunkenness since this wine-colored stone was believed to prevent intoxication. This stone can give you courage and strengthen friendships. It's one of the many birthstones that can be mined or created in a lab and is linked to the element of wind. The gem also provides healing powers to help with both physical and emotional issues and is known to relax nerves and improve balance. You can instantly recognize the amethyst from its stunning purple color.
This birthstone is most closely associated with seawater and provides soothing energy as it helps connect us to water, the origin of life. The gem has many other properties, including the ability to purify energy and provide stress relief. Aquamarine is known to inspire truth, trust, and the ability to let go. Many people treasure this stone for its ability to restore beauty and youth through its incredible anti-aging properties.
This birthstone brings a wide range of properties, including an increase in mental clarity, the ability to calm the mind, aid in decision making, and providing comfort in difficult times. This gem is also valued as a symbol of luck and strength, while certain parts of the world claim the bloodstone can be a powerful aphrodisiac. Some believe that wearing this gem can protect against bullying and threats of harm.
We all know the diamond as “the queen of gems,” and its popularity as a traditional symbol of everlasting love, purity, and innocence is unmatched. But as a birthstone, the diamond brings many great attributes of strength and clarity. In Sanskrit, diamond is called “vajra,” meaning lightning, which might explain why this birthstone inspires creativity. Diamond is one of the hardest minerals found in nature, and while this gem symbolizes love and affection, the stone also represents endurance and faith.
One of Cleopatra's favorite gems, the emerald, is known to signify wisdom, patience, and growth. It is also a stone of vision and is long believed to reveal truths. The unmistakable green colors of an emerald can have a calming effect on emotions. This birthstone is part of the four precious gemstones, including diamond, sapphire, and ruby. While the emerald is the birthstone of the month of May, this gem is also a traditional gift on 20th and 35th wedding anniversaries.
Pearls are made when a piece of sand or some other irritant gets stuck inside the shell of a common mollusk. The stone itself is made from nacre, a product of the organism, and the resulting pearlescent gem can be found in all types of jewelry. Symbolizing wisdom acquired by experience, pearls are known to heal their owner’s hearts and are ideal for both physical and spiritual grounding while helping you determine right from wrong.
Considered a feminine stone, the moonstone has a particular sheen that makes it recognizable from other birthstones. The gem has an inimitable adularescence, meaning the way light seems to glow across the gem's surface. As to the many unique attributes associated with the gem, it is best known for helping to usher in new beginnings and inner growth. This is a semi-precious stone, and the clearer your moonstone, the stronger the healing properties that gem will possess.
An extremely rare stone, alexandrite is easily identified by the way it shifts colors in various types of lighting. Many people love this gem because it can display various green shades in daylight and darker shades of red under fluorescent lighting. This birthstone was first discovered in emerald mines in Russia’s Ural Mountains in the 19th century and is very popular with the Russian Aristocracy. As to the characteristics of this gem, alexandrite is thought to bring joy, love, warmth, and luck.
Ruby is a stone of creativity and a symbol of good fortune. Regarded by the ancient Hindus as “The King of Gem,” today, it signifies passion and love and is known to boost self-esteem. Many seek out rubies for the specific color of the stone, an unmistakable red mixed with a deep purple hue. This comes from the presence of chromium in the mineral. When a ruby contains elevated levels of this mineral, the gem displays a more brilliant hue of red.
A quick overview of peridot provides everything you need to know about this gem: the very name of the birthstone originates from the Arabic word “Farida,” meaning gem. The peridot is also referred to as an evening emerald and is known to reduce stress and anger. Give this birthstone as a gift on a 16th wedding anniversary because it possesses attributes that help open your heart as the gem emits warm and friendly energy.
If spinel is your birthstone, you have a full range of color choices from which to choose as the gem comes in a variety of different shades. You will find spinels in red, blue, green, orange, purple, and even pink. In fact, spinels have often been mistaken for other types of gemstones due to this color variation. Many rubies and diamonds found in precious jewelry have turned out to be spinels instead. This birthstone is best known for its ability to revitalize and replenish low energy. For these reasons, the spinel has been nicknamed “the stone of immortality.”
The sapphire is typically personified by the color blue, but you can find sapphires in a full spectrum of colors. This month's gem is referred to as “the stone of prosperity,” perhaps due to its association with royalty which has earned it the nickname “the gem of gems.” As a result, it is said the sapphire can fulfill the dreams of the consciousness. One of the many romantic stones on this list, the sapphire is used to assist spiritual and personal growth. This stone can be used to bring joy and peace and symbolizes wisdom and purity.
The first of two gemstones for the month of October, the name of the opal is Latin for “precious jewel,” and it has been associated with love and passion. This gem can be used to strengthen memory and even act as an emotional stabilizer. Opal is also known to help the wearer find the creativity within. As for the physical properties of the birthstone, opal jewelry is popular because the stone is best known for displaying a halo of colors in a different light.
With a nickname like “the stone of colors,” you would expect tourmaline to have a great many physical and spiritual attributes. Tourmaline gained that moniker due to the rich array of colors that can be found in just a single crystal. In fact, you would be hard-pressed to find another gem to match the range of colors found in a tourmaline. As a result of this great glow, many believe the tourmaline has the power to attract inspiration, encourage self-confidence, and help achieve enlightenment.
Topaz is a relatively affordable birthstone that is perhaps best known for having pinkish-orange hues even though the gem comes in a great many other shades and colors, including light blue, brown, yellow, pink, purple, and, in some very rare cases, red. Most topaz you find today is created by taking a colorless topaz and treating it in a lab. This birthstone is known as the “stone of true love and success in all endeavors” and promotes peacefulness and healing. The gem is also believed to have the ability to help you manifest your desires into reality.
The second birthstone for the month of November is often called “the merchant’s stone” and has similar physical aesthetic characteristics as the topaz, typified by its yellowish hue. Citrine has long been a staple of popular, affordably-priced jewelry. Many believe the citrine possesses great abilities, from the capacity to calm and soothe temperamental attitudes to aiding in acquiring and preserving wealth. It is also a stone known to awaken creativity and imagination. Citrine encourages the fullness of life and new beginnings.
Unlike many of the other birthstones found on this list, tanzanite is a modern discovery in gems. Gaining prominence in the 1960s, this stone is known by the colors blue and violet, each of which occurs naturally, although the former is considered more valuable. The first of three birthstones for the month of December, the tanzanite is known for its capability in producing symmetry between personal power and actualization. The gem is also believed to have the power to help you look beyond your limitations and increase focus in the face of distraction.
The zircon is another gem that can be found in many colors, such as red, blue, green, brown, orange, and yellow. There are even colorless zircons which are also dazzling in their ability to display a brilliant spectrum of sparkling light. The zircon has been called “the stone of virtue” as it symbolizes innocence, purity, and consistency. Many believe zircon also contains healing power and the ability to help cleanse energy.
Last but not least, the final birthstone of the month is turquoise. Thought to keep away evil spirits, especially if worn in rings, turquoise jewelry is believed to have healing powers and the power to aid in communication. Like the sapphire, the gem of turquoise is also associated with royalty, best known for its presence in the funerary mask of the Egyptian pharaoh King Tutankhamun. This stone is considered to be a way to induce wisdom, truth, and kindness. It is also thought of as a love charm.