Birthstones: A Basic Beginner’s Guide
By: Sawyer Wood
Just like everyone falls under a zodiac sign, all of us have a birthstone.
Most people regard theirs the same way many see crystals － as little more than a colorful addition to jewelry or other accessories. Yet there’s more to these radiant gems than just pretty aesthetics.
There are several layers of meaning and symbolism attached to each one; thought to offer certain benefits and protections to the wearer that may currently be lacking in their life. Interested in learning the significance of your own birthstone and the perks it’s said to bring? Look no further because our quick guide will help you do just that.
An ironic pick for such an icy, cold month, garnet can be recognized for its distinctive dark red tone. It’s commonly associated with the heart and, as such, represents matters of love, friendship, passion, and other strong emotions.
For those born in January who wear this birthstone, it’s thought to bring success and wealth and, far more particularly, health while traveling － a belief likely originating from old-world explorers habits of carrying garnets during long journeys to ward off evil.
So, superstitious and find yourself out and about frequently or know someone who does? Perhaps try out garnet accessories for a little extra peace of mind.
Ranging in color from a delicate lavender to a deep violet color, amethyst is a beautiful purple birthstone purported to foster focus and allow creative thinking to flourish. The traditional color of rulership and prized by Middle Ages nobility, it has long been reserved for those of royal blood, although this kind of exclusivity has since faded away.
Nowadays, amethyst is for everyone rather than just those with fancy titles, plentiful thanks to being a variety of quartz, and serves to remind us about the power of strength, sincerity, and out-of-the-box thinking.
Once upon a time, aquamarine was more than just a blue-green birthstone that looked great in rings, necklace pendants, and earrings. It was a gemstone that purportedly protected sailors and other ocean-bound folks as they journeyed about the open seas, and helped foster a sense of courage in those who may have needed an extra boost.
However, you don’t have to be on a ship to enjoy this gem. The birthstone of March, anyone born in the month can get something out of it. Commonly, people report that it inspires calm, understanding, and good communication, making it the ideal stone for those going through times of nervousness or conflict.
Diamonds are beloved by everyone but they truly belong to those born in April. A birthstone deeply tied to the renewal and hopefulness of spring, they represent purity, innocence, and open-heartedness. On top of this, though, diamonds are commonly regarded as a symbol of love, the gems’ incredible strength showing how a committed partnership can make it through the toughest storms.
Diamonds frequently find themselves utilized in engagement rings due to this symbolic meaning. But they don’t have to be reserved only for partners you plan to marry! You can wear diamond accessories anytime, whether as a set of earrings, in a simple band, or something else entirely.
Mined in Upper Egypt all the way back to the time of Cleopatra, May’s birthstone has been sought after by some of the world’s (and history’s) most influential leaders, and it’s no wonder why. Emeralds are some of the rarest gems on the planet! They oftentimes cost more than diamonds and have to go through an intensive heating process in order to reveal the vibrant, deep green color they’re known for.
But if you’re willing to splurge on yourself a little, you won’t regret it. Emeralds are said to have magical qualities that positively effect health, promoting fast healing and recovery from illness. Also encouraging faithfulness, wealth, and fertility, the emerald is a birthstone anyone would appreciate.
June is a bit of a transitory period, when spring starts giving way to summer and easy, balanced days turn into long ones in surf and sun. As such, it can also be a period of uncertainty and newness. The pearl, June’s birthstone, is believed to protect against the potential negatives that come with this, shielding the wearer from anxiety, nervousness, and frustration.
Known in several cultures as a symbol for inner wisdom and growth, pearls and pearl accessories are ideal for those undergoing a journey of self-discovery. Even if they don’t ease the path, they’ll at least make you look great as you walk it!
Those born in July know better than anyone that it’s is a time full of excitement and energy. It should be no surprise then that the Ruby takes the role of July’s birthstone. Not only does its vivid, stunning red hue automatically conjure up images of the summer sun, the birthstone is immediately reflective of the vitality and spirit of the season, too.
As you’d expect, this feeds into the deeper meanings and benefits associated with rubies. For instance, they’re primarily used as talismans for passion and prosperity, and have been used by people both present and past to support energy, mental health, and concentration.
Despite being one of the hottest months of the year for those of us in the northern hemisphere, August’s birthstone is neither fiery ruby nor vibrant amethyst. Instead, it’s the pale green of peridot. But proclaimed the “gem of the sun” by ancient Egyptians and told to come from the tears of a volcano goddess in Hawaiian folklore, peridot is still undoubtedly a summer birthstone through and through.
What does this gem have to offer? Like many others on the list: protection and health. However, peridot is said to do much more than just that, harnessing the power of nature to banish nightmares, attract abundance and love, calm anger, and block evil spirits from causing harm.
For folks with September birthdays, the sapphire is a gem thought to bring great fortune and success. Buddhists, healers from the Middle Ages, and many others throughout the centuries have all tied sapphires to the spiritual realm, seeing them as tools to bring enlightenment and inner peace to whoever possesses them.
If this happens to be your birthstone, though, rest assured that it isn’t all about this, though. Sapphire has just as much to do with the mind as it does the spirit. The blue stone is thought to calm overthinking, foster wisdom and integrity, enhance intuition, and help people listen to their instincts.
Though we usually associate October with its customary orange and black, this month’s birthstone － opal － is far more colorful. Able to shift shades and reflect almost any color of the rainbow depending on how the light hits it, the gem is beautiful and multifaceted. It’s purported benefits urges people with October birthdays to be, as well, calling for people to see different perspectives and try different things.
Additionally, October’s birthstone has been rumored to intensify people’s emotions, good or bad. Essentially the opposite of the previous month’s birthstones of peridot and sapphire, opal is about stoking the fires of passion and feeling. Feeling aloof or indifferent? Perhaps opal can be of assistance.
For many families here in the states, November is a time of joy and thankfulness. It seems wonderfully appropriate then that the month’s birthstone is citrine! Unfamiliar with this gem? Citrine is a yellow stone that is typically associated with happiness, luck, and positivity.
Wearing accessories made with citrine gems is claimed to curb feelings of sadness and improve overall mood, channeling the power of the sun to do so. Energizing, inspiring, and symbolic of light and new beginnings, it can enhance anyone’s day, no matter how rough.
Last but not least, turquoise is December’s birthstone. One of the most powerful stones (at least, according to legend), turquoise has a laundry list of meanings and benefits associated with it. Originally brought in from Turkey, natives and other peoples have been using it in jewelry, sculptures, and other creative work for over 2,000 years because of its gorgeous tone and believed protective abilities.
Beyond protecting people from harm and bad lack, turquoise is a birthstone known to embody wisdom and hope. Wearing it is supposed to uncover truth, eliminate self-limiting beliefs, and strengthen empathy for those who don’t share our same experiences and circumstances.