To start with the basics, birthstones are gems that correspond to each month. Each one is considered to be lucky for each month, and each culture has their own beliefs on what each stone means and its effects on the wearer. It’s been a part of cultures for almost 2,000 years, and the meanings for each gem in each culture have changed over the years. By way of a little introduction to the gems and their meanings, we’ll run through the most commonly associated birthstones for each month.
January Birthstone - Garnet
Garnet is the birthstone associated with January across continents and cultures, as it is also the traditional Indian Ayurvedic stone for the equivalent month in the Hindu lunar calendar. The name “garnet” is derived from the Latin “granatum” meaning “pomegranate” because the crystals resemble the pomegranate's red, round edible seeds. The gem is associated with traits like faith and truthfulness as well as giving its wearer a long life.
February Birthstone - Amethyst
Amethyst is the birthstone for the month of February. Another one that is shared across Europe and Asia, the beautiful purple of the amethyst has long been the birthstone associated with intuition and self-belief, helping you to get more in touch with your mind. Amethysts are also associated with luck and health, with a good sense of humour being attached in some culture, so good stuff all around.
March Birthstone - Jasper, Aquamarine
Aquamarine is another traditional birthstone for the month of March. The subtle blue of aquamarine evokes the kinds of qualities it is said to inspire in the wearer. A subtle and deep kind of happiness and an understanding of the world around them mean aquamarine might be one of the most subtle but effective birthstones, just like the colour of the stone itself.
April - Diamond
Diamond, the classic. This one is a favourite of jewellery makers and buyers everywhere. This birthstone is said to inspire courage and good health in its wearers, with others claiming it has healing and purifying powers. It’s also well known as a very popular gem for engagement and wedding rings, bringing with it a sense of loyalty and strong bonds.
May Birthstone - Emerald
The emerald birthstone is another gem where the colour of the stone fits in with the values associated with it. The calm green of emerald is paired with the ideals of calmness and peace of mind. It also brings with it the effect of strengthening bonds between loved ones, perfect for the lovers among us.
June Birthstone - Alexandrite
The beautiful gem named after Russia’s Tsar Alexander II changes is a very rare stone indeed. Its effects are fittingly exclusive, being said to inspire creativity in those who wear it, bringing about the sparks of imagination for the best ideas. This highly sought after birthstone also carries an aspect of nobility and beauty, going well with the royal origins.
July Birthstone - Ruby
Probably the most well-known birthstone, Ruby is associated with July and the summer in virtually every culture, with the red stone inspiring thoughts of the summer heat. The ideas of love, strength, and enthusiasm in all things go very well with the passion of the summer month. A very fitting gem to hold some of the July heat throughout the year.
August Birthstone - Peridot
Peridot is the birthstone for the month of August. The beautiful green of the Peridot was a favourite of the Ancient Egyptians, and remains a very popular gem for its nuanced colour that can range from a vivid green to a calmer olive tone. Peridot is said to bring with it good luck and success, along with strong ideals of peace and love.
September Birthstone - Lapis Lazuli, Sapphire
Sapphire, a precious gemstone, is also an associated birthstone for the month of September. Moving out of the summer months, the September Sapphire is very well known for its bright blue, but the gem can be found in a variety of other colours. It is said to be a protective stone, guarding its bearer from all kinds of stress, harm, and general evils.
October Birthstone - Opal
Opal, the traditional birthstone for October, is a stone that holds some beautifully changing tones, with its name’s origin coming from the ancient Indian language of Sanskrit. Opal is said to aid its wearer in recovering from setbacks and sadness, as well as helping them along in the search for true love. A real romantic’s stone.
November Birthstone - Topaz, Citrine
Topaz is the highly desirable birthstone for the month of November. While usually a cool blue to fit with November's winter feel, topaz can actually be found in a variety of colours across the spectrum, from pink to yellow and even sometimes brown. Topaz is said to bring ideas and imagination to the person wearing it, alongside some happiness and luck to go with the bright new ideas.
Citrine, a beautiful yellow variety of quartz, is another well known birthstone for November. Its bright colour helps to warm up some of the coldest times of the year. A very lucky stone, citrine is said to help its bearer make some extra cash. It is also said to bring wisdom and courage to the person wearing it.