A Guide to Birthstones: Colours, Origin, Benefits & Meanings

by Lisa
20 June 2022 · 8 min read

Photo by Edz Norton on Unsplash

Although the stylish wearing of zodiac gems is a relatively recent invention, the concept of birthstones, or gemstones that are associated with a person’s birth month, is nothing new. Its origins can be traced back to biblical times. Historians think that the twelve gemstones on Aaron’s breastplate originally represented the twelve tribes of Israel. So you could say that birthstones have been popular since ancient times.

Back then, people believed that gemstones brought great qualities such as good luck, health, and wealth. Nowadays, each month is traditionally linked with a particular gemstone. But, as you’ll see below, some months have many birthstones. Read on to learn everything you need to know about gemstones’ names, their origins, corresponding months, and find your unique month birthstone.

Birthstone Origins

In the fifth century, Christian scholars recognized the connection between the twelve stones in the Breastplate of Aaron, the twelve months of the year, and the twelve signs of the zodiac. They hypothesized that each gemstone was associated with a specific month or astrological alignment and that wearing a gemstone during that period would have therapeutic effects.

The current practice of assigning a gemstone to each month and wearing only the stone associated with your birth month evolved between the 16th and 18th centuries. During this time, Poland was the birthplace of the so-called “traditional birthstones.” In 1912, the National Association of Jewelers published a list of “contemporary birthstones” in the United States.

Birthstone colors used to be the essential elements of the stones, which meant that ruby and garnet, for example, had no fundamental difference in their meaning. People also used other gemstone names in the past:

  • Sapphire may have been Lapis, as we know it today.
  • Diamonds were most likely white sapphires or white Topazes.

Birthstones are said to bring good luck, health, and protection to the person who wears them. Astrologers have long attributed mystical properties to certain gemstones. People began to wear one stone for each month of the year to take full advantage of it, giving each stone a new meaning and value. Soon, you’ll read more about month birthstones and their properties.

My Month Birthstone

Your birthstone is the gemstone that belongs to your birth month. To determine your specific gemstone, use the chart below. As you can see, all birthstones are listed there by month.

  • January: Garnet
  • February: Amethyst
  • March: Aquamarine
  • April: Quartz or Diamond
  • May: Emerald
  • June: Pearl or Alexandrite
  • July: Ruby
  • August: Peridot
  • September: Sapphire
  • October: Tourmaline or Opal
  • November: Citrine
  • December: Turquoise

Gemstone Colours, Names & Properties by Month

Here are the different properties of birthstones:

January Birthstone – Garnet

January Birthstone Claddagh Ring – Garnet  by Boru

January’s birthstone, garnet, comes in a variety of colors. From the flaming orange of Mandarin Garnet or the deep green of Tsavorite Garnet to the crimson color of Pyrope Garnet, it is considered a wonderful gift that represents friendship and trust.

Garnet can assist you in maintaining and respecting your boundaries while breaking down inhibitions and barriers. Wearing the January birthstone, you will feel comfortable and supported as you pursue the true desires of your soul.

February Birthstone – Amethyst

February Birthstone Claddagh Earrings – Amethyst by Boru

February’s birthstone, Amethyst, is a Quartz variation with a stunning purple color that ranges from a blend of deep violet and red to a lighter shade of lilac. Amethyst is said to strengthen relationships and give courage to those who wear it.

In the past, only aristocrats could wear this gemstone. The ancient Greeks believed that Amethyst protected them from intoxication. In fact, the word “amethyst” is derived from the Greek word Amethystos, which means “sober.”

March Birthstone – Aquamarine

March Birthstone Claddagh Pendant – Aquamarine by Boru

The birthstone for March is aquamarine. It has a deep blue color and is traditionally associated with youth, health, and hope. Its captivating color ranges from mild to deep blue, symbolizing the sea.

Aquamarine was believed to protect sailors and help them remember their loved ones while they were far away at sea, as it was said  in ancient times. Wearing the March birthstone promotes creativity, optimism, self-expression, and courage. Aquamarine has long been considered helpful for pregnant women, as it protects both the mother and the child from harm.

April Gemstone – Diamond

April Birthstone Heart Claddagh Ring – Diamond by Boru

Diamonds, one of the most famous and precious gemstones known to man, are the birthstone for April—and thus, for people born under the zodiac signs of Aries and Taurus. White diamonds are the most typical, but there are also colored diamonds in different colors, such as yellow, blue, pink, and others.

Diamonds are frequently associated with love, making them an ideal present for a special someone. But besides their fascinating beauty, diamonds are also gems of positivity and peace of mind. They’re known as potent energizers, providing a sense of divine happiness and driving away the effects of evil. The April gemstone also has the potential to treat vertigo and heal allergies.

May Birthstone – Emerald

May Birthstone Collection – Emerald by Boru

The birthstone for May is emerald, with a rich green color and a stunning bright tone. It is considered a symbol of love and restoration. Emeralds are the rarest gemstones found mainly in Colombia, Brazil, Afghanistan, and Zambia.

Emeralds have a long history of shining brightly in mythology and legends, and for good reasons. Throughout history, emeralds have been associated with rebirth. Cleopatra’s favorite jewel is said to have been this green gemstone. According to ancient traditions, this gemstone gives its owner foresight, youth, and luck. Wear your birthstone in good health if you were born in May.

June Birthstones – Alexandrite & Pearl

June Birthstone Claddagh Pendant – Alexandrite by Boru

The birthstones for June birthdays are pearl and Alexandrite. Because of their natural beauty, pearls have been extremely popular in jewelry making for generations. Alexandrite gemstones are also incredibly unique and valuable. They’re highly sought after since their color changes depending on the light. They appear green during the day but gain purple and red hues when exposed to incandescent light.

Pearls are a bright reminder that life’s most difficult experiences often shape us in the most beautiful ways. There’s still much we don’t know about Alexandrite, but some people associate it with heightened intuition and zest for life.

July Birthstone – Ruby

July Birthstone Claddagh Earrings – Ruby by Boru

The stunning red ruby is the birthstone for all those born in July. This gemstone is made of clear red corundum, an aluminum oxide mineral. Its value rises with its color and quality. Rubies resonate with our two lower chakras and help resolve deep-seated personal issues. These can be anything from the self-esteem of one to the confidence of the other.

Rubies are the kings of stones, symbolizing love, health, and knowledge. It was believed that wearing a beautiful red ruby would bring good luck to the wearer.

August Birthstones – Peridot & Spinel

August Birthstone Gold Ring – Peridot by Boru

Peridot and Spinel are the birthstones for August. With its unique lime green color, peridot is thought to confer power and influence on the one who wears it. Spinel comes in a rainbow of hues and is believed to protect its wearer from harm and alleviate grief.

Peridot is associated with Pele, the fiery Hawaiian goddess of fire and volcanoes. This August birthstone helps you draw firm boundaries and stick to your decisions, especially if they are unconventional. Spinel is thought to have strong vitality and prosperity-boosting effects on the wearer. It’s also valuable for astral travel since it’s said to help draw in and purify energy.

September Birthstone – Sapphire

September Birthstone Engagement Ring – Blue Sapphire by Boru

Sapphire, the September birthstone, is most popular in its pure, deep blue color, but you can also find it in pink, yellow, and green. In the Middle Ages, the gem was thought to protect those dear to you from harm. This September birthstone also symbolizes loyalty and trust.

Christians used blue sapphires in the Middle Ages as symbols of heaven. For many gemstone collectors today, these stones represent wisdom, purity, and trust. This gemstone helps us connect with our higher selves and our inner empaths who understand the big picture.

October Birthstones – Opal & Tourmaline

October Birthstone Claddagh Necklace – Tourmaline by Boru

Tourmaline and Opal are the birthstones for October. Tourmaline is a treasured gemstone for many people because it comes in a spectrum of lovely colors. But, let’s not forget that Opal birthstones are absolutely unique because each of them is adorned with a different color combination.

Of course, opal deserves the title of “Queen of Gemstones” not only because of its beauty. Opal is said to bring good luck, peace, joy, and wealth to those who wear it. The word tourmaline derives from the Sinhalese Tura Mali, which means “stone of mixed colors.” The green type of tourmaline is perhaps the most well-known.

November Birthstones – Topaz & Citrine

November Birthstone Earrings – Citrine by Boru

Citrine and Topaz are the two gemstones associated with November birthdays. Citrine is a healing gemstone with a warm color that is said to be a gift from the sun. Topaz is most popular in its deep orange Imperial Topaz color. However, it also comes in blue, pink, and yellow hues.

Topaz is an ancient gemstone with a unique ‘noble’ energy vibration. Keep in mind that while citrine (quartz) and Topaz are often confused, they are two different types of gemstones. They also come in various price ranges.

December Birthstone – Topaz, Turquoise, Zircon & Tanzanite

December Birthstone Claddagh Ring – Blue Topaz by Boru

The gemstones Zircon, Tanzanite, Turquoise and Topaz are associated with December birthdays. The unusual blue hue of each of these gemstones makes it an ideal birthstone for your cold winter days. Zircon comes in a variety of colors, but blue is by far the most popular.

Turquoise has a long and illustrious history as a prized gemstone. Zircon gives its wearer wisdom, prestige, and wealth, while Tanzanite stimulates creativity. The Blue Topaz signifies friendship, romance and eternal loyalty, as well as good fortune and success. 

We hope this article can help you find your unique gemstone and choose your favorite. Browse our wide selection of birthstone jewelry to find a special gift for someone special – Including yourself!


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