The notion of gemstones holding unique powers dates back to ancient times. Religious leaders, nobility and common folk all believed that wearing these stones at certain points during the year would have a positive effect on their health and fortune, and be able to ward off evil spirits. Since these practices were common in many parts of the world, there’s no denying that gemstones have an innate quality that truly inspires the human spirit.
Scholars trace the idea of wearing a gemstone that corresponds to the wearer’s birth month to 18th century Poland, but it wasn’t until 1912 that the National Association of Jewelers (now called Jewelers of America) officially defined a list of birthstones. Join me in exploring the mystical side of birthstones, and what your birthstone says about you. To help me illustrate the unique beauty of each birthstone, I’ve selected a fine jewelry design from The Bradford Exchange to correspond with each month. Let’s get started!
This name of this fiery-red gemstone comes from the Latin word “granatum,” meaning “pomegranate,” due to its resemblance of the pomegranate seed. It is thought to boost the energy levels of the wearer and sooth the nerves, and was once thought to protect the wearer from nightmares and ghosts. If your birthstone is garnet, you are a loyal friend that offers protection and support.
Pictured: My Precious Daughter Birthstone Bracelet
Amethyst is believed to promote peace and tranquility with the wearer, as well as good health. Ancient Greeks believed that amethyst guarded against intoxication and its name even comes from the Greek word “amethystos,” meaning “sober.” Those with this birthstone tend to be courageous, honest and talented.
Pictured: Rhapsody Amethyst and Diamond Ring
Early sailors carried talismans of Aquamarine etched with the sea god Neptune to protect themselves and their ships from the dangers of the ocean. It is associated with foresight, knowledge and inspiration, and was thought to alleviate ailments of the heart, liver and stomach. If Aquamarine is your birthstone, you may be more likely to be prefer being around family and have a very protective nature.
Pictured: Elegance Aquamarine and Diamond Ring
Fun fact: the first engagement ring containing a diamond was given in 1477 by Archduke Maximilian of Austria to his fiancé, Mary of Burgundy. Now, it’s the most popular choice of engagement ring (and a girl’s best friend), representing never-ending love, purity and strength. Those with April birthdays tend to be an interesting combination of hopeless romantics and authoritative.
Pictured: Diamond Delight Ring
Thanks to its deep green hues, the emerald has long been associated with fertility, rebirth and love. Emeralds also signify patience, growth and wisdom. It was the favorite gemstone of Cleopatra as well as Catherine the Great. If the emerald is your birthstone, you may be known by your friends and family as quick-witted, intuitive and intelligent.
Pictured: Emerald Legend Ring
First discovered while mining for emeralds in Russia’s Ural Mountains in 1830, this extremely rare gem was named after Prince Alexander II of Russia, and in time became one of the most prized gemstones of Russian aristocracy. It has been thought to bring luck, strength and joy to its wearer and those who have it as their birthstone tend to be warm, creative and spiritual.
Pictured: Always in My Heart Pendant Necklace
Known by ancient Hindus as the “King of Gems,” the deep red ruby signifies love, passion, happiness and integrity. It’s also believed to promote wisdom and success.In ancient times, it was believed that the ruby would get darker in the presence of evil, but only if worn by its rightful owner. If ruby is your birthstone, you might be described by others as driven, charismatic and hardworking.
Sometimes referred to as the “evening emerald” for its light green color, the peridot has been found in volcanic ash in Hawaii as well as meteorites that have hit earth. In fact, a meteorite that landed in Siberia in the 1700s contained peridot large enough to create jewelry from it! It is believed to help depression, prevent nightmares and calm the wearer. Peridot birthstone wearers, you are known for your creativity, ability to problem solve and intelligence.
Pictured: Celtic Beauty Ring
Ranging in color from light to deep blue, the sapphire was a favorite among ancient priests and royalty. It symbolizes purity and wisdom and in the 17th century, was believed to help predict the future, ease pain and reduce stress. Those with sapphire as their birthstone are regarded as honest, emotionally reserved and wise.
Pictured: The American Dream Ring
Derived from the Greek word “opallios”, which means “to see a change in color”, the multi-hued opal is said to boost the creativity of the wearer, and to encourage hope and calm the nerves. And, it was once thought to preserve the color of blonde hair! If your birthstone is opal, you may be best known for your compassion, optimism and pleasantness.
Capturing the hues of autumn, the color of citrine stones range from yellows and oranges to reddish browns. It is believed to inspire creativity and promote prosperity, which earned it the nicknames “Success Stone” and “Merchant’s Stone.” People with citrine as their birthstone are known to be friendly, intelligent and accommodating.
Tanzanite is known as the “stone of magic”, because it is believed to aid psychic insight and spiritual awareness. It’s also known as the “workaholic’s stone” because it is said to reduce stress and deflect negativity. Those with Tanzanite as their birthstone are often regarded as courageous, optimistic and have a desire for adventure.
The legends and lore surrounding birthstones and the qualities of their wearers may not be backed by scientific fact, but one fact is for certain — they’re all beautiful in their own way! What’s your birthstone and did these qualities reflect how you view yourself? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments. And, if one of our birthstone treasures caught your eye, make sure to visit The Bradford Exchange Online to discover our entire selection of fine birthstone jewelry designs.
Thanks for reading and please share this post!What Does Your Birthstone Say About You? by Beth Simon