Birthstone Jewelry Guide
Birthstones have been around for thousands of years. In the book of Exodus, the high priest Aaron's breastplate featured 12 stones symbolizing the 12 tribes of Israel. It became common to wear one stone per month throughout the calendar year. In 1912, the Jewelers of America decided to standardize the birthstones according to what was most readily available and easiest to sell. Many months have a traditional birthstone and a secondary, more affordable option. Take a look at our guide to find out more about your birthstone and our favorite jewelry picks!
January Birthstone - Garnet
January's birthstone is garnet which often has a gorgeous deep red color. The shade can range from red to pink, and garnets can even be found in shades of green and a scarce blue. This beautiful gemstone's red hue is reminiscent of a pomegranate seed. The word "garnet" comes from "Garanatus," meaning seedlike. It is a hard gemstone perfect for everyday wear.
In Greek mythology, garnets symbolized love and eternity. They continue to signify faith, love, and friendship. They are a wonderful gift to show friendship, trust, and compassion for your loved ones.
Our January customers love our garnet tennis bracelet.
February Birthstone - Amethyst
Amethyst is the official birthstone of February. It comes in a range of violet hues, from pale lavender to a deep purple. Amethyst is part of the quartz family, and the deeper the shade, the more valuable the stone. Before large deposits of amethysts were discovered in Brazil in the 19th century, amethysts were as expensive as diamonds, rubies, and sapphires due to their rarity. Now, the amethyst is a beautiful but affordable stone that is accessible to all jewelry lovers.
Amethyst is often associated with serenity and royalty. It is known as the favorite stone of Catherine the Great. St. Valentine helped popularize the amethyst as a symbol of love - he wore an amethyst ring with an image of Cupid carved into it. It is commonly used to celebrate the 6th and 17th years of marriage.
Looking for an amethyst gift for yourself or a loved one? Our Amethyst Tennis Bracelet is our favorite.
March Birthstone - Aquamarine
March's birthstone is the beautiful aquamarine. It can be found in various shades of blue and blue-green, with darker stones holding a higher value. Jewelry lovers often prefer lighter, clearer shades of aquamarine in their jewelry. The stone is associated with youth, health, hope, and love. It is known to help with anxiety and is used during meditation for relaxation and clarity of thought. Historically, aquamarines were believed to have healing powers for the heart, liver, and stomach.
Its name comes from the Latin term "aqua marina," which means "water of the sea." Aquamarines were popular gemstones for sailors, who would bring aquamarines along on their journeys to protect them from seasickness and accidents.
This gorgeous, versatile stone is becoming a popular choice for engagement rings, and looks beautiful in a variety of gold, rose gold, or white gold settings.
Our aquamarine tennis bracelet would add a fabulous pop of blue color to your jewelry collection!
April Birthstone - Diamond
If you are a diamond jewelry lover, you probably envy anyone born in April. The ever-popular diamond is April's birthstone. Did you know that diamonds can come in a range of colors, from the sparkling clear we all know and love to black and just about every shade in-between? Yellow, or "canary," diamonds are becoming more popular, as are brown or "chocolate" diamonds. Diamonds with intense color are more expensive than a colorless diamond of the same size.
Clear diamonds are still the most beloved stone choice for engagement and wedding rings. They symbolize love, marriage, and courage. Throughout history, diamonds have symbolized strength and health.
Formed under extreme heat and pressure in the earth's mantle, diamonds are a rare natural resource and the hardest material on earth. Fun fact: diamonds are so hard, they can only be cut with another diamond!
The hardness and versatility of diamonds make them a coveted choice for everyday wear. You can't go wrong with a diamond tennis bracelet or diamond tennis choker! If you're looking for a edgier diamond tennis bracelet, try a diamond baguette tennis bracelet.
May Birthstone - Emerald
May babies got lucky with their birthstone - emeralds are very special gemstones that are rarer than diamonds. Emeralds are extremely popular in the fine jewelry world right now, and we completely understand why! Emeralds symbolize vitality, fertility, eternal youth, and stress relief. According to ancient folklore, you can see into the future by putting an emerald under your tongue. Staying young with reduced stress and clairvoyance... yes please!
Here are some more fun facts about emeralds:
- A Grand Gift: Emeralds are the traditional gift for the 20th, 35th, and 55th wedding anniversaries.
- 50 Shades of Emerald: Emeralds range in color from deep green to paler shades. The deeper the color, the more prized and expensive the stone.
- Emerald-Cut: The emerald is the only gemstone that has a diamond shape named after it!
- A Diamond is Forever, but an Emerald is Rarer: Emeralds are among the rarest gemstones in the world. An emerald with minimal inclusions and a deep color is so rare that it's worth more than a diamond of equal carat weight.
- Fit for a Queen: Cleopatra had a lavish collection of emeralds. She adorned her palace with gorgeous green gemstone and often gave them as gifts. The British royals are also known for their love of emeralds - many of the British Crown Jewels are adorned with the precious gemstone. Princess Eugenie wore the Greville Emerald Kokoshnik tiara for her royal wedding, which features six emeralds spaced evenly on both sides of an impressive 93.7 carat emerald center stone.
Whether you are purchasing a special milestone gift or want to treat yourself like a queen with some jewelry in a beautiful green color, here are our favorite emerald jewelry picks:
June Birthstone - Pearl
June has a very special birthstone - pearls are the only gemstone on earth made by a living creature! Pearls are harvested from the shells of mollusks, such as oysters, mussels, and clams. When something such as a piece of sand gets lodged in a mollusk's shell, it forms a sac around the irritant by secreting a substance called nacre (also known as "mother of pearl"). As layers of the substance are deposited over time, a pearl is formed. Smooth, round natural pearls are extremely uncommon. Pearls made in the wild without the help of humans are the rarest and most expensive. Most pearls on the market are farmed, or "cultured", by implanting a piece of shell into pearl mollusks.
The most desirable pearls are a creamy white color with a reflective, iridescent luster. Cultured pearls can be dyed various shades of yellow, pink, purple, green, blue, brown, or black. Black pearls are extremely rare in nature. Natural pearl mining occurs in the Persian Gulf and off the coast of Australia in the Indian Ocean. Most cultured pearls come from China.
Although beautiful, pearls are a very soft stone and require special care by the wearer to maintain their beauty. Extreme heat and acidity can significantly damage a pearl - natural pearls will actually dissolve in vinegar!
July Birthstone - Ruby
July's birthstone, ruby, is a captivating symbol of glamour, wealth, and femininity. It is a complex, red stone that commands the highest prices when found with little to no purple or orange shading. Often sought after by royalty, rubies are one of the rarest and most valuable gemstones on earth. Large stones can be more expensive than diamonds of the same size. Rubies are known to represent love, passion, and courage. They have also been known to provide their wearer with good fortune. In ancient times, rubies were thought to have protective powers against evil and harm.
Along with its status as July's birthstone, rubies are known as the traditional gift for 15th and 40th wedding anniversaries. Are you looking for a stunning, red color stone to make a loved one feel like royalty? We have you covered with our favorite ruby jewelry:
August Birthstone - Peridot
You will be green with envy over the sparkling lime green color of peridot, August's birthstone. It is one of only two gems formed in the earth's mantle and brought to the surface by earthquakes and volcanoes (the other one is diamond). People believed peridot stones were the goddess Pele's tears in ancient Hawaii, brought to the earth's surface by volcanic eruptions. Throughout history, peridot has been known to ward off nightmares and evil. Today, it is believed to help open the mind and bring the wearer good luck and inner strength.
Here are some fun facts about peridots:
- Some peridots have been found in rare pallasite meteorites and were formed over 4.5 billion years ago.
- The Shrine of the Three Kings at the Cathedral of St. Peter in Cologne, Germany, is adorned with over 1,000 peridots. Some of the stones are 200 karats!
- The peridot is one of only a few gemstones in one color. Shades can vary from pale green to olive and lime green, with the most expensive stones being sparkling lime-green.
September Birthstone - Sapphire
September's birthstone, sapphire, is one of the most popular gems for everyday wear. It is a durable, versatile stone well known for its deep blue hue. It is second in hardness only to diamonds, making it a popular choice for engagement rings. Sapphires are also available in pink, purple, orange, green, and yellow. Star sapphires are some of the rarest and most coveted gems globally. Under the proper light, they appear to have a six-pointed star on their surface.
Sapphires have been cherished by royalty for generations. Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, wears a 12 karat Ceylon sapphire engagement ring originally belonged to Princess Diana. The sapphire was believed to protect your family from harm in ancient history. Clergy members wore sapphires to symbolize heaven. In more modern times, sapphires symbolize wisdom, purity, and faith. Sapphires are the traditional gift for a 5th or 45th wedding anniversary.
Check out our favorite sapphire birthstone jewelry here:
October Birthstone - Tourmaline or Opal
Opal is the traditional October birthstone. These precious gemstones are known for their "play-of-color" - they appear to have shifting colors because the silica spheres in the stone refract light and create a rainbow of colors on display. They can have a variety of base colors, with black being the rarest and most expensive. White opals are the most common. Opals originated in India and were named after the Sanskrit word Upala, meaning "precious stone." Most of the world's opals come from Australia, where the stones form by rain, becoming trapped inside of rocks. These mystical stones are believed to symbolize purity and hope.
Tourmaline is the newer October birthstone. It comes in almost every color. Its name comes from the Sinhalese word toramalli, meaning "stone mixed with colors." It is known for boosting creativity and strengthening the spirit. The Paraiba tourmaline, with an incandescent blue-green color, is one of the world's rarest and most desirable gemstones. For every 10,000 diamonds mined, only one Paraiba tourmaline is found worldwide.
Here are our favorite picks for October birthstone jewelry, whether tourmaline or opal is your preference:
November Birthstone - Topaz or Citrine
Topaz is the traditional birthstone of November. Most commonly found in blue or tannish-brown, topaz stones are available in a variety of colors. Imperial topaz, a rare reddish-orange hue, was used to adorn the Crown Jewels of Russia in the 18th and 19th centuries. One of the most famous topaz stones in the world was long thought to be the world's largest diamond - a 1680 carat clear topaz is part of the Portuguese Crown Jewel collection. Throughout history, it was believed that topaz had "superpowers" that helped with healing, protected the wearer from enemies, helped maintain a calm mental state, and increased the wearer's strength. Today, topaz signifies love, faithfulness, power, and loyalty.
The more modern November birthstone is a variety of quartz called citrine. Its color can range from pale yellow to a brownish-orange hue. It resembles yellow topaz, and the two stones are often confused by the untrained eye. Citrine is known as the "healing quartz" symbolizing vitality and positive energy.
December Birthstone - Tanzanite or Turquoise
Both of December's birthstones feature a gorgeous shade of blue. Tanzanite, named by Tiffany & Co. for the 1967 discovery of the stone in Tanzania, was named as a birthstone in 2002. It can only be found in a few square miles near Mt. Kilimanjaro. Tanzanite features a deep blue-purple color and has quickly risen to popularity. Its gorgeous color can rival the ever-popular sapphire, making tanzanite the market's second most popular colored stone.
Turquoise, known for its distinct color, traditionally came from Persia. The U.S. is now the world's biggest turquoise supplier, with Arizona leading in value and quality. Its prevalence in the southwest makes it a popular choice for Native American jewelry. The "spiderweb" pattern seen in some turquoise stones is due to pieces of the host rock, called matrix. This can lower the stone's value but is an attractive component of southwestern jewelry. Turquoise was worn to represent protection during battles and attract water during ancient times. It was also thought to bring about good fortune, happiness, purity, calm, and love. Today, turquoise remains a symbol of wisdom, tranquility, and protection.
Looking for a December birthstone gift? Look no further than our Turquoise Tennis Bracelet