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A Complete Guide to Birthstones: History, Styling Tips, and More

Personalization through color and history...

When it comes to customizing jewelry, birthstones are a favorite among buyers who want something extra personal. Adding your birthstone or that of a loved one is the perfect way to add sentimentality to your accessories. Additionally, a birthstone can amplify customized pieces, bringing a splash of color to brighten their features. But, what is your birthstone, and what happens when you have more than one to choose from? 👩🏻‍🏫Let’s discuss birthstones: where they come from, which one to choose, and how to style them to fit your needs.

The Full Guide to Birthstones: History, Styling Tips and More

What are birthstones?

First, when looking at lists of birthstones, you may notice lists of “ancient”, “traditional” and “modern” options.  While all three lists are accurate, their origins are very different. Ultimately, cultural custom and popularity are major factors in how these lists changed over time. You can choose a stone from any list, ⚠️but you may want to consider their history before deciding:

Ancient Birthstones

Ancient birthstones have played a role in civilization for thousands of years. Although ancient birthstones don’t have one country of origin, they’re typically associated with the biblical breastplate of Aaron which held twelve gemstones, indicating the twelve tribes of Israel. However, the truth is somewhat unclear, and these stones may have a longer history rooted in astrology or calendars used over time.

Regardless of their origin, certain gemstones were prized by multiple cultures for their supposed mystical abilities. 👁️‍🗨️As a result, these gemstones became important to rituals and ceremonies across various belief systems.

Ancient birthstones’ mystical appeal still applies today, and consumers resonate with the idea that a particular gemstone was chosen specifically for them. Additionally, many still believe these gems have supernatural abilities, and they are used in rituals to this day.

Traditional Birthstones

As discussed above, different cultures valued certain gemstones over others. This may have to do with their perceived abilities, or it could relate to the gemstone’s availability in a particular region. Whatever the case, there are several versions of the traditional birthstone list that can be traced back to different parts of the world. Typically, these lists include gemstones that were discovered within the last 500 years.

Modern Birthstones

Diamond Embedded Wedding Engagement Rings With Different Colored Large Birthstones Affixed On

Finally, the National Association of Jewelers developed the modern birthstone list in 1912, but there is no deeper, historical meaning for these stones. Most new gemstones on this list have been added over time as they were discovered, providing more options to buyers who may not like the colors of the ancient or traditional stones. Surprisingly, authorities have added gemstones to the modern list as recently as 2016! While they have no meaningful background, they are still lovely options when choosing a birthstone piece.

🕵🏻What is my birthstone?

As previously mentioned, birthstones are typically divided according to birth month.📅 Each month has a specific set of stones that are said to correlate to historic or mythic meanings or personality traits shared by individuals born within those 28-31 days. Here is a comprehensive birthstone list organized by month:👇🏻

What is the January birthstone?

January Birthstone: Garnet

Garnet

Mohs Hardness: 6.5 – 7.5

Although this stone takes its name from the Middle English word “gernet” or “deep red”, garnet can come in many colors. However, it typically forms in various shades of scarlet. Furthermore, it takes additional meaning from the Latin word “granatus” or seed, referring to its similarity to the pomegranate seed.

Heart-Shaped Garnet Yellow Gold Ring on Ribbon Background

Unlike other birthstones, garnet is technically a group of minerals with different colors, including almandine, grossular, pyrope, andradite, and spessartine. These stones are found in many countries around the world: Russia, Greece, Wyoming, Tanzania, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, and more. However, 📍Africa sources most of the world’s garnet today.

Precious to the Egyptians Romans, garnet has had several meanings over time. For instance, Indian astrology recommends garnet to improve depression and negative thoughts. Similarly, medieval medicine included garnets in treatments for inflammatory diseases and heart issues. Finally, many believe garnet brings the wearer good health, fortune, and joy.

What is the February birthstone?

February Birthstone: Amethyst

Amethyst

Mohs Hardness: 7

The name amethyst comes from the Greek word methustos or “intoxicated”, as the stones were thought to protect against drunkenness.

White Gold Amethyst Ring on Gray Background

Amethyst develops when impurities in quartz—namely iron and irradiation—produce a vibrantly colored stone. Its natural color ranges from a light violet to a deep purple. Amethyst mines are most common in South America and Africa, but they also appear in the United States.

A favorite of Catherine the Great,👑 the amethyst is a beloved gem of royalty, and they are said to bring power and wealth to wearers. However, may perceive this given power as inner strength, as amethysts were typically worn to provide mental clarity and quick wit.

What is the March birthstone?

March Birthstone: Aquamarine

Aquamarine

Mohs Hardness: 7.5 – 8

The origins of the name “aquamarine” tell much about its qualities. Aquamarine is the combination of two Latin words: aqua meaning “water” and marina meaning “sea”.

Aquamarine Birthstone Statement Ring With Small Diamonds

Colors of aquamarine can range from a faint, light blue to a deep blue-green. Brazil is a large source for mined aquamarines, while large deposits have been found in Madagascar, Pakistan, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, and Zambia as well. Aquamarines can also be found in the US, including Colorado and California. Other countries where aquamarine may be found include Russia, Ukraine, Myanmar, China, and many more.

Another nod to the stone’s name, aquamarine was used by sailors to calm the sea’s waves🌊 and provide good luck when fishing. It is also thought to bestow happiness upon married couples.

March Birthstone: Bloodstone

Bloodstone

Mohs Hardness: 6.5 – 7

Though not as common as aquamarine, bloodstone has a long history as an ancient birthstone for March. It consists primarily of chalcedony, but iron oxide impurities within the stone create red specks throughout.

Also known as a heliotrope, bloodstone’s secondary name means “to turn the sun”.☀️ This cryptic translation refers to the ancient belief that placing a bloodstone in water would turn the sun red. It also carries religious significance, as it’s said the stone below Jesus’ cross was stained by his blood, creating the first bloodstone.

Then it comes to color, there are two types of bloodstone: heliotrope and plasma. Heliotrope is more transparent, and it contains the sought after red spots that give the stone its name. In contract, plasma is opaque with very few—if any—red spots. Finally, both stones are dark green, and the spots can be bright red or a deeper scarlet.

India provides the majority of bloodstone throughout the world, but sources also exist in China, Australia, Brazil, and the United States.

Bloodstone is said to prolong youth and good health, and it makes the wearer stronger physically and mentally. It’s even said to provide the power of invisibility!

What is the April birthstone?

April Birthstone: Diamond

Diamond

Mohs Hardness: 10

Probably the most infamous gemstone, 💎diamonds are the birthstone for April. Although diamonds are coveted for their bright shine and crystalline features, they are also prized as the hardest gemstone available. The name diamond even stems from the Greek word adamas, meaning “invincible” or “unbreakable”.

Large Carats Diamond Rings on Roses

Colorless diamonds are the standard, but they can come in a variety of colors. Yellow, pink, and blue diamonds are beloved for their unique hue, but other colors—such as red and brown—are possible as well.

Diamonds were initially mined in India, where they were reserved for the wealthy and powerful. However, Brazil, Russia, Canada and eventually South Africa, Botswana, and other African nations soon became large suppliers as diamonds in India dwindled.

Because of their scintillating fire, diamonds have always been revered as mystical, otherworldly objects. Some ancient civilizations believed diamonds were pure lightning found on earth and could cure disease, while others saw the stone as a means to ward off the “evil eye” and bring longevity, beauty, and happiness to the wearer. Nowadays, diamonds are the quintessential symbol for love and marriage, and they are the most desired gemstone for engagement rings and jewelry.

What is the May birthstone?

May Birthstone: Emerald

Emerald

Mohs Hardness: 7.5 – 8

The epitome of green and the May birthstone color, the name emerald derives from the Greek word smargados which, unsurprisingly, means “green”.

Emerald Birthstone Hanging Near Window

Emerald colors vary, appearing as a light, spring green or deep green. The deeper the green, the more valuable the emerald! Some of the most valuable emeralds have been found in Colombia, but they are also mined in Afghanistan, Zambia, and Brazil.

Certain estimates state that the oldest known emeralds are 2.97 billion years old! Throughout known history, they have been symbols of loyalty and prosperity, and they are said to make the wearer more intelligent. Additionally, the Egyptians greatly prized emeralds and often used them in burials and ceremonies as a means of protection. Cleopatra was said to be a huge fan of emeralds, controlling all of the mines in Egypt to ensure she had the best stones!

What is the June birthstone?

June Birthstone: Pearl

Pearl

Mohs Hardness: 2.5 – 4.5

Unlike most birthstones, the name pearl has origins in Old French and Latin rather than Greek. Perle or “leg” refers to the leg-like shape of a mollusk shell, as mollusks are the source of natural pearls.

Birthstone Jewelry: Pearl Earrings With Delicate Gold Chains

Although most pearls are cultivated today due to over-harvesting of natural sources, both types of pearls start with mollusks. They are the only gemstone that does not originate in the ground, rather they are the result of mollusks covering particulates or parasites trapped inside them with a substance, called nacre, to smooth the surface of the irritant. Realistically, the only difference between a natural and cultured pearl is the location: cultured pearls come from mollusks that are raised on a farm rather than in the wild, and the pearls are harvested once complete.

Pearls can be round (cultured) or have an irregular shape (natural). Most pearls have a lustrous white sheen, but they may also be pink, blue, green, brown, purple, yellow, or even black. The few remaining natural pearls typically come from China and Japan as well as the Persian Gulf near Bahrain. However, cultured pearls can be found in Indonesia, Australia, and the Philippines.

Ancient cultures had several different myths surrounding pearls: they’re products of dragon brains, tears from heaven, the result of mollusks ingesting dew, and more. Pearls symbolize innocence and purity, being delicate gemstones that can crack or disintegrate easily. They also have a strong place in fashion as a staple for refined, stately looks.

June Birthstone: Alexandrite

Alexandrite

Mohs Hardness: 8

Alexandrite was originally found in the Ural Mountains of Russia. As a result, it is named for the young royal, Alexander II, who was heir apparent at the time of its discovery in 1830.

Alexandrite is unique, as it does not have one color associated with its name. In short, Alexandrite appears bluish-green in bright light and reddish-purple under incandescent light. This change occurs due to trace amounts of chromium within the stone, making it one of the rarest and most expensive gemstones on the market.

Although the first source of Alexandrite is in Russia, the gemstone is now mined in Brazil, Sri Lanka, and East Africa as well. However, these stones are not nearly as brilliant as their Russian counterparts.

Alexandrite is associated with learning, and it is said to hone concentration and intuition, stimulate creativity, and bring good luck to wearers.🤴🏻

June Birthstone: Moonstone

Moonstone

Mohs Hardness: 6 – 6.5

Moonstone’s name is practical: Hindu mythology, as well as ancient Greeks and Romans, associated moonstone with lunar gods and moonbeams that had solidified on earth.

Although moonstones appear bluish when presented upon a colorless surface, what makes them unique is their eerie shine.✨ This shine is also known as adularescence, which refers to the billowy glow that appears on the stone’s surface.

The finest, rarest moonstones are mined in Sri Lanka, but other sources can be found in Australia, Madagascar, Myanmar, and India. Some deposits even exist in the United States.

Moonstones have a mystical quality in their glow, and they’ve mesmerized designers for decades. They were particularly popular during the 1960’s “flower child” years, where fashion focused on unique stones with spiritual qualities.

What is the July birthstone?

July Birthstone: Ruby

Ruby

Mohs Hardness: 9

Red is the July birthstone color. Similar to emeralds, rubies are aptly named: the word ruby derives from the Latin word rubeus, meaning “red”.

Large Ruby Birthstone Pendant

As suggested by their name, rubies can be various shades of red, ranging from pink to a deep blood red. In addition to their red hue, the fluorescence caused by chromium within rubies gives the gemstone a fiery glow.

The most valuable rubies are found in Myanmar, but deposits also exist in East Africa, India, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Middle East.

Ancient cultures associated deep red rubies with blood, the life force of living beings. As such, the gemstones were believed to quell anger, instill courage, and even bestow power💪🏻 upon the wearer. In fact, in Sanskrit, the word for ruby translates to “king of precious stones”.

What is the August birthstone?

August Birthstone: Peridot

Peridot

Mohs Hardness: 6.5 – 7

The origins of the name peridot are somewhat mysterious. Some scholars believe the name originates from the Arabic word faradat or “gem”.  However, others speculate the term may derive from the Greek word peridona which means “giving plenty”.

White Gold Ring With Peridot Birthstones and Diamonds

Regardless of origins, the gemstone is unanimously known for its vivid green hue. With its bright color ranging from yellowish-green to olive, peridot is the perfect stone for a month of sunshine and bright foliage in most parts of the world.

Most peridot comes from San Carlos Reservation in Arizona, but there are also deposits in Pakistan, Africa, Myanmar, and China.

To many cultures, peridot is a means of protection against the evil spirits of the world. Peridot is also said to bring wearers wealth, and those found in Hawaii are said to be the tears of the volcano goddess, Pele. Rarely, meteorites may also contain peridot.

August Birthstone: Sardonyx

Sardonyx

Mohs Hardness: 7

Sardonyx is a layered stone that conveniently takes its name from its two basic minerals: sard and onyx.

The sard layers are typically orange with a reddish tint. The onyx layers are white or black, creating a stark contrast to the bright sard. These colors create parallel bands of pigment that produce a unique look for wearers.

India’s deposits are often revered as producing the most sought after sardonyx. However, the gemstone can also be found in the United States, Madagascar, Uruguay, Slovakia, and many other countries.

Sardonyx has long symbolized protection and bravery, and sardonyx talismans were worn by Roman soldiers in battle. The gemstone is also tied to public speaking, and many Renaissance figures wore sardonyx to ensure eloquence and clear speech. Furthermore, sardonyx has biblical meaning, as it is said to be one of the stones worn in the breastplate of the High Priest in the Old Testament.

August Birthstone: Spinel

Spinel

Mohs Hardness: 8

Spinel gets its name from the Latin word spina or “thorn”, as the gemstone grows in long, crystal formations.

You may find spinel in various colors, such as blue, yellow, black, purple, and more. However, the most prized spinel are reddish-pink to deep red, and they’re often ⚠️mistaken for rubies and pink sapphires. In fact, many famous rubies throughout history turned out to be spinel!

Miners in Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Cambodia, and Thailand benefit from large deposits of spinel. The red gemstone is also found in Afghanistan, Vietnam, Nepal, Madagascar, the United States, and several other countries.

Spinel often resembles the color of blood, and so it was believed to cure blood impurities as well as inflammatory diseases. Due to its similarities to rubies, spinel is also a gem prized by the royal and wealthy. A large spinel is even part of the Imperial State Crown of Britain.

What is the September birthstone?

September Birthstone: Sapphire

Sapphire

Mohs Hardness: 9

Derived from the Greek word sappheiros or “blue stone”, sapphires are nearly as popular as diamonds, and for good reason!

Yellow Gold Statement Rings With Birthstone Sapphires Embedded

Although their name may imply all sapphires are blue, this is far from the truth. Most sapphires range in color from a bright blue to a blue so dark it’s almost black. But, “fancy” sapphires can be pink, yellow, green, or really any color except red.

Some of the best sapphires come from India, but there are deposits in Myanmar, Australia, the United States, Brazil, Thailand, and many more countries.

Many cultures believe sapphires have healing and defensive powers. Sapphires also signify nobility, honesty, and the heavens. They’re often a symbol of royalty, and the most notable sapphire in recent years may be stone at the center of the engagement ring worn by Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge.

What is the October birthstone?

October Birthstone: Opal

Opal

Mohs Hardness: 5.5 – 6.5

October is the month of rainbow gemstones. The name opal derived from the Greek opallios or “to see a change in color”.

Mineral Opal to Be Processed to Opal Birthstones

It’s a fitting name, as the typical opal is made of microscopic silica spheres that change colors with different angles and lighting. There are also “common opals” which are all white and do not have the rainbow fire effect of “precious opals”. Additionally, there are different types of precious opals, including fire opal, black opal, and honey opal.

Different types of opals can be found all around the globe, but the largest supplier is Australia. Australia has actually produced 95% of the opal supply since it was discovered in 1850!

Long ago, opal was revered as a mystic source of natural power and prophecy. Its kaleidoscopic nature resembled rainbows and lightning, and many cultures saw it as a gift from the gods.

October Birthstone: Tourmaline

Tourmaline

Mohs Hardness: 7 – 7.5

Tourmaline gets its name from the Sinhalese words tura mali, meaning “stones of mixed colors”.

The name refers to tourmaline’s variety of natural colors, all in beautiful deep or pastel shades. Stones can range in color: pale pink, peach, red, aqua-green, bright green, brown, yellow, and even black.

Most often, tourmaline comes from Brazil. However, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Nigeria, and Pakistan also mine for tourmaline.

Egyptians believed tourmaline earned its colorful appearance by passing through a rainbow🌈 as it traveled to the earth’s surface. In fact, tourmaline can be more than one color, which is referred to as “parti-colored”. They can even hold an electric charge through heat and pressure.

What is the November birthstone?

November Birthstone: Topaz

Topaz

Mohs Hardness: 8

Unlike other birthstones on this list, Topaz actually gets its name from a place: St. John’s Island, in the Red Sea, where the stone was found initially. Though history tells us these stones probably weren’t topaz, the name has stuck through the years. It may also come from the Sanskrit word tapas, meaning “fire”.

Topaz is colorless in its purest form, but impurities in its structure create a vast rainbow of colors. The most common form of topaz is a sunny orange-yellow, which is the November birthstone color.

Most topaz deposits are in Brazil, but Pakistan, Russia, Germany, Mexico, and many more countries mine the gem as well.

Renaissance scholars believed topaz could ward off spells and calm the mind. Hindu and African cultures saw the stone as sacred, and they even used it in rituals for healing and longevity. However, it’s hard to say whether they were using true topaz, as most stones with a yellow hue were thought to be topaz until more recent science proved otherwise.

November Birthstone: Citrine

Citrine

Mohs Hardness: 7

Another sunny stone, citrine is named after citrus fruit, primarily the French word citron or “lemon”.

Polished Large Citrine Birthstone on Black Background

Aptly named, citrine appears in various shades of yellow, from bright lemon to a deeper honey color and even an amber-brown shade.

You can find citrine mines in Brazil, Bolivia, Madagascar, France, Mexico, Uruguay, and more places throughout the world.

Citrine was often mistaken for topaz before mineral testing became possible, and so it is often associated with the same mystical healing abilities as its yellow-orange counterpart. In addition, it was used in icons and talismans to ward off ill tempers and arouse desire.

What is the December birthstone?

December Birthstone: Tanzanite

Tanzanite

Mohs Hardness: 6.5 – 7

One of few gemstones found in the late 20th century, tanzanite gets its name from Tanzania where it was originally discovered.

Tanzanite forms in shades of blue, ranging from a light blue to a deep azure with hints of violet purple. It can even present multiple colors when viewed in different lighting.

This beautiful gemstone is only found in one place on earth: the Merelani Hills of Tanzania.

Tiffany & Co originally had exclusive rights to selling tanzanite, and their campaign introducing the gemstone to the world in 1968 was a smashing success. However, some estimates suggest over-mining and increased popularity may result in depletion of tanzanite deposits in as little as 30 years.

December Birthstone: Turquoise

Turquoise

Mohs Hardness: 5 – 6

The name turquoise is a form of its 13th century name “Turkish stone”. Pierre Tourques used the term to describe the new gemstone brought from Turkey to Europe.

Lady Wearing Boho Style Jewelry With Turquoise Birthstones, Sitting on Beach

Turquoise is bright blue or greenish-blue with dark veins running through the patches of color. These veins are called “matrix”, which are leftover sections of the source stone where the turquoise developed.

Iran, Egypt, and China are well known as sources of turquoise. However, today’s largest deposits are found in multiple US states, including New Mexico, Nevada, Colorado, California, and Arizona.

Many ancient cultures adored turquoise for its perceived powers of protection and warning. Native Americans also believed turquoise could improve bow accuracy, and it was used by shamans in sacred rituals. One of the most famous examples of turquoise adornments is King Tut’s elaborate death mask.

December Birthstone: Zircon

Zircon

Mohs Hardness: 7.5

Zircon derives from either the Persian word zargan—meaning “gold-colored”— or the Arabic word zarkun, which means “cinnabar” or “vermilion”. Either translation is possible as zircon comes in a variety of colors, such as yellow, red, orange, blue, green, brown, and even colorless.

These changes in color are the result of impurities in the stone, similar to tourmaline. However, the royal blue version of zircon is the alternative December birthstone.

Australia takes the lead in zircon mining, but Thailand, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Tanzania, Canada, and the United States have zircon deposits.

Although it’s the oldest mineral on earth, it has been a staple in jewelry for the elite since the Victorian era. Scholars of the Middle Ages thought the beautiful stone could ward off evil and bring wisdom to wearers. Colorless zircons are so dazzling that they’re often confused for diamonds.

🕵🏻Still confused? Here is a birthstone chart to help you find your gemstone options:

Birth Month Birthstone(s) Mohs Hardness
January January Birthstone: Garnet Garnet 6.5 - 7.5
February February Birthstone: Amethyst Amethyst 7
March March Birthstone: Aquamarine Aquamarine 7.5 - 8.5
March March Birthstone: Bloodstone Bloodstone 6.5 - 7
April April Birthstone: Diamond Diamond 10
May May Birthstone: Emerald Emerald 7.5 - 8
June June Birthstone: Pearl Pearl 2.5 - 4.5
June June Birthstone: Alexandrite Alexandrite 8
June June Birthstone: Moonstone Moonstone 6 - 6.5
July July Birthstone: Ruby Ruby 9
August August Birthstone: Peridot Peridot 6.5 - 7
August August Birthstone: Sardonyx Sardonyx 7
August August Birthstone: Spinel Spinel 8
September September Birthstone: Sapphire Sapphire 9
October October Birthstone: Opal Opal 5.5 - 6.5
October October Birthstone: Tourmaline Tourmaline 7 - 7.5
November November Birthstone: Topaz Topaz 8
November November Birthstone: Citrine Citrine 7
December December Birthstone: Tanzanite Tanzanite 6.5 - 7
December December Birthstone: Turquoise Turquoise 5 - 6
December December Birthstone: Zircon Zircon 7.5

*Birthstone images in this chart are from American Gem Society (AGS)

👏🏻For astrology enthusiasts: your zodiac birthstone

Alternatively, buyers may choose to select their birthstone via their zodiac or astrological sign. Similar to the months in a year and the stones of Aaron’s breastplate, there are twelve zodiac signs. These signs align with the placement of the stars and other celestial objects around the time of one’s birth. Astrology asserts that this alignment of celestial bodies under one’s zodiac sign may influence their temperament, predict parts of their future, and provide deeper meaning.

Learning more about your zodiac sign can be a fun way to choose your birthstone. Below is a list of the twelve astrological signs with their corresponding zodiac birthstone and a few common personality traits individuals with that sign are said to have.

Zodiac Sign Birth Dates Birthstone Personality Traits
Zodiac Sign Cartoon: Aquarius Aquarius January 21 -
February 18
January Birthstone: Garnet Garnet Independent, original, imaginative
Zodiac Sign Cartoon: Pisces Pisces February 19 -
March 20
February Birthstone: Amethyst Amethyst Compassionate, gentle, wise
Zodiac Sign Cartoon: Aries Aries March 21 -
April 20
March Birthstone: Bloodstone Bloodstone Headstrong, competitive, honest
Zodiac Sign Cartoon: Taurus Taurus April 21 -
May 21
September Birthstone: Sapphire Sapphire Reliable, strong, stable
Zodiac Sign Cartoon: Gemini Gemini May 22 -
June 21
Gemstone: Birthstone Blue Lace Agate Agate Adaptable, kind, curious
Zodiac Sign Cartoon: Cancer Cancer June 22 -
July 22
May Birthstone: Emerald Emerald Imaginative, protective, persuasive
Zodiac Sign Cartoon: Leo Leo July 23 -
August 22
Gemstone: Black Onyx Onyx Dramatic, creative, humorous
Zodiac Sign Cartoon: Virgo Virgo August 23 -
September 22
Gemstone Carnelian Carnelian Loyal, analytical, gentle
Zodiac Sign Cartoon: Libra Libra September 23 -
October 23
August Birthstone: Peridot Chrysolite
(AKA Peridot)
Diplomatic, calm, cooperative
Zodiac Sign Cartoon: Scorpio Scorpio October 24 -
November 21
Gemstone: Birthstone Beryl Beryl Stubborn, resourceful, brave
Zodiac Sign Cartoon: Sagittarius Sagittarius November 22 -
December 21
November Birthstone: Topaz Topaz Extroverted, idealistic, generous
Zodiac Sign Cartoon: Capricorn Capricorn December 22 -
January 20
July Birthstone: Ruby Ruby Independent, disciplined, responsible

Additional birthstone descriptions

Some of the zodiac birthstones in the chart were not described when discussing birthstones by month earlier. As such, here’s a bit more information on each stone not listed previously:

Gemstone: Birthstone Blue Lace Agate

Agate

Known as the Gemini birthstone, agate takes its name from the Dirillo River or Achates, where the stone was originally found.

Agate has a very unique appearance: the layers of minerals that make up agate create vivid colorful patterns within the stone. Colors can include pink, brown, white, red, black, and yellow, and they are caused by impurities in the alternating bands of quartz.

When sourcing agate, one can find mines in Mexico, Africa, and the United States.

Agate has been used in decoration and rituals as far back as ancient Greece. During the Bronze Age, agate was used to create stone tools, statues, jewelry, and other items for daily life. In fact, agate is one of the earliest gemstones used by ancient peoples to create other objects!

Gemstone: Black Onyx

Onyx

The Leo birthstone, onyx, is a Greek word meaning “claw” or “fingernail”. This is because certain onyx carries a fleshy tone with white bands, and it greatly resembles a fingernail.

Outside of the fleshier tones, onyx colors include brown, red, yellow, blue, and black. Each stone has layers of colorful bands that create a striking striped appearance. It is also only mined in three places in the world: Algeria, Mexico, and Arizona.

Roman soldiers carried onyx talismans with them into battle. These talismans had Mars, the god of war, carved into their surface for protection and courage. Alternately, the Persians believed onyx could cure epilepsy and used it as a medical remedy. Onyx was also used for jewelry, particularly beads and cameos.

Black Onyx Marcasite Gem and Carved Mop Cameo Mother Child Pendant
Find this pendant HERE.

Gemstone Carnelian

Carnelian

The name carnelian is a corrupted version of multiple terms, but the source word is likely the Latin cornum or “cornel cherry”. The cherry’s light skin resembles the translucent coloring of the Virgo birthstone.

Carnelian is a fleshy, reddish gemstone. Colors can range from orange to a deep reddish-brown. It is most commonly mined in Brazil, Indonesia, Russia, India, and Germany.

Another stone of courage, carnelian was also carried into battle to bolster a soldier’s strength. Additionally, Egyptians buried their dead with carnelian to guide them on their journey to the afterlife, and alchemists used it while boiling other stones to “release” the properties of those gems.🔥

Gemstone: Birthstone Beryl

Beryl

Beryl is the base mineral of both emerald and aquamarine. The Scorpio birthstone’s name is derived from the Greek word beryllos or “precious blue-green color-of-sea-water stone”.

While beryl is naturally colorless, it can contain impurities that create vibrant colors, such as blue, green, red, and yellow. It’s mined in Russia, Colombia, Brazil, and many parts of Europe and the United States.

Originally, beryl was actually used to make lenses for the eyeglasses!

Synthetic alternatives to natural birthstones

Lab-created

As mining efforts deplete gem deposits,😔 scientists must come up with new ways to ensure consumers can purchase gemstones easily and without prices skyrocketing. Today, many birthstones can be created in a lab to simulate the natural stone found in mines.

Although these lab-created birthstones are synthetic, that does not mean they are fake. In reality, lab-created stones are made of the same components as natural stones, they just don’t come from the earth. Their value is the same, they’re just created with heat, pressure, or irradiation.

Most birthstones can be lab-created, including more valuable stones such as diamonds, sapphires, and rubies. There are plenty of lab-created options in various price ranges, like this beautiful lab-created diamond pendant from Jared.

Lab-Created Diamond Solitaire Necklace, White Gold
View the details of this necklace.

Simulants

Lab-created gemstones may be too expensive for some buyers, and that is where simulated birthstones can help.  

Simulated stones are not actually gemstones, but they look just like them. Designers use glass, plastic, or resin as a base, and they add colors, textures, and whatever else is necessary to make the piece look like the intended birthstone.  

In fact, spinel is often used to imitate other gemstones as it can develop in so many colors and mimics the sparkle of other stones. Though not technically precious stones, these simulated varieties are much more affordable and can fit any budget. For instance, this simulated tanzanite necklace from Amazon is less than $50 USD!

Sterling Silver Simulated Tanzanite Necklace With Earrings Set
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How designers create birthstone jewelry

Birthstones are a wonderful way to show more of your personality through fashion. Everyone has a birthstone, and so they are a great way to strike up a conversation if you notice someone wearing birthstone jewelry.

In addition to heightening your own style, birthstone jewelry is a great gift for a loved one. Similar to personalized infinity necklaces, personalized birthstone necklaces and other pieces can be customized for mothers with multiple children, grandmothers, or even couples who wish to display their birthstones as a sign of their love and unity. 

Designers can incorporate birthstones into jewelry in many ways. Here are a few popular options to consider:🧐

Embedded into metal

Designers may embed the birthstone into the base metal like any other gemstone. This is a simple yet sophisticated way to display the stone without detracting from the piece as a whole. This birthstone name necklace makes the stone part of the main design, or it can be attached separately as a charm like in this birthstone bracelet. Birthstones can even be used to make earrings and other dangling pieces. You can also add several of these Pandora birthstone charms to your bracelet to provide further color and meaning.

14K Gold-Plated Name Necklace With Birthstone, Little Heart Shape
See it HERE.

Affixed with prongs

Rather than embed the gem, designers may use prongs to suspend or elevate birthstones and make them the focal point. In many birthstone rings, multiple birthstones can be added to include multiple loved ones in the design. Similarly, buyers can add up to three birthstones to this birthstone necklace for mom to create a unique look. Gemstones held with prongs also allow for more imaginative designs, such as this Zales birthstone necklace that includes an infinity symbol.

Multiple Birthstones Can Be Affixed With Prongs on a Ring as a Gift for Mom
See it HERE.

Strung together

To really personalize a look, wearers can string together beads in multiple birthstone colors. Adding birthstone beads to a strand or chain creates unlimited possibilities,🤩 as there are so many designs and patterns to create. This Etsy birthstone necklace creatively strings the beads on an arrow, while these birthstone earrings allow for a personalized dangling element.

Personalized Arrow Necklace: Multiple Birthstone Beads Strung Together
See it HERE.

Loosely in a cage

A fun way to display multiple birthstones is to add birthstone beads to a metal cage. It’s a perfect way to make grandmothers with many grandchildren feel special, and they can carry a little piece of their precious loved ones with them wherever they go!❤️ Cage designs are typically necklaces or rings, as they can carry more weight and provide additional space for more birthstones.

Family Tree Pattern Locket With Floating Birthstones Inside
Check this funny item here.

Large pendants

Many birthstones, such as bloodstone, sardonyx, or turquoise, can be used to create large pendants. These pendants offer a dramatic look that can add flair to an otherwise simple outfit. This Etsy necklace offers a unique option where a rough-cut birthstone dangles loosely, and the buyer can opt for more than one gem if they please.

Personalized Multiple Dangling Birthstones Pendant Necklace on Etsy
Find this birthstone necklace.

How to choose the birthstone for your style

For individuals born in a month with multiple birthstones, it can be a tough choice. When deciding on a birthstone, consider these factors to ensure you choose the right stone for your daily wear:

Color

Some months have gemstones that come in a multitude of colors.🎨 When choosing which stone to wear, take into account your wardrobe, daily accessories, and even your physical features to find a piece that matches.  

For instance, if you were born in August, the bright red of spinel may fit your style better than the pale green of peridot. Or, maybe you have a December birthday and would like to wear turquoise to match your bright blue eyes. Certain colors can really make your wardrobe or facial features pop!🥂

Hardness

If you plan to wear your birthstone piece frequently, you may want to consider the hardness of your choice. Gemologists use the Mohs scale of hardness to rate gemstones, and each stone’s score is listed above. Choosing a stone that matches your daily activity is important for making the piece last.

For example, if you were born in June and are physically active throughout the day, you may want to choose alexandrite as your birthstone. Alexandrite is an 8.5 on the Mohs scale, which is almost as hard as a sapphire! Or, if you don’t have a physically demanding job and sit at a desk, you may be able to wear the much more delicate pearl, which has a Mohs rating of 2.5-4.5. The pearl may be beautiful, but preserving your investment in a birthstone piece is equally important!

Jeweler Measuring Birthstone Hardness

Jewelry Metal

Another factor to consider is the metal used to fashion your birthstone piece. Depending on which metal you choose, you’ll want to make sure your birthstone will look as lovely as possible with the metal’s tone.

If you were born in November and have a yellow birthstone, consider a white metal or a dual-tone piece to make the stone shine. Similarly, if you have a red birthstone, such as ruby or garnet, it will look fiery in a beautiful yellow gold setting. Or, if you have a pink birthstone, consider setting it in a lovely rose gold piece to amplify its romantic hue. The choice is up to you, but some metals will make certain gemstones sparkle more so than others.

Celebrate your birth month with a personalized look

Every birthstone is beautiful, and their rainbow of colors and textures provide buyers with a multitude of sparkling choices. Birthstone jewelry appeals to the human desire to feel a connection, and as more gemstones are added to the list people have more options to personalize their style. While it’s always nice to find a birthstone that resonates with your personality, always remember that gemstone choice is entirely up to you. If you were born in April but love the bright blue-violet color of tanzanite, then go ahead and buy the gemstone that appeals most to you.😎