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Birthstones and their meanings

Throughout history, the zodiac, a collection of star sign divisions, and gemstones have been in existence. Though star signs and horoscopes still exist, in more recent years, around 1912, it’s thought that those born in a certain month have different attributes to those born in another, therefore the birthstones calendar was born.

With the beautiful and different healing qualities of gemstones, it’s only natural that there should be a stone to meet the needs of people born at different times of the year. Wearing these gemstones has been said to bring good fortune and is destined to align with you and your emotional and physical needs. So if you’re curious about what your stone symbolises and how it can help you, here’s our guide to birthstones and their unique meanings.

January - Garnet

The birthstone for January is garnet, a gem that became popular in the late Roman Empire. The name derives from the Latin word ‘granatus’ meaning seedlike, with the gem often thought to resemble the colour and shape of a pomegranate seed. With a high refraction index, this beautiful gem is admired for looking like it is continuously emitting light. 

This deep rich gemstone traditionally symbolises faith, love and constancy, and is believed to protect those on their travels and from nightmares throughout the night, while providing direction in darkness. Not only does this stone help calm nerves, but the wearer of garnet can be blessed with a higher level of will power, energy and self-love.

Garnet is a beautiful stone for any jewellery piece, especially against yellow gold tones, radiating royal sophistication. It’s said that wearing a garnet ring on your middle finger will bring success, stability and financial strength into your life.

February - Amethyst

The birthstone for February is amethyst, named from the Greek word amethystos, meaning ‘sober’. Ancient Greeks believed this stone protected against intoxication, and at one time in history could only be worn by royalty. This stunning gemstone is from the Quartz family and boasts a deep violet colour, which was popular in Egyptian times when it was first set into jewellery. 

Amethyst symbolises protection and uses its powers to help the wearer overcome difficulty. It also encourages self-control and offers a romantic element by strengthening relationships. Most famously, though, this beautiful stone is known for its calming qualities, making it perfect for mental and emotional well-being. 

It's said that wearing amethyst as a necklace, or ring on the middle finger of your right hand, are the most effective ways to wear this powerful gemstone.

March - Aquamarine

The birthstone for March is aquamarine, a stone known for its connection to the sea. Historically, early sailors believed that aquamarine talismans would protect them when out to sea. Though less recognised than other gemstones, aquamarine is highly sought after due to blue stones occurring less frequently in nature. 

This dreamy pale blue stone is linked to new friendships, as well as affection and love, hope and health. With this gemstone, you can expect an increase in creativity, courage and overall happiness with its ability to combat negative energy.  

An aquamarine is best worn as a necklace or ring placed on the middle or ring finger of either hand. This soothing stone is traditionally best placed in jewellery with white metal, such as silver or white gold.

May - Emerald

The birthstone for May is emerald, one of Cleopatra’s favourites. Ancient Roman’s adored this gem so much that they dedicated it to Venus, the goddess of love and beauty. From the vulgar Latin words ‘esmaralda’ and ‘esmaraldus’, meaning ‘green gem’, this beautiful colour is fitting for springtime and renewal, representing new life in the wake of winter.  

This vibrant green gemstone signifies wisdom, growth and patience, and is associated with fertility, rebirth and love, as well as being linked to health and curing alignments. Legend has it that this stone allows the wearer to see into the future, giving this stone a mystical stature.

Spiritually, to get the most out of emerald, it should be worn set in a gold or silver ring, on the little finger of your working hand, due to the Mount of the Mercury just below this point. This is the part of the hand that, when focused on, allows the wearer to succeed in business. An emerald will still work wonders and look striking on any finger.

June - Pearl

The birthstone for June is a pearl, a symbol of purity, so much so that the Ancient Greeks believed they were the tears of joy from Aphrodite, the goddess of love. Made from calcium, a pearl is different from other stones as it’s produced within the soft tissue of a living shelled mollusc, with those coming from the wild being the rarest and most valuable. Other gemstones that can be considered a June birthstone are moonstone and alexandrite, due to their opalescent and rare colour-changing properties.  

A pearl symbolises chastity, modesty and encourages a stable marriage. This stone is often worn to calm a restless mind and control feelings of anger, also allowing the wearer to succeed in creative work. 

Throughout history pearls have been worn classically as pearl necklaces, being particularly popular in the 1920s. While this is still a popular method of adorning them, to best unleash the powers of this pure white composite, it’s suggested to be worn as a ring on the little finger.

July - Ruby

The birthstone for July is a ruby, known to the Hindus as ‘king of gems’, believed to defend its wearer from evil. Due to it being a special form of mineral corundum, ruby would be considered a sapphire if it wasn't for its warm red colour. Much of its appeal is down to its red luminescence that's absorbed from natural light and remitted later. 

This gemstone’s blood-like colour has earnt it an association with health, vitality and physical strength, so much so that rubies were embedded into drinking vessels in ancient times. There’s also no denying that this gem’s deep red colour symbolises love and passion. 

Ruby jewellery is said to bless the wearer with the positive powers of the sun. To feel the best effects from this jewel, a beautiful ring worn on your ring finger is destined to work wonders!

August - Peridot

The birthstone for August is peridot, sometimes called an evening emerald for its light green colour. This beautiful stone is a by-product of volcanic action, though it was once believed that they were to tears of the volcano goddess, Pele. This stone has the ability to emanate the same dazzling lime glow in all lights, making it known for great beauty in the Egyptian times. 

Peridots were used to successfully ward off evil, enchantments and depression. Today, they can be used to dispel lethargy and exhaustion, as well as strengthening the immune system. 

Wearing peridot in jewellery can bring prosperity and happiness while boosting your creativity. This stone works in any piece of jewellery, whether it’s a gleaming bracelet or an elegant pair of earrings.

September - Sapphire

The birthstone for September is sapphire, commonly known as a deep blue stone. Historically recognised as a shield against evil and poisoning, it was once believed that if a snake was placed in a chamber with sapphire, it would die. This gem is a favourite amongst priests and kings for its symbolism of purity and wisdom. In fact, it was thought that the brighter the sparkle, the more honest the wearer would be. 

A sapphire stone will promote loyalty, serenity and wisdom, and is particularly good at aiding health conditions such as blood disorders, cellular disorders and calming of an overactive body. 

Traditionally, to best feel this gemstone’s benefits, it should be worn as a ring on the middle finger. Sapphire is a gemstone that will last for years to come, making it the perfect family heirloom.

October - Opal

The birthstone for October is opal, coming from the Latin word opalus, meaning ‘precious jewel’. Classically, opals were worn as necklaces to ward of evil and to protect the wearer's eyesight. Pink tourmaline can also be considered October’s birthstone. 

This gemstone not only symbolises faithfulness and confidence but hope, creativity and innocence. Opal is a great stone to strengthen the memory, as well as, interestingly, for ease of childbirth and has also been linked to friendship and emotion. 

Intriguingly opaque in colour, when caught in the light, an opal produces an array of fascinating colours which is simply mesmerising. Spiritually, opal can be typically worn as a necklace or a ring on the middle finger, though it can look striking on any.

November - Topaz

The birthstone for November is topaz, thought of by the ancient Greeks as a stone of sanity, healing, life, intellect and strength. Though this birthstone is commonly a yellow, golden colour, it actually exists in many colours including blue, pale green, pink and red. Citrine can also be considered November's birthstone, due to both being classed as ‘sunny’ stones that bring warmth and calm energy.     

Yellow topaz is associated with being a healer of both the mind and body, soothing physical pain while promoting inner peace. This magical stone has been believed to make the wearer invisible to danger, making it a highly protective stone.

This wonderful stone can be worn either on a ring or a pendant, classically set with gold to really radiate its power and glorious appearance.

December - Tanzanite

The birthstone for December is tanzanite, one of the newest members of the coloured stone family, discovered in the 20th century in Tanzania. Often described as ‘velvety’, this gemstone has a luxuriously deep and saturated colour, ranging from rich blue to violet. Turquoise and zircon are two gemstones that can also represent the December birthstone.

Tanzanite has been discovered to be one of the most spiritually valuable crystals, benefiting meditation and physic power. This stone is a calming and soothing stone, especially in the working environment, aiding communication and problem solving, as well as being a great stone for guidance in a career change.

This gemstone can be worn in all types of jewellery, however, as it’s not as strong as sapphire, it’ll need extra care if worn every day.

There are many beautiful meanings behind birthstones, but it’s important to remember that there are no rules to say you can’t choose another gemstone that resonates with your needs. Don’t forget, we’re here to help find the right birthstone jewellery piece, so don’t hesitate to get in touch or pop into your nearest store.