January’s Birthstone is Garnet
The Garnet was considered to be a gem of faith & truth. Garnets were used medicinally as a remedy for hemorrhage and inflammatory diseases. Asiatic warriors believed that glowing garnets, used as bullets, inflicted more severe wounds. In 1892, during hostilities on the Kashmir frontier, the Hanza tribesmen fired on British soldiers with garnet bullets, believing them to be more effective than lead bullets.
February’s Birthstone is AmethystFebruary’s birthstone is the amethyst. It is the stone of Saint Valentine, who wore an amethyst engraved with the figure of his assistant, Cupid. Saint Valentine’s Day is still observed in February.
The word amethyst comes from the Greek word “amethystos” meaning “not drunk”, and was believed to prevent its wearers from intoxication. The following is a story from Greco-Roman mythology as quoted from “Birthstones” by Willard Heaps:
March’s Birthstone is Aquamarine The name aquamarine was derived by the Romans, “aqua” meaning water and “mare” meaning sea, because it looked like sea water. They were considered sacred to Neptune, god of the sea. This association with and safe voyages as well as protection against perils and monsters of the sea. Its first documented use was by the Greeks between 480-300 BC. They wore aquamarine amulets engraved with the god Poseidon on a chariot.
Beginning in the Roman period.
April’s Birthstone is Diamond
April’s birthstone is the diamond. Diamonds are a wonder of nature. Their cold sparkling fire has held us spell-bound for centuries, inspiring rich passionate myths of romance, intrigue, power, greed, and magic. Ancient Hindus, finding diamonds washed out of the ground after thunderstorms, believed they were created by bolts of lightning. In our place and time, the diamond is a symbol of enduring love, and often grace engagement rings.
May’s Birthstone is Emerald
May’s birthstone is the emerald. Several famous historical artifacts were made of emeralds. Among them was the Crown of Andes, said to be worn by the last Inca king of Peru who was taken prisoner by Conquistador Pizzaro in 1532. The crown was said to be set with 453 emeralds, collectively weighing 10 ounces (1523 carats). In the 1940s, the crown was sold to, then broken up by, an American syndicate. Many of its stones are probably in the jewelry collections of wealthy Americans today
Emeralds vary in color from light to deep green. The emerald belongs to the beryl family of minerals that include aquamarine (the March birthstone), heliodor and morganite.
June’s Birthstone is Pearls,Alexandrite and Moonstone.
Pearls, according to Indian mythology, were dewdrops from heaven that fell into the sea. They were caught by shellfish under the first rays of the rising sun, during a period of full moon. In India, warriors encrusted their swords with pearls to symbolize the tears and sorrow that a sword brings.
July’s Birthstone is Ruby
Rubies are the most highly prized of gemstones. Large rubies are harder to find than large diamonds, emeralds and sapphires. As a result, rubies’ value increases with size more than any other gemstone. In the Orient, rubies were once believed to contain the spark of life — “a deep drop of the heart’s blood of Mother Earth”, according to ancient Eastern legends. Ancient Orientals believed that the ruby was self-luminous. They called it “glowing stone” or “lamp stone.” It’s said that an Emperor of China once used a large ruby to light his chamber, where it glowed as bright as day. Brahmans — Hindu priests of the highest caste — believed that the homes of the gods were lit by enormous emeralds and rubies. Later, Greek legends told the story of a female stork, who repaid the kindness of Heraclea by bringing her a brilliant ruby — a ruby so bright that it illuminated Heraclea’s room at night.
August’s Birthstone is Peridot & Sardonyx
August has two birthstones, PERIDOT and SARDONYX.
The Peridot was regarded since ancient times as the symbol of the sun. The Greeks believed that it brought royal dignity upon its wearer. During the Middle Ages, Peridot was pierced, then strung on the hair of an donkey and attached to the left arm to ward off evil spirits. The Crusaders thought that Peridot were emeralds, and brought them back to Europe where they were featured as ornaments in churches.
Peridot is a gem-quality transparent variety of olivine, a mineral composed of magnesium-iron silicates. The color of olivine ranges from olive to lime green, sometimes with a brownish tinge. The green color is due to the presence of iron, while the brownish tinge indicates a higher iron content.
September’s Birthstone is Sapphire
The sapphire, birthstone for September, is a relative of July’s birthstone, ruby. Like ruby, it is a form of the mineral corundum, a normally drab gray mineral. Red corundum is called the ruby, while all other gem quality forms of corundum are called sapphires.
Typically, sapphires appear as blue stones, ranging from very pale blue to deep indigo, due to the presence of small amounts of titanium and iron within the crystal structure. The most valued shade of blue is the medium-deep cornflower blue. Sapphires also occur in other natural colors and tints — colorless, gray, yellow, pale pink, orange, green, violet and brown — called fancy sapphires. These different colors are caused by different kinds of impurities within the crystal. For example, yellow sapphires get their color from ferric iron, and colorless gems have no contaminants.
October’s Birthstone is Opal and Pink Tourmaline
October has two birthstones — OPAL and Pink TOURMALINE. The name opal is derived from the Sanskrit word “upala,” as well as the Latin “opalus,” meaning “precious stone.” Opal is a gemstone of much variety.
The opal is a fragile hydrated silica material, made of submicroscopic silica spheres held together by more silica and water. It is a soft stone, easily altered in appearance by changes in heat and pressure. This mineral contains varying amounts of water within it that determine the appearance of the gemstone. When water evaporates out of an opal, the stone appears slightly smaller and the stress of the evaporation creates cracks on it.
November’s Birthstone is Topaz & Citrine
Yellow Topaz is the birthstone for the month of November, comes from a Sanskrit word meaning “fire.” And in ancient lore, it could be used to control heat. It was said to have the power to cool boiling water, as well as excessive anger. As medication, topaz was used to cure fever.
During the Middle Ages, the topaz was used mostly by royalty and clergy. A 13th century belief held that a topaz engraved with a falcon helped its wearer cultivate the goodwill of kings, princes and magnates.
December has two birthstones, ZIRCON and TURQUOISE .
ZIRCON. Its name is probably derived from the Arabic words “zar” and “gun”, meaning “gold” and “color”. The gemstone is found in a wide range of colors, and possess great brilliance, fire and clarity.
Zircon was regarded as the amulet for travelers in the Eleventh century, protecting them from disease, injury, and insomnia, as well as assuring a cordial welcome wherever their travels would take them. The gem was also believed to hold magic powers to fight evil spirits. During the Fourteenth century, zircon was popular as a safeguard against the Black Death, the great plague that wiped out one quarter of the population of Europe. The stone was believed to possess healing powers. It was prescribed to insomniacs to induce sleep, used as an antidote against poison, and as an aid to digestion.
All information on the birthstones came from Jewelry For Mother