For centuries, people worldwide have cherished birthstones because they offer a personalized memento to wear wherever you go. But did you know there are many variations of the birthstone chart? That's right! There's the ancient, modern, Zodiac, Ayurvedic, and even planetary!
In this guide, we're focusing on the modern birthstone chart and meaning. Why are there variances? Let's shed some light on the difference between modern vs. ancient birthstone charts.
People have categorized birthstones by month for millennia, but in the last century, the modern chart has taken precedence.
The ancient birthstone chart, also known as the "Mystical" chart, was slightly more exotic in its gemstone selection. However, the chosen stones didn't precisely align with the Gregorian calendar, making it a bit confusing to modern people.
Jewelers recognized the need for a streamlined birthstone chart by date, so in 1912, the modern chart became standard. Most of these gemstones are translucent, making them more suitable to customize and set into jewelry pieces.
Of course, many opt to choose birthstones from the ancient chart. For example, someone born in October might not be a fan of Tourmaline but love opal. In this case, they'll likely choose to associate with the opal birthstone.
That's the fantastic quality of birthstones; they allow the wearer to personalize in a way that best suits their taste.
Now that you know why there are multiple birthstones for certain months let's go down the list!
Before we dive into the specifics of birthstones by month, let's glance at each one. You can also feel free to jump ahead to your birth month!
January - Garnet
February - Amethyst
March - Aquamarine
April - Diamond
May - Emerald
June - Alexandrite and Pearl
July - Ruby
August - Spinel, Peridot, and Sardonyx
September - Sapphire
October - Opal and Tourmaline
November - Topaz
December - Blue Zircon
The January birthstone is garnet, and it's most famous for its vibrant red coloring. However, red garnet is part of a larger family of garnet gems that come in nearly every color.
Although red is the most popular garnet color for the January birthstone, you have the luxury to personalize according to your favorite color!
On the Moh's hardness scale, garnet ranks at 6.5-7.5, making it suitable for jewelry. However, you'll need to regularly maintain and care for your garnet gems to avoid tarnishing and buildup.
Garnet gemstones come from all around the world, including the United States, India, Brazil, and Madagascar.
Is your favorite color purple? Then you're in luck if you have a February birthday! Amethyst is a striking purple jewel from the crystalline quartz family. If you'd like to personalize your February birthstone, you can choose from shades of soft lilac to dark purple.
Amethyst gemstones look beautiful set into jewelry designs like earrings, rings, and necklace pendants. However, if you're not a jewelry wearer, you can use Amethyst healing crystals!
Place raw amethyst crystals around your home or office for instant relief from stress or anxiety.
Amethyst is a relatively hard gemstone, ranking at seven on the Mohs scale, and comes from Bolivia, Brazil, Uruguay, and Zambia.
If you're a water baby, you'll fall in love with the March birthstone, Aquamarine. Pisces birthdays are a water element that will likely gravitate toward the calming shades of teal and aqua.
There are few birthstones as tranquil and calming as Aquamarine, which makes for stunning jewelry.
Aquamarine is a durable birthstone sourced from countries around the globe, from Nigeria to Australia. Because it's widely available, you can easily find Aquamarine gemstones at affordable prices!
Perhaps it's luck that April birthdays get to luxuriate in the most beloved birthstone of all, the diamond! If you're among this group, you've got an April birthstone fit for royalty!
Diamonds are timeless and incredibly popular — after all, 86% of U.S. couples choose diamonds as their choice center stone for engagement rings.
If you have a taste for the absolute best in life, diamonds are the birthstone for you! Did you know they are also the hardest gem on the planet? Not only will you dazzle with this sparkling jewel, but you won't have to worry about damaging it because it's incredibly durable.
Countries around the world source diamonds, including Australia, South Africa, Venezuela, Russia, Brazil, India, Borneo, and the United States.
While diamonds might seem one-note as a colorless gem, you have a wide variety to choose from if you enjoy colorless diamonds, ranging from pink to gold to blue.
Wondering what the May birthstone is? Only one of the oldest and most regal gemstones in the world, the glittering green emerald! As the official May birthstone, emeralds make for beautiful jewelry gifts.
As a member of the beryl family, emeralds are one of the "Big Four" jewels, and fall into the precious gemstone category, along with diamonds, sapphires, and rubies.
Emerald gemstones come from the South American countries of Brazil and Colombia, as well as the African countries, Zambia, Nigeria, Madagascar, and Zimbabwe.
If you adore emeralds, you're in good company! Egyptian Queen, Cleopatra, was a lover of emeralds, frequently decorating herself in these lavish jewels.
Fortunately, they're durable enough to wear every day, ranking between 7.5-8 on the Mohs hardness scale.
Of course, rarity comes with a caveat: they're harder to get your hands on. If you don't want to pull a national treasure hunt in search of the elusive Alexandrite gemstone, the other June birthstone is the timeless pearl!
For centuries, pearl gemstones were the official June birthstone until the modern birthstone chart was invented. What makes pearls so prized is that they're the only gemstone created within a living animal: mollusks!
In a way, the June birthstones genuinely are the most unique of all. First, Alexandrite is extremely rare. And second, pearls are natural phenomena in which mollusks build layers around an irritant (a grain of sand or debris), to grow a milky pearl!
Perhaps this is due to the duality of Geminis, the Zodiac sign for June birthdays. If you struggle to choose between the two, why not pick up one of each? That way, you can coordinate depending on your mood!
We've covered diamonds and emeralds, and the third precious gem in this birthstone chart is none other than the world-famous ruby! The first ruby seeds grew 50 million years ago, and have always been a token of high-society.
As a highly traditional gemstone, cultures from every corner of the globe have treasured this red July birthstone.
The red coloring of rubies is what makes them so eye-catching. You'll find rubies in shades from orange-red to nearly black-red.
However, they can be one of the most expensive birthstones of all, fetching record-breaking prices exceeding the million mark. While these red gems are naturally striking, most are treated to enhance their natural color or make them more vivid.
Rubies are another birthstone that comes from all over the world, from Thailand to Afghanistan to Tanzania. Of course, the most prized rubies of all are Burmese rubies.
Did you know there are three August birthstones? We're sure this comes as welcome news to August birthdays, who can choose their birthstone from three options. The three birthstones for August are:
As the traditional August birthstone, peridot gemstones are beautiful yellow-green jewels that are affordable and highly sought-after. Peridot is an excellent alternative to emeralds, which are a more expensive green gemstone.
These olive hued jewels come from the olivine family, which come from basalt in igneous rock. When volcanoes erupt, peridot crystals line the sands of Hawaii and, eventually, go on to become gemstones!
If you love all the colors of the rainbow, this August birthstone is the one for you!
Spinel gemstones come in a myriad of beautiful colors, including pink, red, blue and purple! Spinel is a chameleon jewel, often mistaken for other gems of similar coloring. For example, blue spinel looks like a sapphire, and many people confuse the two. Another great thing about spinel is that it's durable, making it an excellent choice for jewelry!
According to the ancient birthstone chart, sardonyx used to be the official August gemstone. However, over time it was replaced by peridot and spinel. If you have a flair for the unique, sardonyx is right up your alley. With vivid orange base tones and contrasting white lines, sardonyx cabochon gems and beads are a true novelty.
Sapphire is one of the most timeless and popular gemstones of all time. Through centuries, this September birthstone has remained a commanding jewel among royalty and commoners alike.
Perhaps its the deeply saturated hues akin to the depths of the ocean, or the fact that sapphires are incredibly durable, but there's no disputing everyone loves sapphires!
A member of the corundum family, along with ruby, sapphire gemstones come in every shade imaginable. Of course, the color we attribute most to sapphire is that irresistible blue hue. Ranking at 9 on the Mohs hardness scale, sapphire is second in durability to diamonds — the hardest gem available.
That means you can wear sapphire jewelry with ease because it withstands scratching and tarnishing. Besides, it's sure to catch the eyes of those around you with its intensely saturated coloring. Many pair diamonds with sapphires, because the contrast of the colorless diamond illuminates the intense coloring of the sapphire.
However you choose to wear your sapphire gemstones, we're sure you'll adore them for life!
There are two birthstones for October: Opal and Tourmaline. Most of us are familiar with the iridescent opal, but Tourmaline is becoming increasingly popular. Most likely, the popularity is due to the addition of Tourmaline to the modern birthstone chart.
One of the most unique gemstones of all is the opal, which comes from all over the world and in various types. What makes opal so novel is the fact that no two opals are the same. If you favor individuality, you'll take comfort knowing that your opal birthstone is entirely one-of-a-kind! The only drawback to opal is that it's a softer gemstone, ranking between 5.5-6.5 on the hardness scale. Still, if you regularly clean and care for your opal, it'll last a lifetime!
SHOP OPALS ON OPAL AUCTIONS
The less known Tourmaline is a surprisingly popular October birthstone. Tourmaline comes in many colors, but the most spectacular feature of this birthstone is that, like opal, it showcases multiple colors in one gem!
Capturing the sun's flare into the warmth of a glittering jewel, topaz is the November birthstone. Reminiscent of the embers of a dwindling fire, topaz is a breed of crystalline quartz from multiple regions, including Zambia, South Africa, and Mexico.
Topaz comes in a vivid array of earth tones, including orange, brown, red-orange, and dark orange. We can see why topaz is the perfect birthstone for November, as it seems to enrapture the warm colors of fall in a gemstone.
It's the most wonderful time of the year when you get to flaunt blue zircon, the December birthstone. Many people make the mistake of confusing blue zircon for the synthetic cubic zirconia.
We can assure you, however, that blue zircon is entirely natural! Moreover, this ancient gemstone has decorated civilizations for thousands of years. On today's modern birthstone chart, Blue zircon is the official December birthstone and comes in variations of light blue to yellow, to green. If you're looking for the perfect gift for the December birthday in your life, you can't go wrong with personalized birthstone jewelry!
The most intriguing part of birthstones is that there is one for everyone! Even better, you can place your birthstone into beautiful jewelry, or carry it with you as a good luck memento. We've covered all the birthstones by month, now all that's left to do is find yours!
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