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 birthstones? That's right! There's the ancient, modern, Zodiac, Ayurvedic, and even planetary!
In this guide, we're focusing on modern birthstones (birthstones by month) and their meanings. To summarize, the birthstones for each month are:
June: Alexandrite and Pearl
August: Spinel, Peridot and Sardonyx
October: Opal and Tourmaline
November: Citrine and Topaz
December: Tanzanite, Turquoise and Zircon
Let's shed some light on the difference between modern vs. ancient birthstone charts. To begin though, we've included an image of the modern birthstone chart below!
People have categorized birthstones for millennia, but in the last century, the modern birthstone 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 traditional birthstones. 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!
We go into more detail about each of the monthly birthstones below!
Our first monthly birthstone is garnet. As the January birthstone, Garnet is primarily known for its vibrant red coloring. Though, garnets are actually known to come in many colors.
The garnet birthstone ranks at 6.5 - 7.5 on the MOHS hardness scale, making it suitable for jewelry. You will still need to regularly care and maintain your January birthstone though, in order to avoid tarnishing and build-up.
Garnet birthstones can be found all around the world, and some of the places they are most commonly found include the United States, Brazil and Madagascar.
Is purple your favorite color? 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 birthstones 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 7 on the MOHS hardness scale. It can be found in Bolivia, Brazil, Uruguay and Zambia.
If you're a water baby, you'll fall in love with the March birthstones, Aquamarine and Bloodstone. 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 the third monthly birthstone.
Aquamarine is a durable birthstone sourced from countries around the globe, including Nigeria and Australia. Because it's widely available, you can easily find Aquamarine birthstones at affordable prices!
If you are born in March and crave an earthier birthstone, Bloodstone has your name all over it — along with spatterings of blood-like patterns, but we’ll get to that in a minute. Bloodstone comes from riverbeds and bedrock from Brazil, Australia and India.
Contrary to its moniker, Bloodstone is primarily a dark green colored jasper stone.
Those born in April are in luck, as the birthstone for April is the beloved Diamond! Diamond birthstones 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, diamond birthstones 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, emerald birthstones are one of the "Big Four" jewels, and fall into the precious gemstone category, along with diamonds, sapphires, and rubies.
Emeralds come from the South American countries of Brazil and Colombia, as well as the African countries, Zambia, Nigeria, Madagascar, and Zimbabwe.
If you adore emerald birthstones, 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.
Have you ever wondered, what is the rarest birthstone? Those with a June birthday will be delighted to learn that Alexandrite is the rarest birthstone of all!
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!
If you struggle to choose between the two, why not pick up one of each? That way, you can coordinate depending on your mood!
The world-famous ruby is the birthstone for July! 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 birthstones 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 it's 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 birthstones 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 opals 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!
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!
November is yet another month with more than one birthstone. So, if you're born in November then you can enjoy the Citrine gemstone or the Topaz.
Citrine is exclusively available in an intensely saturated, soft yellow tone. It’s part of the Quartz family, with a hexagonal crystal structure. While the most prized citrine gemstones are a warm yellow, there are hues available from pale yellow to honey and golden yellow to nearly brown.
Originating from countries like Brazil, Africa, and Spain, there is an ample supply of this beautiful gemstone.
The name “Topaz,” is derived from the Greek word “topazion,” which came from the Sanskrit word for “fire.”
Topaz is a diverse gemstone that exists in an array of beautiful colors, from colorless to pink. With special treatment to transform the natural brown color of topaz to a bright, brilliant and sparkling blue, like the glistening surface of the ocean.
The final month of the year is another month to which we can attribute more than one birthstone - there’s three, in fact!
The December birthstones are Tanzanite, Turquoise and Zircon, and below, we dive into each!
Tanzanite is a blue-violet gemstone hailing from the African country of -- you guessed it -- Tanzania! This is a relatively new stone, as far as gemstones are concerned, as it wasn’t on the gemstone radar until the late 1960s.
Tanzanites are not quite as blue as a sapphire and not quite as purple as an amethyst. They lie somewhere in between and thus enjoy the best of both worlds.
Turquoise is a vital component of traditional Native American culture. This significant and sacred gemstone is known as the “Stone of Life” to Native Americans, as it represents all living things.
Turquoise is one of the oldest gemstones in the world and comes in a variety of colors. As such, Native Americans regard it as a stone representative of the vivid colors of the earth and their sacred land.
The final December birthstone is the Zircon! While zircon comes in a spectrum of colors, including warm hues of red and orange, blue is the most popular. This is another ancient gemstone, which has decorated civilizations for thousands of years.
Zircon originates from the Asian countries of Thailand, Cambodia and Southern Vietnam.
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