Article: Birthstones: Their Meanings + a Little Folklore
Birthstones: Their Meanings + a Little Folklore
Some of the best gifts you can give + receive are those that hold a special meaning. These types of personalized gifts are always a favorite and are treasured for a lifetime.
Birthstone jewelry is one of the most popular forms of personalized jewelry! Here at NOLIA we love to offer several personalization options for as many of our pieces as we can so that you can create something truly special for yourself or a loved one. That is why we offer over 24 different gemstone options, covering all 12 months and both lab created and natural gemstones.
Birthstones are traditionally worn to celebrate the birth month of someone special. However, they are also worn to symbolize the important moments in your life such as weddings, graduations, and anniversaries.
While the practice of wearing gemstones and connecting them with the 12 months of the year is believed to go back to biblical times, the modern tradition of wearing birthstone originated around the 16th century in Europe. This tradition continues to grow in popularity!
Mystical meanings have traditionally been connected to each birthstone as well. Whether or not you believe that gemstones promote healing, bring joy or good fortune, they are extremely popular as individual symbolism and hold personal meaning to millions around the globe. We’ll go over each of the birth months below and the most popular gemstones associated with each, as well as the meanings that are attached to each of the birthstones.
FUN FACT: Did you know that some months have more than one birthstone associated with it? For example, October has two birthstones, tourmaline and opal.
Already know what birthstone you’re searching for? Check out our Birthstone Collection and start building your perfect piece.
Not sure what type of jewelry to get? We are known for our high quality, handcrafted birthstone rings, which are made to order by a team of skilled makers in our Salt Lake City studio. Birthstone rings are an extremely popular gift for mothers. Think baby shower gifts, Mother's Day gifts, push presents, and birthdays!
GARNET • January's Birthstone
January has long been associated with the deep red color of the garnet. Although garnets can come in many colors, this will be the hue you see most for January’s birthstone.
Egyptians believed that garnets symbolized life, ancient Greeks associated garnets with pomegranates and the goddess Persephone, and ancient Hindu astrologers believed the gem helped relieve guilty feelings and brought happiness and good health to the wearer.
Garnets are said to symbolize strength, trust, and courage and help the wearers develop strong feelings. Wear it to channel happiness and commitment, loyalty and passion.
AMETHYST • February's Birthstone
February is traditionally associated with the royal purple of amethysts.
Ancient Egyptians used amethysts for prayer and protection, ancient Greeks linked amethysts with the god Dionysus, and early Christians associated amethysts with Christ. It is said the Leonardo da Vinci believed that amethyst could increase your intelligence and get rid of evil thoughts.
Amethysts are said to bring tranquility and to help alleviate physical pain. They are also believed to reduce stress and cleanse negative energy from the body.
AQUAMARINE • March's Birthstone
Aquamarine is the birthstone for March and is often referred to as the sailor’s gem, due to the light blue-green gem having a long time association with water.
Absent Greeks believed that aquamarines presence on a a ship would appease the god Poseidon who would them provide calm and safe passage. Similarly, the ancient Egyptians would place aquamarine gemstones on pharaohs tombs to help with passage into the afterlife that would take place via boat ride through the underworld.
This gemstone is believed to symbolize purity and help foster mental well being by reducing stress and promoting your inner peace.
DIAMOND • April's Birthstone
Ancient Egyptians would wear diamonds on the left ring finger which was thought to contain the “vein of love” which ran directly to the heart. They did this to send the diamonds energy directly to the heart and help “spark” love. Ancient Greeks and Romans believed diamonds were the tears of the gods, and in ancient India, they believed diamonds were created when lightening struck a rock.
Diamonds are widely believed to symbolize purity, love, and faithfulness. They are also thought to disperse fear, increase creativity and wealth.
EMERALD • May's Birthstone
Ancient Egyptians believed emeralds represented knowledge and the ancient Greeks and Romans associated emeralds with the goddesses of love (Aphrodite and Venus).
Emeralds are thought to increase prosperity and help relay a sense of calm to its wearer. More commonly though, they are associated with love and fertility, and bring good fortune and vitality.
PEARL + ALEXANDRITE • June's Birthstones
June is a month that has two popularly accepted birthstones, alexandrite and pearl.
Pearls have long been associated with the moon and are thought to bring harmony, prosperity, and good fortune. In an ancient Hindu myth, Krishna, the god of love, first discovered the pearl and gave it to his daughter on her wedding day. That may be were the tradition of wearing pearls on your wedding day may have originated!
Alexandrite is a wondrous gemstone as it has the natural ability to change color depending on the lighting! It’s colors range from muted green-blues to lovely lavender like purples, and many shades in between. It was only discovered in the 1830’s in Russia and is believed to bring luck and intuition to its wearer.
RUBY • July's Birthstone
Ruby, which is derived from the latin word ruber, meaning red, is the birthstone for the month of July.
Ancient Hindus believed that if they offered this precious stone to the God Krishna, they would be reborn as an emperor. Burmese and Chinese warriors, along with many other eastern cultures, would place rubies on their weaponry and armor, as the believed it would bring the good fortune.
This blood red gem is believed to bring protection, wealth, passion, and longevity to the wearer.
PERIDOT • August's Birthstone
Peridot, a light green gem, is the birthstone for the month of August. Did you know that peridot has been found on the moon, so it has been called the “space gem”?
The ancient Egyptians believed that peridot was brought to the Earth from an exploding sun and would mine the gem at night because they thought it would absorb the suns rays. In Hawaii, they believed the gem was the tears of the goddess Pele.
Peridot is believed to release negative energy and encourage happiness. It is also thought to bring mental clarity which will lead to success in the wearers life.
SAPPHIRE • September's Birthstone
Sapphire, often associated with royalty and communication with the divine, is the birthstone for September. Although most commonly associated with a deep blue color, sapphires actually come in many colors and shades.
It is said that in biblical time, the Ten Commandments were carved into stone using a sapphire. In the Middle Ages, this gem was believed to bring blessings from heaven to the wearer. In ancient Persia, they believed that our planet was supported on a pedestal made from this divine stone.
Sapphires are believed to have deep spiritual properties of divine communication, help heal ailments and relieve pain and stress.
OPAL + PINK TOURMALINE • October's Birthstones
Opals are a beautiful, fiery rainbow colored gem that the ancient Aztecs believed brought destruction and contained magic. In Arabic legend, it is said that opals fell from the sky in lightening bolts. In ancient Greece, they believed opals were the tears of Zeus after he successfully defeated the Titans in the great battle. These colorful stones are believed to promote passion and romance, as well as symbolize hope, purity, and honesty.
Pink Tourmaline replaced opal as the birthstone for October in 1912 by the National Association of Jewelers. In the past it was used to protect against dark magic, but now it is more commonly connected with love, compassion, and the promotion of happiness.
YELLOW TOPAZ • November's Birthstone
In ancient Egypt, yellow topaz was associated with the God of the Sun, Ra, and the stone was believed to be able to harness the energy of the sun. Likewise, the ancient Greeks and Romans connected the stone to the power of the sun and it was linked to Apollo, the God of the Sun. Ancient Hindus believed that the topaz would protect their homes from fire.
Wearing topaz was believed to bring beauty and wisdom to the person wearing it, as well as calm anger and break spells.
TURQUOISE + BLUE ZIRCON • December's Birthstone
Zircon is a natural mineral and not to be confused with lab created cubic zirconia. Blue zircon is a brilliant shade of sky blue. It is associated with the benefit of clearing negative energy, relieving stress, and promoting self confidence.
Turquoise has long been associated with ancient ceremonies and burial rituals, dating as far back as 7,000 BC in Iran. The stone is believed to bring luck and protection to its wearer. It has also been linked to friendship and happiness in some cultures.