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January Birth Stone
January’s birthstone is the Garnet, a stone that can occur naturally in colors ranging from orange to deep red, and also in shades of green. The most common garnet found is the Pyrope, with the Rhodolite gaining in popularity.
Garnet was believed to have magical properties- such as preventing skin diseases; assuring the wearer of love, faithfulness, & safety from wounds; protecting the wearer from evil & terrifying dreams!
Garnet is an easily found stone, and is usually quite affordable. More Birth January Stone information
February Birth Stone
The birthstone for February is the Amethyst, which can be found in varying shades of purple. A top quality stone will be clear deep purple, with no flaws.
The word amethyst comes from the greek, meaning “not drunken, without drunkenness”. It was believed to protect from the effects of wine, especially if held under the tongue while drinking. (O’Brien’s does not recommend trying this!)
Along with Garnet, Amethyst is easily located & affordable. More Birth February Stone information
March Birth Stone
Aquamarine is the birthstone for March, it is a beautiful light blue-green stone in it’s top color form. A nice stone will be clear, without visible flaws.
Aquamarine is derived from the Latin, “beryllus aquamarinus”, meaning resembling seawater. It is traditionally a sailor’s tailsman. Some commerically available aqua is treated with heat, to improve its color. Such treatments do not affect the stone’s strength, or value. Aqua & Emerald are both in the beryl family of stones.
Aquamarine is plentiful in today’s gem market. More Birth March Stone information
April Birth Stone
Those with April birthdays are lucky, indeed- their birthstone is the Diamond! Diamonds can be found in almost every color of the rainbow, but the colorless stone has been the most popular for decades.
The word, diamond, is from the Greek “adamas”- meaning unbreakable or indomitable. They were believed to render all poisons harmless & to drive away madness, night spirits, and evil dreams.
A person shopping for a diamond would be well advised to learn about the 4 C’s- Cut, Color, Clarity, & Carat weight, to make an informed purchase decision. More Birth April Stone information
May Birth Stone
May’s birthstone is the Emerald. A deep green stone, natural emeralds almost always have visible inclusions, and need special care when setting & cleaning. A natural Emerald without flaws is very rare, and expensive!
This stone has been linked to fertility & the Earth Goddess, is sacred to the Goddess Venus, and was worn by women to ease the pain of childbirth. Emerald is a cousin to the Aqua, both are in the Beryl family of stones.
Emeralds are scarce in their finest qualities, but can be easily found & medium-priced in the included stones. This stone is fragile, and care should be taken in cleaning & wearing- no sharp knocks on table edges or doorways! More Birth May Stone information
June Birth Stone
June is a special month, in that it has two acceptable birthstones! Pearl & Alexandrite are both commonly used for this month. Pearls are formed inside a mollusk, a response to an irritant felt by the animal. They can be found in many shades of whites, and many shapes- from perfectly round to fanciful baroque. Alexandrite is one of the few color-change stones. It will appear to be different colors in natural and flourescent lighting. It is rare in it’s natural form, but can be found in a synthetic form, with the same color-change properties.
Pearls are attributed to the Goddess Venus as a symbol of innocence. Alexandrite was named for Czar Alexander II.
Pearls are readily found in both sea & fresh-water varieties. Alexandrite you may have to look a bit to find, but when you find it, you’ll love it! More Birth June Stone information
July Birth Stone
Ruby marks the month of July as it’s birthstone. It will be found in varying shades of red; deep, clear stones are desirable. Some may have seen “star rubies”, these are cabachon (domed) stones that reflect an asterisk light effect on the domed surface. When flawless, a Ruby is more valuable than a diamond.
Historically, the Ruby is associated with royalty & the power or life and death. It was attributed the power to prevent loss of blood, strengthen the heart, and negate poisons. They are a cousin to the Sapphire.
Rubies are medium to high in cost, But plentiful. More Birth July Stone information
August Birth Stone
If your birthday is in August, you will have the Peridot for your birthstone. The Peridot is a light green, almost electric color.
It is believed to cure liver disease & dropsy; to free the mind from envious thoughts; and to dispel terrors of the night. For full magical power, it should be set in gold. Peridot is the stone assigned to the sun.
You will be able to find Peridot easily, and it should be nicely affordable. More Birth August Stone information
September Birth Stone
September birthdays are represented by the Sapphire. Sapphire can be found in a rainbow of colors, all but red. (Red Sapphire is actually Ruby, it’s cousin!) There are also “star sapphires”- which are domed stones that show a star-light effect on the top.
Sapphires are traditionally connected with the eye & the sky- therefore with vision & the ability to read the future. Sapphires render black magic harmless, and help the wearer discern falsehoods. Buddhists believe the Sapphire brings purity & spiritual enlightenment.
Sapphire is readily available, in a wide range of qualities & prices. More Birth September Stone information
October Birth Stone
October is another month with two acceptable birthstones! Opal & Tourmaline are both represenative of this month. Opals are usually opaque white stones with rainbow color specks or flashes that play over the surface. They can be found in breathtaking form! Tourmaline is a transparent stone, usually occuring in shades of pinks & greens.
Opals are thought to possess the virtues of all the stones whose colors appear there. The Roman senator Nonius chose exile rather than surrendering an Opal to Mark Antony. Tourmaline comes from the Sanskrit “turamali”.
Opal can be readily found, look for a stone with a lot of play-of-color to ensure showoffability. Tourmalines are also plentiful, and medium priced. More Birth October Stone information
November Birth Stone
Topaz is the birthstone for November- it can be found in varying shades of golden yellow, blues, and sometimes peachy or pinky. Sometimes Citrine is sold as a November birthstone substitute. A nice Topaz will be clear of inclusions, and have a bright color.
The word Topaz comes from the Sanskrit “tapas”- meaning ‘to glow’. Rubbing or gentle heating of Topaz electrifies it, causing it to attract small particles like bits of paper or hair.
Topaz in its blue form has become very popular lately, and is readily found. You may have to look for the golden shades. The blue is very affordable, with the golds, pinks, & peaches being a bit higher. More Birth November Stone information
December Birth Stone
December’s birthstone is the Blue Zircon. Zircon usually starts out as a brownish-green stone, and is heated to turn it blue. Stones of more than a couple of carats are rarely seen, due to the difficulty in cutting this material.
Zircon is said to drive away evil spirits & bad dreams, banish grief & melancholy, restore appetite, induce sleep, & protect against lightning! It is mined in Sri Lanka & Burma, mainly.
Be careful when shopping for Zircon, some light blue Topaz can be mistaken for it. True Zircon is limited in quantity, and you may have to dig for a genuine stone. It should be medium priced. More Birth December Stone information