January – Garnet
The garnet group includes a group of minerals that have been used since the Bronze Age as gemstones and abrasives. It is believed that the name “garnet” may come from either the Middle English word garnet meaning ‘dark red’, or the Latin granatus meaning grain.
The versatile garnet comes in a virtual rainbow of colours, including pink, red, purple, orange, yellow, violet, green, colourless, occasionally black, brown and many shades of red and green. The most common colour of garnets is reddish brown. It can be translucent to transparent, sometimes opaque with a vitreous or resinous lustre. They come in a very wide variety of formations, colours, and clarities.
Garnet is an excellent assistance for blood deficiency diseases. It stimulates bloodstream and pituitary gland, relieves rheumatism and arthritis pain. Garnet combats depression and lethargy. Garnet also stimulates the spleen properly. Garnet protects against depression and impure thoughts. Cures fever and promotes good health.
Garnet should be carried close to the body. Its energy is balancing and peaceful. This stone of passion stimulates the sexual drive. Garnet gives energy and courage. It is said to encourage robust good health and sexual desire & enhance the wearer’s imagination.
Garnet symbolizes fire, faith, courage, truth, grace, compassion, constancy and fidelity.
February – Amethyst
Amethyst is the purple variety of quartz and the most valued member of the quartz family.
Its purple colour made it a stone of royalty for many thousands of years. It must be purple to be amethyst, but it can display a range of shades including deep purple, light lilac, lavender and mauve. Top quality amethyst is a deep to medium purple with rose-colored flashes.
When manganese is present in clear quartz amethyst is produced, while the amount of iron contained in the specimen accounts for the depth of purple. Moh’s scale of hardness is 7.
Throughout history amethyst has been used to guard against drunkenness and is thought to be helpful in overcoming addiction. Amethyst has been used for hearing disorders, insomnia, headaches and other pain. Some sources suggest it is used to stabilize mental disorders. It is worn to make the wearer gentle and amiable.
Amethyst powers include: dreams, healing, peace, love, spiritual upliftment, courage, protection against thieves, and happiness.
March – Aquamarine
Aquamarine = “Water Baby” Created by combining Latin words for water (aqua) and sea (mare), aquamarine does indeed resemble the bottomless blue of seawater.
The gemstone aquamarine is the blue, or perhaps more correctly, blue-green or aqua variety of the mineral beryl. Aquamarine is coloured by trace amounts of iron that find their way into the crystal structure.
Ancient Romans believed the magnificent gemstone was sacred to Neptune, the god of the sea. Some legends say that it was gift from mermaids, while others suggest that Neptune retrieved it after it fell from the jewel-boxes of sirens and washed onto shore.
The association with water led to the belief that the Aquamarine was particularly powerful when immersed. Water in which this gemstone had been submerged in was used in ancient times to heal a variety of illnesses of the heart, liver, stomach, mouth and throat.
Aquamarines were also used to reverse poisoning and to aid in fortune. Aquamarines are still believed to preserve and enhance mutual love, to ensure truth in relationships and to maintain a good marriage. To dream of aquamarine signifies the making of new friends.
April – Diamond
Diamond is the ultimate gemstone; having few weaknesses and many strengths. It is well known that Diamond is the hardest substance found in nature, but few people realize that Diamond is at least four times harder than the next hardest natural mineral, corundum (sapphire and ruby). But even as hard as it is, it is not impervious.
April’s birthstone is remarkably simple in composition; being crystallized carbon, yet it is stunning in its unique ability to reflect and refract light, and disperse colour (fire).
Diamond has a low reactivity to chemicals, it extremely rare and of course, extremely hard and durable.
Diamonds are formed deep within the earth’s mantle where there is intense heat and pressure, and are brought closer to the surface through volcanic eruptions. Diamonds are found in a type of rock called “Kimberlite”, the core of certain volcanoes over especially thick portions of the earth’s crust.
This hard stone is mined and then crushed between giant steel rollers. The kimberlite is reduced to fine gravel, yet the extremely hard Diamonds come out unharmed! Water is added and a grease covered roller sorts the Diamonds from the gravel, as the Diamonds attach to the grease.
The diamond is known as the stone of innocence; it is a stone to bring forth purity. It is also said to encourage creativity, imagination, ingenuity, brilliance and inventiveness. The diamond also draws to it abundance.
Diamonds have also been credited for having certain medicinal properties; during the middle ages, these gemstones were thought to heal illness.
A gift of a Diamond is symbolic of everlasting love. There is no more convincing a promise of an enduring relationship than the brilliant gemstone that has endured in people’s hearts throughout the ages; after all, a Diamond is forever.
May – Emarald
Emerald is both the May birthstone and the Zodiac stone for the constellation of Cancer. The Emerald is a member of the beryl family of minerals. Emeralds are relatively hard and durable.
The green crystals grow slowly within metamorphic rocks and are restricted in size by the rock, making large Emeralds rare and costly.
The wonderful green colour of emerald is unparalleled in the gem kingdom. Emerald’s precious green colour is caused by small amounts of chromium and enhanced by traces of iron.
Some cultures believed that emeralds gave the wearer psychic powers, others believe that wearing an Emerald brings wisdom, growth, and patience. They were thought to improve both eyesight and fertility.
The Egyptians were known to engrave Emeralds with the symbol for foliage to represent eternal youth, and to bury these jewels with their dead, while the Ancient Romans associated this gemstone with fertility and rebirth, and dedicated it to Venus, the goddess of love and beauty.
June – Pearl
There’s no question that pearls are a timeless accessory in every girl’s jewellery box. Pearls represent purity and love, and continue to be viewed as a mark of taste and refinement and sophistication.
Natural Pearls are formed when a tiny grain of sand or mineral lodges in the body of certain mollusks such as oysters and the animal responds to that irritating grain by secreting nacre. Over time that grain is coated with the nacre and a beautiful pearl is created. Since the pearl itself isn’t part of the oyster the animal continues to add to the growing pearl so it increases in size.
Originally pearls were found by luck; Divers would open many oysters for every decent pearl found. These days most pearls are of the cultured variety; Cultured simply means that people insert the grain or bead into the mollusk. The grain is of a size and type more likely to produce the desired pearl. The mollusks are then harvested after a couple of years and the pearls extracted.
Pearls have been a passion and even an obsession of people throughout the ages. Legend has it that pearls were heavenly dew-drops than fell to the sea. Some cultures claim pearls are a natural aphrodisiac when touching the skin.
These gems have adorned crowns, clothing, and temples, and were said to be a favourite of Cleopatra.
Only those with royal status once wore pearl jewellery, but eventually these gems were seen among all classes of people.
July – Ruby
The history of Ruby mining dates back more than 2,500 years ago. The gemstone Ruby is the red variety of the mineral Corundum; the second hardest natural mineral known to mankind [after Diamond], with a Moh’s hardness at 8.5.
The word Ruby comes from the Latin “ruber,” meaning red. It is a variety of the mineral Corundum, and is found as crystals within metamorphic rock. Corundum comes in a variety of colours, and is considered a ‘Sapphire’ in any colour except red, which is designated as a ‘Ruby’.
Like a perfect red rose, the Ruby’s rich colour speaks of love and passion. It has been said that the Ruby’s red glow comes from an ‘internal flame’ that cannot be extinguished, making a gift of this stone symbolic of everlasting love.
Called the “Rajnapura” or King of Gems by ancient Hindus, July’s birthstone is among the most highly prized of gems throughout history.
In healing, rubies are the gem of choice to cure diseases of the blood and the heart. A Ruby worn on the left hand is said to bring good fortune to its wearer.
August – Peridot
The August birthstone poem reflects some of the properties with which the Peridot is associated – love, truth, strength, faithfulness and loyalty.
There are many assumptions about the origin of the name Peridot. It is widely believed that name Peridot comes from Arabic word ‘faridat’, meaning gem. Some people also believe that Peridot is derived from the French word ‘Peridot’, meaning unclear – The colour of the gem is supposed to be unclear. The third assumption is that the word Peridot originated from a Greek word ‘peridona’, which means richness.
Peridot is a gem stone that is formed as a result of volcanic activity and it is a type of mineral Chrysolite or Olivine and its chemical formula is given by: (Mg,Fe)2SiO4.
Peridot is one of the few gemstones that occur in only one colour: basically an olive green. The intensity and tint of the green however depends on how much iron is contained in the crystal structure, so the colour of individual Peridot gems can vary from yellow-green through olive green to brownish green. The most valuable is considered a dark-olive green colour.
Ancient Egyptians called them the “gem of the sun,” because of their dazzling brilliance when seen in the desert sun. It was believed that the Peridot glowed even as darkness fell, which is why miners were said to have scouted for these gems during the night, marking their location and then returning in the light of day to retrieve them. Perhaps this legendary mining method is the reason that the Peridot is sometimes called “evening emerald.”
The green crystal was considered protective against evil and when set in gold, especially helpful against night terrors. Throughout history, the August birthstone; Peridot, has been used as a means to ‘connect with nature’. This beautiful gemstone, when offered as a gift, symbolizes energy and vitality. It signifies strength – both individual and within a relationship, as well as the promise of growth in the years ahead.
September – Sapphire
The September birthstone, Sapphire is chemically and structurally the same as Ruby – both are varieties of the mineral ‘corundum’.
Sapphires are well known among the general public as being blue, but can be nearly any colour except shades of red or pink (since those are called rubies). The blue colour is by far the most popular colour for sapphire but pink and black have generated much interest in the gem trade.
Sapphires are extremely durable and scratch-resistant (only diamonds are harder). Sapphire is mined in many countries worldwide including Australia, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
Sapphire properties include psychic abilities, inspiration, love, meditation, peace, healing, power, prosperity and protection.
October – Opal
Precious opal is a gemstone that exhibits flashes of rainbow-like colours when viewed from different angles. The colours are created by an arrangement of silica spheres within the opal. Black opals are the most rare and expensive opals, with a body colour that can range from dark grey to black with fiery flashes of colour.
Opal hardness varies, but generally ranges from 5.5 to 6.5 on the Mohs scale [Compared to that of diamond, which rates at 10].
Opals are said to make the wearer more loving and affectionate in both personal and family life. People who wear Opal also tend to draw people to them, with their magnetism and charisma.
Opals were also considered as the symbol for fidelity, religious devotion as well as having the power to preserve the colour of blond hair. Opals were also believed to cure diseases associated with the eye as well as treating depression.
Opals are believed to increase mental capacities and creative imagination.
November – Topaz
The word Topaz is derived from ‘Topazos’, a small island in the Red Sea, where the Romans obtained a stone which they called by this name.
Like diamonds, Topaz gemstones are graded by colour, cut and clarity. Topaz is scored as an 8 on Moh’s hardness Scale.
The Colours of Topaz come in a wide range of natural colours and shades. Pure topaz is colourless, but it also occurs in a broad range of colours including yellow, blue, pink, peach, gold, green, red, and brown. Colour is mainly caused by the gemstones’ selective absorption of certain wave-lengths of light.
Symbolism and significance of Topaz are said to be: Constancy, Loyalty, Faithfulness, Friendship, Strength & Wisdom.
The healing properties of the birthstone are reputed to be effective for health problems relating to sanity, asthma, gout, blood disorders and insomnia.
Topaz is also said to release tension & balance emotions.
December – Turquoise
Turquoise is the modern December birthstone and the accepted gem for the fifth and eleventh wedding anniversaries. It has been mined by early Egyptians since at least 6000BC.
The name Turquoise comes from a French word which means ‘stone of Turkey’. The colour is, of course, turquoise, but this colour actually varies from very green blue to light sky blue shades.
The Hardness of the stone ranges between 5-6 on Moh’s scale.
Turquoise is said to promote mental and spiritual clarity and expansion and to enhance wisdom, trust, kindness and understanding.