Are Birthstones the Secret to the Perfect Gift?
Published on 2 August 2022
Most of us are vaguely aware of our birthstone. Perhaps we read about them in high school as we scoured our zodiac traits for signs of celestial sense. Or perhaps it was when we perused the local market crystal stall, reading the all-little blurbs on the moon-charged rocks, finding quick solace in our nominated piece of earth. Yet, there is a lot more to growing an affection for your birthstone than casual superstition.
Their auspicious collectability dates back to the book of Exodus in the Old Testament with the story of the breastplate of Aaron – a plate that housed twelve rare gemstones that represented each of the tribes of Israel. Many years later the idea evolved to associate the stones with the twelve star signs of the zodiac which was followed by centuries of gem traders who began attributing the gems to specific birth months. Then, as recently as the early 20th Century, the National Association of Jewellers in the United States agreed to give each month an official corresponding stone, creating the birthstone calendar that largely remains the same today.
The spiritual sentiment of birthstones is said to offer the wearer everything from health and protection to happiness and love to luck and vitality. Therefore, using the gemstone calendar to guide you to the perfect birthday gift is both fascinating and fulfilling. Bestowing your closest with a piece hinged on astrological, spiritual and historical significance offers the wearer more than just a pretty new decor. Instead they acquire a talisman – an earthly treasure steeped in universal sentiment.
From Suzanne Kalan’s collection of layered gem baguettes in 18K yellow gold to Pomellato’s hero stones to Qeelin’s delicate rubies and fine diamonds to Roberto Coin’s mother of pearl earrings, there are plentiful ways to interpret the intricacies of the birthstones. So, use our guide (and some divine intervention) to decipher your next perfect gift.
January — Garnet
Typically dark and red in colour, its name dates back to the 14th Century when it was derived from the latin name for pomegranate. Over the years it has been said to symbolise the heart, and in turn, deep love.
February — Amethyst
A form of quartz crystal, the diaphanously violet-coloured gem is one of the most popular collectable stones. This is largely because of its attractive ombre colour scale but also due to its long-believed ability to induce calming spirituality with protective intuition.
March — Aquamarine
As the month that hosts the star sign, Pisces, March is one of the most aquatic of the zodiac. So, it’s fitting that it also has a stone linked to the ocean. The clear-blue aquamarine mineral comes from a type of rare silicate and is believed to represent tranquility, vitality and hopeful rebirth.
April — Diamonds
Long adored for not only their beauty but for their unparalleled resilience, diamonds are among the hardest, most rare minerals on earth. And while it’s no surprise they represent unity, virtue and faithfulness given their ubiquity in matrimonial services, they also symbolise spiritual invincibility.
May — Emerald
As one of the “big three” gemstones (along with sapphires and rubies), emeralds are of impressive collectible and economic value. Their potent green colouring is iconic, and is said to harness wisdom, inspiration and patience.
June — Pearl
An anomaly of the birthstone list since the pearl is not, in fact, a stone but the crystallised calcium of an ocean mollusk, pearls are equally if not often more desirably sought after than their mineral allies. Considered to be merchants of luck and protection, the pearl’s unique iridescence is also timeless in beauty.
July — Ruby
As an iconic colour as it is a precious stone, the ruby’s particular shade of deep red has always been associated with royalty and luxury. While its particularly famous hue comes from chromium traces, its density from the mineral corundum also makes it one of the strongest stones on earth. The ruby is said to represent passion, love and even the blood of Mother Earth.
August — Peridot
With its significant light olive green colouring, the igneous peridot is most often found in areas of volcanic activity. Pieces of this iridescent stone have also been said to have been found in space, making it one of the most intriguing on the calendar. The peridot wearer is believed to acquire inner peace and feel compassion over anger.
September — Sapphire
Although sapphires can appear in many shades, its most prominent is, of course, electric blue. Adored by traditional royalty for centuries, Princess Diana’s (and now Princess Kate’s) sapphire engagement ring is perhaps the most memorable in modern history. Sapphires are not only strikingly beautiful but said to offer positive energies while calming the spirit.
October — Tourmaline
While October hosts tourmaline, it should be noted that it also counts opal as a birthstone. Tourmaline is a mixture of compounds that form within metamorphic rocks and though it’s known for its variety of ombre colourings it also occurs completely clear. Spiritually, it’s believed to harbour energies for healing, friendship and compassion.
November — Topaz
Like October, November is a dual-host, with both topaz and citrine listed as official birthstones. Topaz, however, is the most common. Found on most continents, when untreated most topaz stones range a yellow-to-brown colour scale, much like citrine. Topaz is said to harness love and affection and helps to increase intellect.
December — Turquoise
The final month of the year actually hosts three stones – tanzanite, zircon and turquoise, and they all share a similar rich blue-green shade. Turquoise, as the one most well-known and collectable, is adored for both its opaque sheen and its ability to increase good luck and good fortune.
To discover more extraordinary collections, sign up to Kennedy news.