Find Your Birthstone | Medusa Jewels
Which Birthstone Is Yours?
A birthstone is a precious gem that marks your month of birth. Each one has a unique meaning rooted in ancient beliefs. From ancient China to today, people have believed in the magical powers of gems, such as their ability to bring health, wealth and love. Discover your birthstone below and what it symbolises.
The folklore on garnet is extensive. Legend has it that the garnet can bring peace, prosperity, and good health to the home. Some even called it the “Gem of Faith,” and it’s believed that to those who wear it and do good, more good will come.
Amethyst is purple quartz and is a beautiful blend of violet and red that can be found in every corner of the world. The name comes from the Ancient Greek, derived from the word methustos, which means “intoxicated.” Ancient wearers believed the gemstone could protect them from drunkenness.
Amethyst, as previously mentioned, is composed of quartz, which is the second most abundant material found in Earth’s crust. Amethyst gets its color from irradiation, iron impurities, and the presence of trace elements. Its hardness (a 7 on the Mohs scale) is the same as other quartz, which makes it a durable and lasting option for jewelry.
The amethyst is not only the February birthstone, it is also used to celebrate the 6th and 17th year of marriage.
This gemstone was once believed to protect sailors, as well as to guarantee a safe voyage. The serene blue of aquamarine was said to cool the temper, allowing the wearer to remain calm and levelheaded.
In the Middle Ages, many believed that the simple act of wearing aquamarine was a literal antidote to poisoning. The Romans believed that if you carved a frog into a piece of aquamarine jewelry, it would help to reconcile differences between enemies and make new friends.
Still, other historical groups took this lore even further, using aquamarine as gifts to the bride at a wedding to symbolize long unity and love. Some even believed it could re-awaken love between two people.
Diamonds have been admired for centuries, and some historians estimate it was traded as early as 4 BC. One of the reasons it is so admired and valued is because of the process by which a diamond must be formed well below the earth’s crust, then forced upward until it is uncovered.
But before this process was understood, many ancient civilizations believed that diamonds were lighting made real on earth. Perhaps this is the reason that diamonds have often been associated with great healing powers. Many thought the diamond could cure brain disease, alleviate pituitary gland disorders and draw toxins from the blood.
Throughout history, however, the diamond has nearly always symbolized eternal and lasting love. So whether you’re getting engaged, or simply want to give yourself a truly meaningful gift, the diamond has both beauty and enduring symbolism.
Like other gemstones, the emerald was believed to have many mystical powers that accompanied its beauty. There were those who thought the emerald could cure stomach problems, control epilepsy and stop bleeding. Maybe due to its soothing green color, it was also thought to be able to ward off panic and keep the wearer relaxed and serene.
Today, emerald is a symbol of loyalty, new beginnings, peace and security, making it not only a beautiful gem to wear, but also a meaningful gift to be treasured by the receiver. It is still widely prized by the rich and famous, with Elizabeth Taylor’s famous emerald pendant selling for $6.5 million in 2011.
Often described as “emerald by day, ruby by night,” alexandrite is a rare variety of the mineral chrysoberyl that changes color from bluish green in daylight to purplish red under incandescent light.
Associated with concentration and learning, alexandrite is believed to strengthen intuition, aid creativity and inspire imagination, bringing good omens to anyone who wears it.
June’s third birthstone, moonstone, was named by the Roman natural historian Pliny, who wrote that moonstone’s shimmery appearance shifted with the phases of the moon.
The most common moonstone comes from the mineral adularia, named for an early mining site near Mt. Adular in Switzerland that supplied this gemstone. This site also birthed the term adularescence, which refers to the stone’s milky glow, like moonlight floating on water.
Pearls are the only gemstones made by living creatures. Mollusks produce pearls by depositing layers of calcium carbonate around microscopic irritants that get lodged in their shells, usually not a grain of sand as commonly believed.
While any shelled mollusk can technically make a pearl, only two groups of bivalve mollusks (or clams) use mother-of-pearl to create the iridescent “nacreous” pearls that are valued in jewelry. These rare gemstones don’t require any polishing to reveal their natural luster.
Cultured freshwater pearls can also be dyed yellow, green, blue, brown, pink, purple or black.
Black pearls, which are mostly cultured because they are so rare in nature—aren’t actually black but rather green, purple, blue or silver.
Accordingly, the name “ruby” comes from rubeus, the Latin word for red. In ancient Sanskrit, ruby translated to ratnaraj, which meant “king of precious stones.” These fiery gems have been treasured throughout history for their color and vitality.
Ruby’s strength and red fluorescence make it valuable for applications beyond jewelry. Both natural and synthetic rubies are used in watchmaking, medical instruments and lasers.
Due to its deep red color, ruby has long been associated with the life force and vitality of blood. Ancients believed that it amplified energy, heightened awareness, promoted courage and brought success in wealth, love and battle.
Though peridot is widely recognized by its brilliant lime green glow, the origin of this gemstone’s name is unclear. Most scholars agree that the word “peridot” is derived from the Arabic faridat, which means “gem,” but some believe it’s rooted in the Greek word peridona, meaning “giving plenty.” Perhaps that’s why peridot was, according to lore, associated with prosperity and good fortune.
Though it is known as “the Evening Emerald” because its sparkling green hue, peridot looks good any time of day.
Although sapphire typically refers to the rich blue gemstone variety of the mineral corundum, this royal gemstone occurs in a rainbow of hues. Sapphires come in every color except red, which earn the classification of rubies instead.
The name “sapphire” comes from the Latin sapphirus and Greek sappheiros, meaning “blue stone,” though those words may have originally referred to lapis lazuli. Some believe it originated from the Sanskrit word sanipriya which meant “dear to Saturn.”
Sapphire gemstones symbolize loyalty, nobility, sincerity, and integrity. They are associated with focusing the mind, maintaining self-discipline, and channeling higher powers.
The name “opal” originates from the Greek word opallios, which meant “to see a change in color.” The Roman scholar Pliny used the word opalus when he wrote about this gemstone’s kaleidoscopic “play” of rainbow colors that could simulate shades of any stone.
Wearing opal jewelry is well worth the extra care, though. For centuries, people have associated this precious gemstone with good luck. Though some modern superstitions claim that opals can be bad luck to anyone not born in October, this birthstone remains a popular choice.
The name "tourmaline" comes from the Sinhalese words tura mali, which mean "stone of mixed colors." As its name implies, tourmaline stands apart from other gemstones with its broad spectrum of colors in every shade of the rainbow.
Ancient magicians used black tourmaline as a talisman to protect against negative energy and evil forces. Today, many still believe that it can shield against radiation, pollutants, toxins, and negative thoughts.
November’s second birthstone, citrine, is a variety of quartz that ranges from pale yellow to a honey orange color. It takes its name from the citron fruit because of these lemon inspired shades.
With a hardness of 7 on the Mohs scale, citrine is very durable against scratches and everyday wear-and-tear—making it a lovely option for large, wearable jewelry.
Through much of history, all yellow gemstones were considered topaz and all "topaz" was thought to be yellow. Topaz is available in many colors, and it’s likely not even related to the stones that first donned its name.
The name topaz derives from Topazios, the ancient Greek name for St. John’s Island in the Red Sea. Although the yellow gemstones famously mined there probably weren’t topaz, it soon became the name for most yellowish stones.
Pure topaz is colorless, but it can become tinted by impurities to take on any color of the rainbow. Precious topaz ranges in color from brownish orange to yellow and is often mistaken for smoky quartz or citrine quartz, respectively—although quartz and topaz are unrelated minerals.The most prized color is Imperial topaz, which features a vibrant orange hue with pink undertones. Blue topaz, although increasingly abundant in the market, very rarely occurs naturally and is often caused by irradiation treatment.
Tanzanite is the exquisite blue-purple variety of the mineral zoisite that is only found in one part of the world. Named for its limited geographic origin in Tanzania, tanzanite has quickly risen to popularity since its relatively recent discovery. Tanzanite is still only found on a few square miles of land in Tanzania, near majestic Mount Kilimanjaro. Its price and availability are directly tied to mines in this region, most of which are now slowing production significantly.
Zircon is an underrated gemstone that’s often confused with synthetic cubic zirconia due to similar names and shared use as diamond simulants. Few people realize that zircon is a spectacular natural gemstone available in a variety of colors.
The name “zircon” likely comes from the Persian word zargun, meaning “gold-colored.” Others trace it to the Arabic zarkun, meaning “vermillion.” Given its wide range of colors—spanning red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and brown—both origins are plausible.
Since the Middle Ages, people have believed that zircon gemstones can induce sleep, ward off evil, and promote prosperity.
Admired since ancient times, turquoise is known for its distinct color, which ranges from powdery blue to greenish robin’s egg blue. It’s one of few minerals to lend its name to anything that resembles its striking color.
The word “turquoise” dates back to the 13th century, drawing from the French expression pierre tourques, which referenced the “Turkish stone” brought to Europe from Turkey.
Ancient Persia (now Iran) was the traditional source for sky blue turquoise gemstones. This color is often called “Persian blue” today, regardless of its origin. The Sinai Peninsula in Egypt was also an important historical source of turquoise gems.
From ancient Egyptians to Persians, Aztecs and Native Americans, kings and warriors alike admired turquoise for thousands of years. It adorned everything from jewelry to ceremonial masks to weapons and bridles—granting power and protection, particularly against falls.
Highly esteemed for its striking namesake color and its ancient history, turquoise's popularity remains timeless.
Credit to: https://www.americangemsociety.org/