BIRTHSTONE JEWELLERY GUIDE
Birthstones are gemstones that accompany a birth month, each having a unique meaning and historical significance. The popularity of birthstones dates back to ancient times when civilizations believed that gemstones had incredible powers such as luck, health and prosperity. Traditionally, each month is associated with a single gemstone, but as you’ll find below there are a few months with multiple birthstones. The birthstones associated with birth months today are not necessarily the same ones that were used in ancient times. In those days, colour was the most important feature of a gemstone so they did not distinguish between gems the way we do today. For instance, they did not distinguish between a Ruby and a Garnet. Our list represents the modern birthstone list endorsed by the American Gem Society.
Gifts of gemstone jewellery with a loved one’s birthstone are very popular because of the desire to wear beautiful colour as well as something which has personal significance. You don’t need to become a gemstone or birthstone expert to find the perfect gift. Whether you’re looking for a gemstone ring adorned with the birthstone of a child, or a beautiful set of birthstone earrings, we’re here to help!
Garnet, the birthstone of January, is mined in a rainbow of colours. From the fiery orange of Mandarin Garnet to the rich green of Tsavorite Garnet and to the most widely recognized colour of Pyrope Garnet, it is considered a great gift to symbolize friendship and trust.
Amethyst, the birthstone of February, is a variety of Quartz that carries a spectacular purple colour that ranges from a blend of deep violet and red to a lighter lilac hue. Ancient Greeks believed that the stone protected the wearer from drunkenness and enabled them to keep a balanced mindset.
Aquamarine, the birthstone of March, has a rich colour and has long been a symbol of youth, health and hope. Its mesmerizing colour ranges from pale to deep blue and are reminiscent of the sea. A perfect birthstone for March, the Aquamarine creates a beautiful accent to spring and summer wardrobes.
Diamonds, the birthstone of April, are commonly associated with love which make it the perfect gift for a loved one. While white diamonds are most common, fancy coloured diamonds can be found in various colours including yellow, blue, pink and a variety of others as well.
Emerald, the birthstone of May, carries the rich green colour of Spring and radiates a beautiful vivid tone. They are considered to be a symbol of rebirth and love. Emeralds are the rarest gemstones and are typically mined in Colombia, Brazil, Afghanistan and Zambia.
June birthdays claim two birthstones; pearl and Alexandrite. Pearls have been wildly popular in jewellery for centuries because of their natural beauty. Alexandrite gemstones are extremely rare and desirable since they change colour based on the lighting.
Rubies, the birthstone of July, are considered the king of gems and represent love, health and wisdom. It was believed wearing a fine red Ruby bestowed good fortune on its owner. A Ruby is the most valuable gemstone and its value increases based on its colour and quality.
August is the latest month to claim two birthstones; Peridot and Spinel. Peridot, with its signature lime green colour, is believed to instil power and influence in the wearer. Spinel is available in a brilliant range of colours and is believed to protect the owner from harm and soothe away sadness.
Sapphire, the birthstone of September, is most desired in its pure, rich blue colour but is present in almost every colour including pink, yellow and green. In the Middle Ages the gem was believed to protect those close to you from harm and also represented loyalty and trust.
October also has two birthstones; Tourmaline and Opal. Tourmaline is a favourite gemstone for many because it’s available in a rainbow of beautiful colours. Opal gemstones are truly unique because each individual gem is adorned with a one-of-a-kind colour combination.
November birthdays are associated with two gems; Citrine and Topaz. The warm colour of Citrine is said to be a gift from the sun and it’s believed to be a healing gemstone. Topaz is most desired in its rich orange Imperial Topaz colour but it is found in a variety of rich colours like blue, pink and yellow.
December birthdays have claim to three gemstones; Zircon, Tanzanite and Turquoise. Each of these gemstones carries a unique blue tone making it a perfect birthstone for Minnesota’s frigid December winters. Zircon can be found in a variety of colours, but blue is the overwhelming favourite.
When we speak of cut we are more interested in the proportions of the diamond as opposed to its shape (Round Brilliant, Marquise, Pear, Princess, etc.) Every diamond regardless of its shape gets it brilliance and scintillation by cutting and polishing the diamond facets to allow the maximum amount of light that enters through its top to be reflected and dispersed back through its top. A correctly cut, “well made”, stone is pictured in diagram 1. As you can see if the angles are correct the light that enters is dispersed properly back through the diamond’s top facets. When a stone is cut too shallow (diagram2) or too deep (diagram3) the light that enters through the top is allowed to escape through the diamond’s bottom and does not allow the maximum beauty of the diamond to be realized.
This is the weight of a diamond measured in carats. As the carat weight of a diamond increases so does its rarity and therefore its price.
One carat is divided into 100 “points,” so that a diamond of 75 points weights .75 carats. The carat-weight of a diamond is the easiest measurement to determine. Most importantly, two diamonds can be of equal carat-weight, but their value can differ greatly due to their cut, colour, and clarity.
Diamonds come naturally in every colour of the rainbow. However, most people are concerned with diamonds in the white range. The Gemmological Institute of America (GIA) rates the body colour in white diamonds from D (colourless) to Z (light yellow).
The best colour for a diamond is no colour at all. A totally colourless diamond allows light to pass through it easily, resulting in the light being dispersed as the colour of the rainbow. Colours are graded totally colourless to light yellow.
The differences from one grade to the other are very subtle and it takes a trained eye and years of experience to colour grade a diamond.
The clarity of a diamond is determined by the amount and location of flaws, or blemishes, in the diamond when viewed under 10 power (10x) magnification.
GIA rates clarity grades in diamonds from Flawless to Imperfect 3 (see chart below). The Diamond Shopping Network offers you diamonds from the Imperfect 1 grade through Flawless.
Most diamonds contain very tiny birthmarks known as “inclusions.” An inclusion can interfere with the light passing through the diamond. The fewer the inclusions, the more beautiful the diamond will be.
Diamonds have the capability of producing more brilliance than any other gemstone. A diamond that is free of inclusions and surface blemishes is very rare…and therefore very valuable.