Birthstones are precious or semi-precious stones with a connection to a specific month. The month in which you are born determines your birthstone. They are not the same as ‘zodiac’ stones that connect to your zodiac sign. The meaning behind the gem depends on the birthstone. They all have different characteristics and colors that ought to suit you. Or not, of course. Whether you believe in the several gem meanings or not, it is still nice to know a little about your birthstone. I already wrote blogs about all the separate birthstones, which you can read these for a little more in-depth information. But below is a short list of the birthstone gems.
January’s birthstone is the grenade. A grenade is a semi-precious gemstone. The color of this birthstone is deep red. But it also comes in other hues. The grenade stands for:
- Protection against the devil
Gem meaning grenade
It’s not 100% sure what grenade means. Some believe it’s from the old English word “gernet”, which means “dark”. But it’s also possible it is a corruption of the Latin word “granatus”, that refers to the seeds of the pomegranate.
February’s birthstone is the amethyst. An amethyst is a semi-precious gemstone. The color of this birthstone varies from light violet to deep purple. The amethyst stands for:
- Protection against drunkness and addiction
Gem meaning amethyst
Amethyst comes from the Greek words “a” and “methystos”, which roughly translates to “none-drunk”. People used to think the amethyst would protect them against drunkenness.
March’s birthstone is the aquamarine. This is a light blue gemstones. Just like the two birthstones above, the aquamarine is a semi-precious gemstone. It comes in all shades of blue. Varying from sky blue to ocean blue. The aquamarine stands for:
- Happiness in marriage
- Strengthening of the senses
Gem meaning aquamarine
Aquamarine also originates from Latin. “Aqua” and “marina” mean “water” and “sea”. People considered aquamarines as the gemstones of mermaids. Because the color is similar to the ocean, seafarers wore it as a good luck charm to keep them safe.
April’s birthstone is the Diamond. Obviously, I can talk for hours about this gem. Diamond is the hardest gemstone of all. In general, a diamond is white. But it also comes in other colors. We call the bright-colored ones “fancy colors”. Diamond stands for:
- Power and strength
- Eternal love
Gem meaning diamond
The Old Greek are responsible for the name. They thought diamonds were the tears of the gods and called the gemstone “adamas”, which means “indestructible”. From adamas, it became adamant, which turned into (a) diamond.
May’s birthstone is the emerald. This is the oldest and probably the most famous gemstone. Every emerald is green. But the intensity of this green is different from stone to stone. Because of its frivol color, we associate the emerald with spring. The emerald stands for:
- Eternal youth and spring
- Love and loyalty
- Strengthening relationships
Gem meaning emerald
Just like many other gemstones, the name emerald originates from the Latin and Greek language. They called the stone “marakata”, which roughly translates into “green growing things”. Over time, the name changed to “smaragdus” and later to “esmaraldus”. These words mean “luxurious green stone”.
June’s birthstone is the pearl. Though it is not a natural stone, the pearl is still considered a semi-precious gemstone. Living creatures form pearls. An oyster transforms a grain of sand into a shiny pearl. Pearls are usually white. But they also come in other colors. The pearl stands for:
- Love and friendship
- Sincerity and loyalty
Gem meaning pearl
Pearl comes from the latin word “perla”. Already centuries ago, people used pearls to show ones inner and outer beauty. To this day, we still find pearls in the most beautiful jewelry. You could say not much has changed.
July’s birthstone is the ruby. The color of this birthstone is red. Rubies are precious gemstones. Just like sapphire, the ruby is a variety of corundum. But inside is a certain amount of chrome that makes the stone red. This red ranges from light violet to blood red:
- Eternal love
- Balance and harmony
Gem meaning ruby
Many people and religions had their own superstitions about rubies. The precious gemstone’s meanings date even back to 200 BC. People thought that rubies would protect them. Many went through great lengths to incorporate the stones in their lives. They put them into their clothing, offer them to the gods or even sew them under their skin. Ruby comes from the Latin word “Ruber”, which means “red”. People used to think the ruby had a fire inside it. That’s why the stone represents love, fire and passion.
August’s birthstone is the peridot. Often mistaken for emeralds, peridots are yellow-green semi-precious gemstones. Some call the peridot “stone of the sun”, because it reflects the light in a stunning way. The peridot stands for:
- Protection against negative influences
- Relaxing and healing effect
Gem meaning peridot
The word peridot comes from the old Greed word peridona. Roughly translated, this means: “give enough”. Peridot was often associated with welfare, so that would explain its quirky meaning. Nowadays, many people wear the peridot in jewelry. Alternative medicine advices people who cannot come out of a negative spiral to wear it since it supposedly has healing powers.
September’s birthstone is the sapphire. One of the most famous precious gemstones in the world. Almost everyone knows the big sapphire in Diana’s and later Kate’s engagement ring. But sapphires are not always blue. They come in many other colors except red. In that case we call them rubies. The sapphire stands for:
- Loyal love and friendship
Gem meaning sapphire
Sapphire comes from the Greek word “sapphirius”. This means “blue stone”. The ancient Greek thought the gemstone that symbolized the sky and heavens would attract godly wisdom. That’s why many of them carried a sapphire with them for guidance when they asked the gods for answers. But also in other cultures, people attribute godly or holy characteristics to the sapphire.
October’s birthstone is the Opal. Opal is a semi-precious gemstone. It is a variety of quarts and comes in many colors. There are so-called regular, fire and noble opals. The noble opals have brighter colors and are more valuable than regular ones. An interesting fact about opals is that they partly consist of water. The opal stands for:
- Mental strength
- Visibility and protection of vision
Gem meaning opal
Opal comes from the word Úpala. This means gemstone in old Indian. The opal captures all colors of the rainbow. Many people adore it. So it’s no surprise the Romans called the opal “the King of Gemstones”. To this day, opals make very fine stones in different kind of jewelry.
November’s birthstone is the Topaz. The mineral and semi-precious topaz comes in many colors. Often it is yellow-goldish, but also white, blue, green and grey are not uncommon. Topaz can even be entirely colorless, just like a diamond. When heated, it can turn blue or pink. The topaz stands for:
- Happiness and love
- Making others feel good
Gem meaning topaz
The ancient Greek first found the semi-precious stone at the island Topazius or Topazos (currently: Zebirget, Egypt). They called the stone after the island. The Greek believed the topaz enhanced their strength. They also thought it gave them the ability to make oneself invisible.
Turquoise is one of the most beautiful green-blue minerals. Real turquoises are rare so there are many fake ones circulating of this semi-precious gemstone. The turquoise stands for:
- Balance and inner peace
Gem meaning turquoise
Turquoise thanks its name to its color. It is probably one of the oldest (semi-precious) gemstones known to man. The Native Americans considered the turquoise sacred.
We often call tanzanite a rare gift of nature because its color depends on the viewing direction. Some see the semi-precious gemstone as purple, while others see a blue or red stone. The tanzanite stands for:
- Profound wisdom
Gem meaning tanzanite
Tanzanite comes originally from Tanzania. However, initially people thought tanzanite was a variety of sapphire. Tanzanite became famous to the public thanks to Tiffany & Co. who put the gemstone in jewelry.
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