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BIRTHSTONE INFORMATION

Birthstone jewelry is a cherished tradition dating back many centuries, and at Mrs. Gottrocks we have plenty to choose from. Here is some information about the Birthstones for each month of the year, and please feel free to browse our selection of Gemstone Jewelry in our Ballerina Cowgirl Fine Jewelry and Gifts Catalog.

January | February | March | April | May | June
July | August | September | October | November | December

In The News - Tanzanite Designated Additional December Birthstone

Birthstone History and Folklore


JANUARY    Modern Birthstone: Garnet   Traditional Birthstone: Garnet

Garnet: January's birthstone is a symbol of faith, constancy, truth and fidelity. Legend had it that Garnets eliminated sadness and depression. The Garnet is a family of gems, rather than a single gemstone. Most commonly used birthstone Garnets are the orangey red, brownish red, and deep red almandine and pyrope Garnets. A new, popular addition is the rhodolite Garnet, which has a pink or violetish-red hue like a glass of rose wine. In addition to rhodolite Garnets, Garnets also come in stunning shades of green, orange and gold. Back to Top

 

FEBRUARY   Modern Birthstone: Amethyst    Traditional Birthstone: Amethyst

Amethyst: Legend has it that in ancient Rome a beautiful maiden, Amethyst, was turned into a pillar of white stone to save her from a vengeful god. Regretting his vengeance, the god of wine poured the juice of a grape over the stone maiden, creating Amethyst. Once thought to protect you from becoming intoxicated, this beautiful deep purple member of the quartz family is familiar as February's birthstone. Amethyst and Citrine, both a type of quartz, are basically the same stone, and Amethyst is often heat treated to change the color to the lovely golden colors of Citrine. Back to Top

 

MARCH    Modern Birthstone: Aquamarine    Traditional Birthstone: Bloodstone

Aquamarine: Latin for "sea water," which perfectly describes this refreshing stone used for March's birthstone, Aquamarines are often heat treated to permanently bring out the blue hues and diminish the sea green color in the stones. Whichever shade you prefer, the ancient Greeks were right when they said this stone aptly captures the true spirit of the sea. Aquamarines are the mineral Beryl, as are Emeralds, and like Emeralds, they are somewhat delicate and should be set and worn with care, avoiding temperature extremes and sharp impacts.

Bloodstone: A type of quartz, this rich, dark green opaque stone with red spots was thought during the Middle Ages to have special magical powers. Some believed that the red spots were the blood of Christ, and that the stones had healing powers, or could be used to call a tempest from the sky. While no longer as popular, Bloodstones are still admired and worn by those born in March. Back to Top

 

APRIL   Modern Birthstone: Diamond    Traditional Birthstone: Diamond

Diamond: The word Diamond is from "adamas", Greek for "unconquerable," and there is nothing that compares to the hardness of a Diamond. In the ancient world, April's birthstone was the emblem of fearlessness and invincibility. Courage, strength and fortitude were attributes given to the wearer of Diamonds, and Diamonds were considered to be a man's stone. The giving of a Diamond as an engagement ring to a woman is a relatively new tradition, but people have been wearing them as birthstones for far longer. Back to Top

 

MAY    Modern Birthstone: Emerald    Traditional Birthstone: Emerald

Emerald: The birthstone for May was believed to have special powers to improve a person's psychic abilities. Emerald, the color of envy, would help reveal the truth of a lover's words. Emerald is a garden of delights; indeed, the Emerald usually has a garden of included crystals trapped within it. Emeralds are always in vogue and always held in the highest esteem, so much so that the stepped, square shape they are often given has become known as "the Emerald cut." Back to Top

 

JUNE    Modern Birthstone: Pearl    Traditional Birthstone: Alexandrite

Pearl: Pearls have been treasured for centuries by the emperors, kings and queens of the world. The Roman Emperor Nero had pearl couches built for his paramours, Cleopatra won a bet with Marc Anthony by consuming crushed Pearls, and they have been known as a symbol of purity and chastity. Queen Elizabeth I was literally studded with them. The discovery of the process to culture Pearls around the turn of the century made them affordable for everyone to enjoy, and now they are a staple of most fashion wardrobes.

Alexandrite: Named for Czar Alexander II of Russia, Alexandrite is a very precious stone indeed. Fine Alexandrites exhibit a color change from green in daylight to red in artificial light, and are extremely expensive. These days, most people either choose to use the Pearl, a small affordable Alexandrite, or to use a beautiful synthetic color-change sapphire which mimics the qualities of Alexandrite at a fraction of the cost. Extreme care should be taken wearing Alexandrites, to protect them from temperature extremes and sharp impacts. Back to Top

 

JULY    Modern Birthstone: Ruby    Traditional Birthstone: Ruby

Ruby: Passion and power, affection and majesty were represented by ruby stones in ancient times. So much so, that soldiers believed that carrying one made them invincible. Rubies were also associated with mythical creatures like the Dragon. Rubies are the mineral corundum, which is second only to Diamond in hardness. Corundum, by the way, is also known as sapphire. A red corundum is called a Ruby, while a pinkish color and all other colors are called Sapphire. Back to Top

 

AUGUST    Modern Birthstone: Peridot    Traditional Birthstone: Sardonyx

Peridot: The ancients called Peridot "the Gem of the Sun," and when it was set in gold, it was believed that Peridot could chase away evil spirits and dissolve curses. The word Peridot comes from the Arabic "faridat," which means gem. Once thought to bring happiness in marriage and the power of eloquence in speech, other cultures believed that it had the power to cure asthma and fend off a fever's thirst. Peridots range in color from a beautiful light yellow-green to an intense grass green to a deep olive green.

Sardonyx: Agate comes in many layered forms, and the one with a brown base and a white top layer is called Sardonyx. Used by skilled artisans to make cameos, official and royal seals, and intaglio (reversed cameo) carvings throughout the centuries, Sardonyx was the traditional August birthstone. Often the more porous light brown layer is dyed dark brown or black, while the white resists the color, making for a more striking cameo or intaglio. So those born in August can choose to wear the cameo as their birthstone. Back to Top

 

SEPTEMBER    Modern Birthstone: Sapphire    Traditional Birthstone: Sapphire

Sapphire: The fact that Sapphire was often thought to be a remedy for various ailments, poisons, melancholy and disorders might account for its popularity today. The variety of colors makes Sapphire one of the most interesting precious stones - it comes in almost every color of the rainbow. The rich, royal velvet blues have traditionally been the favorite color, but unusual colors like the pinkish-orange (the padparadscha) can be the more expensive. Sapphire is the mineral corundum, and all colors except the deep reds are called Sapphires. The truly red corundums are called...Ruby! Sapphires can exhibit color change (from one color to another depending on the light) and have inclusions which, when properly cut, can make stars appear on the surface of the stones. Back to Top

 

OCTOBER    Modern Birthstone: Opal    Traditional Birthstone: Tourmaline

Opal: Shakespeare called it the "Queen of Gems," Arab cultures believed that Opals fell from heaven in flashes of lightening, and other ancient cultures thought Opals were good fortune and banished evil spirits. More modern superstitions were begun in Victorian times when the first popular novel for women featured a heroine who paid the price for her deeds, and who also owned a fabulous opal - thus starting the rumor that it was bad luck to own an Opal if it wasn't a gift or your birthstone. We know better now, and the phenomenal pattern of Opals dazzle their owners with flashes of beautiful color and light. Opals require special care when cleaning (use mild soapy water and rinse thoroughly) and require protection from impact.

Tourmaline: Only known since the 18th century, the mineral Tourmaline was a favorite of Dutch children before its gem nature was established, because it has a unique electrical property. Tourmaline today may tend to attract dust in the hot lights of a jewelers case, but in the jewelry box at home the rich shades of pink, raspberry reds, teal blues, yellows and watermelon greens will bring beautiful variety to your jewelry selections. Due to the way the crystals grow, it is not unusual to find bi-colored Tourmaline. Back to Top

 

NOVEMBER    Modern Birthstone: Yellow Topaz    Traditional Birthstone: Citrine

Topaz: Legend has it that Topaz was first discovered on an ancient, mysterious island in the Red Sea called Topazos. The stone was carefully guarded, and those who attempted to approach the island were put to death. Today, anyone can own a Topaz, and they come in several beautiful colors, of which the yellow shades have come to represent November birth. Sherry Topaz catches the light like sherry wine in a crystal glass, and the Imperial Topaz is a reddish-orange color and considered to be the finest shade available.

Citrine: Because good quality Yellow Topaz can be so expensive, many people still prefer the glorious sun colors of the quartz known as Citrine for their November birthstone. Citrine and Amethyst are basically the same stone, and when temperatures change dramatically during formation, you can find one changing to the other in mid-growth. Bi-color specimens are cut and called Ametrines. Citrines come in many shades of gold and yellow, and are particularly stunning when set in yellow gold metal. Back to Top

 

DECEMBER    New Birthstone as of 2002: Tanzanite    Modern Birthstone: Blue Topaz, Turquoise
Traditional Birthstone: Blue Zircon

Tanzanite: Discovered in 1969 and then only by accident, this incredibly gorgeous gemstone was introduced and named by Tiffany & Co. in the 1970's and is now one of America's most popular gemstones. Legend has it that in its plain state as the orangy brown form of the mineral Zoisite, it was virtually ignored by miners seeking rubies and other gemstones. Then by accident, a piece was thrown into the fire instead of the rock pile, and the heat brought forth the incredible violet blue color. The color was stable, not changing when the stone cooled, and that discovery sent every miner in the region searching through their discarded rock piles in search of more. Tanzanite comes in different saturations - from a light hint of color to the deep color of the most expensive stones. In any depth of color it is a beautiful stone with a wonderfully "colorful" history.

Turquoise: December's birthstone is rich with legend and folklore, from ancient Turkish culture, to the Spanish explorers who settled the American southwest, to the modern American Indian cultures. It was believed to fade when danger or illness is near, or when a lover was unfaithful. In other cultures it was a harbinger of good fortune, success and health. Turquoise can be set in gold or silver, alone or with other stones to produce an unlimited number of design possibilities.

Blue Topaz: In antiquity, all yellow, green and brown gemstones were called "Topaz". Today we know which stones are which, and that one of the most beautiful true Topaz colors is blue. Different shades of Topaz are given names like Sky Blue, Swiss Blue and London Blue, and there is a Topaz shade to please most everyone. Because blue Topaz can be faceted into a sparkling gemstone unlike Turquoise, and its depth of color can be more intense than Zircon, some people prefer it for their December birthstone jewelry.

Blue Zircon: Zircon has been known since antiquity and comes in colorless, yellow, brown, orange, red violet, blue and green shades. The blue shades were the traditional birthstone for December, and many people prefer the stunning, Diamond-like refractive quality of Zircon over the more subtle Blue Topaz.

More Info On Turquoise from the US Geological Survey

Tantalizing Turquoise - An article by Smithsonian Magazine

The Truth About Turquoise - An Article by Charlotte Berney

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