The birthstones names we currently consider to be symbolic of each month were not always associated with those months. At first, they were linked to the 12 precious stones that the High Priest of the Israelites wore on his breastplate, as described in Exodus.
In the past, when a birthstone's color was what made it unique, a ruby and a garnet were almost the same in terms of what they meant.
Also, old names for stones may not have any connection to the stones we associate with those names now.
- Most likely, lapis was the ancient name for a sapphire.
- White sapphires or topaz probably stood in for diamonds.
COPYRIGHT_BER: Published on https://www.bernardine.com/birthstones-names/ by Barbara Mitchell on 2022-09-07T04:19:09.234Z
People often wear gemstones, known as birthstones, corresponding to the month they were born. The emerald is the birthstone for May. That's why emerald is the traditional birthstone for May babies.
Designating a specific gemstone as the "birthstone for a particular month" and wearing it as a piece of jewelry dates back to the seventeenth century in Europe and swiftly caught on in the United States.
American jewelers began using a uniform list of birthstones each month after the American National Retail Jeweler's Association (now known as Jewelers of America) formalized the practice in 1912. Even now, in the United States, birthstone jewelry is often worn.
Historically, birthstones go back to the Bible. According to Exodus (28:17-20), the prophet Aaron's breastplate was adorned with twelve precious stones. The text states, "There were twelve stones, one for each of the names of the sons of Israel," suggesting that each of the twelve tribes of Israel had its stone.
It wasn't long before the 12 Zodiac signs, and their corresponding gemstones were as synonymous as the months of the year. In the early 1900s, the twelve stones that represent the months of the year were made official by the National Association of Jewelers.
People often give birthstones as presents on special occasions like birthdays, holidays, and anniversaries. We'll soon examine each kind of stone's purported significance and unique qualities.
It was wise to establish a uniform list of birthstones in 1912. This helped eliminate disagreements between groups and individuals over which gemstones should symbolize specific months as birthstones.
However, the list has been updated numerous times since 1912, and several other "birthstone lists" are still in circulation today. Thankfully, there are only a few major differences among the various lists used in the US and UK.
It is generally agreed that the following stones were added to the original list:
- Tourmaline was added as an August birthstone to give people color choices beyond yellowish-green peridot
- Spinel joined opal as an October birthstone to provide greater durability and the option of a faceted stone
- Lapis lazuli was replaced by zircon and tanzanite after its discovery in 1967.
The Gemological Institute of America released its official list in its most recent edition.
Garnet is the birthstone for January and comes in a wide range of hues and variations. Green (tsavorite and demantoid), orange (spessartine and hessionite), purple (rhodolite), yellow (mali and topazolite), or red (almandine and pyrope) are the most common colors (melanite).
There are even opaque garnets, often cut as cabochons (pink hydrogrossular and green grossularite).
Amethyst is the most common purple gem in the world, contributing to its popularity as a birthstone. Amethyst may be so light that it is scarcely visible or so black that a faceted gem is practically impenetrable.
The gorgeous reddish purple amethyst exhibited here is from the Four Peaks Mine in Maricopa County, Arizona.
Aquamarine is the blue form of the mineral beryl. It comes in a variety of shades, ranging from a slightly greenish blue to a virtually pure blue tint.
The most popular aquamarines are those that are vividly colored and have the clearest blue tone. Many individuals choose light-colored stones since they are less expensive.
Another gem that is a March birthstone is bloodstone. It is an opaque green chalcedony with red and other colors splashed across it. For at least two thousand years, it has been a favorite gemstone. Bloodstone is a popular and long-lasting gemstone used in men's rings, cufflinks, and tie tacks.
Diamond is the April birthstone and one of the most popular stones in the world. Diamonds are valued for their brilliance and dispersion, or a gem's capacity to function as a prism and split light into its component hues.
When money is an issue, many individuals choose a smaller stone, while others prefer a lab-grown diamond.
The birthstone for the month of May is emerald. It is the mineral beryl in its green form. Emeralds may be expensive, and they sometimes lack the high degree of clarity that many people want. As a result, lab-grown emeralds have become a popular choice for birthstone jewelry.
Pear is a natural gem and the traditional birthstone for June. Pearls are classified into three types: natural, cultivated, and imitation. Most jewelry shops carry pearl jewelry, which is usually made with farmed pearls.
A white South Sea pearl, a black Tahitian pearl, and a gold South Sea pearl are seen in the shot.
Alexandrite is a chrysoberyl color-change variation that looks differently in daylight and incandescent lighting. Natural alexandrite with excellent color and clarity is a very costly stone, however lab-created alexandrite is widely available in jewelry shops.
A 26.75 carat faceted specimen of color-changing alexanderite from Tanzania is seen here, with a blue-green tint in daylight and a purple-red color under incandescence.
When light penetrates the stone and is reflected by mineral layers inside the gem, the moonstone generates a "pearly" shine. Moonstone is often white or gray in hue, with a white or silvery shine reminiscent of the moon.
Rare moonstones emit a blue or multicolored light and are referred to as "rainbow moonstones."
Ruby is the July birthstone and the most popular red jewel in the world. Pure crimson and slightly purplish-red are the most attractive and precious hues.
Natural rubies have traditionally been costly jewels, but new discoveries in Africa have brought many gorgeous natural rubies to the market at reasonable costs. In the United States, lab-grown ruby is quite frequent in jewelry retailers.
Peridot is a gem variety of the mineral group olivine. It has a yellowish-green tint and is one of the most popular and cheap green gems in the world. Some peridot is deposited on Earth in meteorites. Customers may find it in practically any jewelry shop.
The American Gem Trade Association and the Jewelers of America selected spinel a birthstone for the month of August in July 2016. Spinel exists in every hue of the spectrum.
Thus, persons born in August are no longer confined to yellowish-green peridots. Spinel is an exceptionally strong and tough stone that may be used in any jewelry style.
Sardonyx is included as a birthstone for August on certain (but not all) lists. Sardonyx is a chalcedony banded variation with straight, parallel bands of white, black, orange, red, or brown chalcedony.
Sardonyx is used to create some of the most stunning cabochons and beads. Cameos have been used in jewelry for over 2000 years.
Yogo Gulch in Montana is noted for producing some of the world's finest sapphires. If you know someone born in September who resides in Montana, a Yogo sapphire might be the ideal birthstone present.
Corundum comes in a variety of hues and may be termed "sapphire" whether it is pink, orange, green, purple, yellow, or any combination of these.
Opal is the original contemporary birthstone for October. Some call it the world's most colorful jewel since a single stone can exhibit the whole color spectrum. Opal comes in a variety of forms, including fire opals and honeycomb opals. Lab-grown opals are now available in numerous jewelry retailers.
Tourmaline was introduced to most birthstone lists in 1952, however, it was not originally a birthstone for October. People born in October have the choice of a bright faceted stone that is more durable than opal. A collection of faceted tourmalines of different hues is seen in the following photograph.
Topaz has a Mohs hardness of 8 and is a fairly durable stone. It may be found in a variety of natural and treated hues, including blue, pink, purple, yellow, brown, orange, and colorless. Blue topaz is the most common hue of topaz offered in jewelry today. Topaz may also be coated to make iridescent stones known as "mystic topaz."
Citrine is the world's best-selling yellow to orange gem. It is from Brazil and was included in most birthstone lists in 1952. Citrine is not as common in jewelry shops as blue topaz, but with a little digging, you should be able to locate it.
The most popular hue is bright blue turquoise. It is a mineral that ranges from blue to blue-green to yellowish green and has been used as a gemstone for thousands of years.
Because it is opaque, it is frequently cut into cabochon forms, which are often freeform to make use of the rough, rather than calibrated shapes and sizes.
Another gem that is a birthstone for the month of December is zircon. Zircon allows the consumer to choose from a range of hues. The majority of natural zircons are yellow, red, or brown, but heat and irradiation treatments may change them to blue, green, and a variety of other hues.
Tanzanite was added to the list of contemporary birthstones in 2002. Tanzania was the first nation to find diamonds in the 1960s.
Its hue is unusual in that it varies depending on the viewing angle. Violet-blue tanzanite measuring 7 x 5 x 3 millimeters and weighing 1.02 carats is seen here.
How Gemstones/Birthstones Got Their Names
Pearl and Alexandrite are the official birthstones for June birthdays. In jewelry, pearls have been coveted for generations due to their innate elegance.
Since then, not much has changed about the traditional list of birthstones, but a few businesses have attempted to insert their jewels onto the list to increase sales. Several zodiac signs have birthstones that go with them. For example, the sign of Gemini has its own birthstone.
Throughout the year, each month is represented by a different gemstone: a garnet in January, an amethyst in February, an aquamarine in March, a diamond in April, an emerald in May, an alexandrite in June, a ruby in July, a peridot in August, a sapphire in September, a tourmaline in October, a topaz in November, a blue topaz in December.
The names of birthstones and the vibrant hues they are known for have long been used to associate a specific month with a particular gemstone. They make a thoughtful present for a mom, a friend, a partner, or family on any occasion.
Now is an excellent time to buy your birthstone if you've been thinking about doing so.