Birthstones

I’ve loved collecting and looking at rocks ever since I was a kid, and I spent more time than I’m proud to admit looking through my encyclopedia to learn about all the different birthstones for each month. But now I work with rocks every day, so I guess it paid off!

If you’re like me and you love learning more about your birthstone (or heck, even other pretty rocks that aren’t technically your month), check out the list below!

+ January

Garnet

January babies are lucky to have garnet as their birthstone, because it comes in a ton of different colors. Whether you like warm reds and oranges or bright greens and pinks, garnet’s got you covered. The folklore around garnet says it can bring peace, prosperity, and good fortune, and garnet jewelry dates back to the Bronze Age. Fun fact I just learned while writing this blog: New York also apparently has garnet listed as its official state gem.

View garnet jewelry in the shop.

+ February

Amethyst

February babies get to celebrate their birth month with the gorgeous purple amethyst. A type of quartz, amethysts can be found in shades of light to deep purple. Amethyst is considered to help promote peace, balance, meditation, courage, and inner strength. It has been used in jewelry across history, and it used to be considered a symbol of royalty. Also, there was that whole part where ancient Greeks and Romans believed amethysts could protect the wearer from drunkenness.

View amethyst jewelry in the shop.

+ March

Aquamarine and Bloodstone

While most of us immediately think of aquamarine as the March birthstone, March babies actually get two for their month: aquamarine and bloodstone. The bloodstone has held significance dating way back to ancient times, where some believed it carried healing powers and the ability to grant invisibility to the wearer. Meanwhile, aquamarine was used by sailors who believed the stone would give them safe voyage on the seas. A type of beryl mineral, aquamarine is believed to calm nerves, release fear, and bring mental clarity.

View aquamarine jewelry in the shop.

+ April

Diamond

April babies are blessed with the diamond as their birthstone. Made of carbon, diamonds are the hardest gemstone and have the highest hardness of any natural material. Most natural diamonds are anywhere between 1 and 3.5 billion years old, and some historians believe it could have been traded dating back as far as 4 B.C. Fun fact, Arkansas has claimed diamond as its state gemstone. The only downside to having diamonds for a birthstone is we all know diamonds can be a little bit pricey. So if you’re looking for a great affordable alternative, quartz and Herkimer diamonds are perfect!

View Herkimer diamond and quartz jewelry in the shop.

+ May

Emerald and Chrysoprase

Personally, I’m probably the most jealous of people born in May. Because they get one of my all-time favorites for their birthstone: emeralds! Like aquamarine, emeralds are a variety of beryl minerals, and some of the oldest emeralds are estimated to be 2.97 billion years old. It may have been mined all the way back in Ancient Egypt, and Cleopatra was apparently a huge fan of them, so she and I have that in common. Chrysoprase, a bright green variety of chalcedony, has also been listed as an alternative birthstone for May babies, so you guys get all the awesome green stones!

View chrysoprase jewelry in the shop.

+ June

Pearl, Moonstone, Alexandrite

June babies, what did you do to get so lucky and have three birthstones to choose from? You guys get a range of creamy-colored pearls, flashy moonstones, and color-changing alexandrite. Believed to be the tears of the gods in several ancient cultures, pearls are the only gemstone to be made by living creatures. Thanks, mollusks! They are known for their calming properties and some believe they can aid charity, integrity, truth, and loyalty. Meanwhile, the Romans and Greeks sought after the gorgeous flashing colors in moonstone, as they believed it was associated with lunar deities. In more recent history, Florida adopted moonstone as its state gemstone in 1970, to honor the Apollo 11 moon landing. June babies also get the color-changing alexandrite, which can look anywhere from a blueish green to a pink or purple. It was discovered in the 1800s in Russia, and was named in honor of Czar Alexander II.

View pearl and moonstone jewelry in the shop.

+ July

Ruby and Carnelian

July babies, you get the “king of precious stones” to celebrate your birthday. Rubies can range from anywhere between a light pink to a deep red color, and they’re seen as a symbol of passion, love, and success. Rubies are incredibly durable gemstones, and diamonds are the only natural gemstones harder than a ruby. They have a long history of significance in several ancient cultures, and it’s believed rubies may have been traded along China’s North Silk Road as early as 200 B.C. Carnelian has also been listed as an alternative gemstone for July, so you guys get some amazingly warm-colored stones for your month!

I’m hoping to add some raw ruby pieces to the shop soon but for now, check out the glass ruby and carnelian pieces available in the shop.

+ August

Peridot, Sardonyx, Spinel

August is one of the three months of the year that is represented by three birthstones. The original birthstone was sardonyx, which is a stone created by two types of minerals (sard and onyx -- creative, right?). Each stone has an amazing striped band pattern, and it was used as a stone of strength and protection in ancient times. Peridot was the next stone to become an August birthstone, and it’s probably become the most popular since. It’s bright, lime green color has been found in jewelry dating back to the second millenium B.C., where it was likely found from deposits on small volcanic islands. Rarely, peridot has also been found inside meteorites. Some believe peridot promotes abundance and prosperity, and helps heal stress in relationships. Spinel was the last birthstone to be associated with August, but it’s one of the coolest stones. Spinel stones have a signature octahedral shape, including magnetite, which is one of my favorites. Fun fact, magnetite has magnetic properties and as early as the 11th century, mariners used it to help magnetize their compasses.

View peridot and spinel jewelry in the shop.

+ September

Sapphire and Lapis Lazuli

OK I might be a little bias, but September birthdays get the coolest birthstone of them all. Like rubies, sapphires are some of the hardest gemstones in existence, and they come in a ton of different colors (though it’s primarily associated with its deep blue coloring). People have worn sapphire jewelry dating back to Ancient Greece, and it’s believed to focus the mind, encourage self-discipline, and promote wisdom and loyalty. Sapphire is the state gemstone of Montana and apparently, there’s also an Italian superstition that says sapphires are amulets against eye problems and melancholy. Lapis lazuli has also been used as an alternative birthstone for September, and its rich blue color has been a symbol of royalty and honor across history.

View sapphire and lapis lazuli jewelry in the shop.

+ October

Opal and Tourmaline

Congratulations, October babies, you have a whole kaleidoscope of birthstone colors to choose from! Both October birthstones, opal and tourmaline, come in a wide array of colors. Tourmaline can be anywhere from red and pink to green, blue, and black. Meanwhile, opals come in dozens of varieties and can be found in several places around the world. One thing to note about opals is the stone’s water content. Most opals are composed of between 6 and 10 percent water, and the delicate stone can crack under extreme temperature, dehydration, or direct light. But the extra caution with your opal birthstone is worth it! Across most of history, opals have been believed to bring good luck, though some believe that only applies to October babies. Sorry, the rest of us.

View opal and tourmaline jewelry in the shop.

+ November

Topaz and Citrine

In the middle of cold winter weather, November’s birthstones are bright and sunny. Both topaz and citrine are known for their calming energies and warm honey gold coloring. Most people usually think of topaz as a yellow stone, but it can be created in a range of colors depending on impurities in its environment when it is formed. It has been found in nature around the world, from Russia to Brazil, and it’s also the state gem of Utah. Topaz is believed to help balance emotions and provide protection from greed. While the two November birthstones may look alike, the second stone, citrine, is actually a variety of quartz that can range from pale yellow to vibrant orange. It’s natural yellow hue is rare to find in nature, and most citrine is made by heat-treating other quartz, like purple amethyst or brown smokey quartz. Citrine is believed to promote success, abundance, and clear thinking.

View citrine and topaz jewelry in the shop.

+ December

Tanzanite, Turquoise, Zircon

December babies have some of THE coolest birthstones, all with various shades of blue. One of them is zircon, the oldest mineral on Earth, dating back more than 4.4 billion years. While zircon usually is red or brown in nature, it is often heat-treated until it is colorless, yellow, or blue. Zircon is believed to help induce sleep, ward off evil, and promote prosperity. Meanwhile, turquoise has been around since Ancient Egypt and continues to be one of the most popular gemstones today. It was the first stone in history to be mined and used in jewelry, and the U.S. is currently the world’s largest supplier of this blue-green stone. In fact, it’s also the state gemstone for both Arizona and New Mexico, two of the largest suppliers of turquoise. While zircon and turquoise have long histories of being used in jewelry, tanzanite is relatively new. It was discovered in the 1960s and can only be found in a small area of Tanzania, near Mount Kilimanjaro. It’s gorgeous indigo coloring is one of my favorites but unfortunately, tanzanite might not be around for much longer. Based on its small production area and the amount of mining already done, an independent study suggests the tanzanite deposits could deplete in as soon as 30 years.

View tanzanite and turquoise jewelry in the shop.

Julie Erickson