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Birthstones

Today the commercial jewery industry has effectively blunted any charm or seriousness concerning the relationship between earth materials and the seasonn of one's birth. There was a time when  such relationships, often involving astrological movements, played an important part in daily life. The gemstones featured below are arranged by month. Click on the month you were born to learn the history of your birthstone.

JANUARY BIRTHSTONE

Garnet

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Garnets are beautiful stones with a highly luster and a strong color. In addition to that, gemstone garnets are fairly hard and durable.Garnet, the January birthstone,  signifies trust and eternal friendship and is the perfect gift for a friend. The most common garnet used in today's jewelry are from either almandite or the mixed between pyrope and almandite species, which varies in color from blood red to purplish red. Despite the facts that most commonly seen color of the garnet is red, the gemstone garnet can also be found in green, yellow, pink, brown, orange, or even with unusual optical chharacteristic like star garnet or color change garnet. Today, the most important sources for garnet are Mozambique, Tanzania, Brazil, Madagascar, and India.


FEBBRUARY BIRTHSTONE

Amethyst

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Amethyst, the gemstone believed by ancient Greeks and Romans to ward off the intoxicating powers of Bacchus, also is said to keep the wearer clear-headed and quick-witted.  Throughout history, the gemstone has been associated with many myths, legends, religions, and numerous cultures.  English regalia were even decorated with amethysts during the Middle Ages to symbolize royalty. It has been associated with many myths, legends, religions, and numerous cultures. Amethyst is purple quartz, a beautiful blend of violet and red that can found in every corner of the earth. Historically, the finest amethyst were found in Russia and were featured in much royal European jewelry.  Today, while Brazil is the primary source of this gemstone, fine material can be found elsewhere, especially in Zambia.

 

MARCH BIRTHSTONE

The two birthstones for March are aquamarine and bloodstone.

Aquamarine

The name aquamarine is derived from the Latin word aqua, meaning water, and marina, meaning the sea.  This gemstone was believed to protect sailors, as well as to guarantee a safe voyage.  The serene color of aquamarine is said to cool the temper, allowing the wearer to remain calm and levelheaded.  Its pale, cool color beautifully complements spring and summer wardrobes.  Aquamarine is most often light in tone and ranges from greenish blue to blue-green; the color usually is more intense in larger stones.  This gemstone is mined mainly in Brazil, but also is found in Nigeria, Madagascar, Zambia, Pakistan, and Mozambique.

Bloodstone

The second birthstone for March is bloodstone, a dark-green jasper flecked with vivid red spots of iron oxide.  This ancient stone was used by the Babylonians to make seals and amulets and was believed to have healing powers — especially for blood disorders.  It is sometimes called the martyr's stone as legend tells that it was created when drops of Christ's blood stained some jasper at the foot of the cross.  Generally found embedded in rocks or in riverbeds as pebbles, primary sources for this stone are India, Brazil, and Australia.


APRIL BIRTHSTONE

Diamond

As the April birthstone, diamonds are the ideal gift for a loved one.  And now you have more choices than ever. Get creative and give the ultimate gift of beauty: a fancy-color diamond. Fancy-color diamonds are natural, rare and truly exotic gem of the earth.  Diamonds in hues of yellow, red, pink, blue, and green range in intensity from faint to vivid and generally the more saturated the color, the higher the value. In fact, diamonds sparkling with intense color are rare and may be priced higher than a colorless diamond of equal size.  Because fancy-color diamonds are very desirable, color is sometimes introduced in a laboratory. These are correctly called color-treated diamonds. When purchasing a fancy-color diamond, the shopper should ask if any enhancements or treatments were used to improve its color and/or clarity.


MAY BIRTHSTONE

Emerald

As the birthstone for May, the emerald, a symbol of rebirth, is believed to grant the owner foresight, good fortune, and youth. Emerald, derived from the word smaragdus, meaning green in Greek, was mined in Egypt as early as 330 B.C. Today, most of the world’s emeralds are mined in Colombia, Brazil, Afghanistan, and Zambia. The availability of high-quality emerald is limited; consequently, treatments to improve clarity are performed regularly.


JUNE BIRTHSTONE

June counts three gems as birthstones, pearl, Alexandrite, and moonstone.

Pearl

Historically, pearls have been used as an adornment for centuries.  They were one of the favorite gem materials of the Roman Empire; later in Tudor England, the 1500s were known as the pearl age.  Pearls are unique as they are the only gems from living sea creatures and require no faceting or polishing to reveal their natural beauty. In the early 1900s, the first successful commercial culturing of round saltwater pearls began. Since the 1920s, cultured pearls have almost completely replaced natural pearls in the market.

Alexandrite

A relatively modern gem, Alexandrite, was first discovered in Russia in 1831 during the reign of its namesake, Czar Alexander II, and is an extremely rare chrysoberyl with chameleon-like qualities.  Its color is a lovely green in both daylight and fluorescent light; it changes color to a purplish red in incandescent light.  Due to its rarity, some jewelers stock synthetic versions of this enchanting gemstone.  (Synthetic gemstones are man-made alternatives to the natural material, possessing the same physical, optical, and chemical properties as the natural gemstone.)

Moonstone

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The third birthstone for June is the Moonstone.  It was given its name by the Roman natural historian Pliny, who wrote that moonstone's appearance altered with the phases of the moon — a belief that held until well after the sixteenth century.  A phenomenal gemstone, moonstones show a floating play of light (called adularescence) and sometimes show either a multirayed star or a cat's eye. Considered a sacred stone in India, moonstones often are displayed on a background of yellow (a sacred color) and are believed to encapsulate within the stone a spirit whose purpose is to bring good fortune.  Part of the family of minerals called feldspar, moonstone occurs in many igneous and metamorphic rocks and comes in a variety of colors such as green, blue, peach, and champagne. The most prized moonstones are from Sri Lanka; India, Australia, the United States, Mayanmar, and Madagascar are also sources.


JULY BIRTHSTONES

Rubies. Passing on to the occurrence of the corundum gems we will consider first the ruby. Most fine rubies come from Burmah. The district in which they are found is near Mogok. Practically all the fine pigeon-blood rubies come from this district. The fashion for red stones being for the time little in evidence rubies are not now in great demand. This cessation of demand can hardly be laid to the competition of the scientific ruby, for the sapphire is now very much in vogue, yet scientific sapphires resemble the natural ones even more closely than do the rubies.

 

Siam furnishes a considerable number of dark toned rubies. These do not command high prices. They are, however, sometimes very beautiful, especially when well cut for brilliancy, and when in a strong light.

 

Ceylon produces a few rubies and a few red corundums have been found in North Carolina.

 

The Burmese rubies appear to have been formed in a marble matrix, but most of those obtained are gotten from the stream beds, where they have been carried by water after weathering out from the mother rock.

 

The rubies of Ceylon, too, probably originated in a mable host, but are sought in stream gravels.

 


NOVEMBER BIRTHSTONES

Two gems are appropriate for November birthdays - Topaz and Citrine.

Topaz

Topaz is a gemstone available in a rich rainbow of colors. Prized for several thousand years in antiquity, all yellow gems in antiquity were called topaz. Often confused with citrine quartz (yellow) and smoky quartz (brown), quartz and topaz are separate and unrelated mineral species. The most prized color of topaz is called Imperial topaz after the Russian Czars of the 1800s and features a magnificent orange body color with pinkish undertones. Topaz also comes in yellow, pink, purple, orange, and the many popular blue tones.

Citrine

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Citrine, the other birthstone for November is known as the "healing quartz". This golden gemstone is said to support vitality and health while encouraging and guiding hope, energy and warmth within the wearer. Citrine can be found in a variety of shades ranging from pastel yellow to dark brownish orange. It is one of the most affordable of gemstones and plentiful in nature. Citrine is found most frequently in Brazil, Bolivia, and Spain.

 

DECEMBER BIRTHSTONES

The three birthstones associated with December are Tanzanite, Zircon, and Turquoise

Tanzanite

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Discovered in the late 1960s in Tanzania, and found exclusively in this tiny area of the world, tanzanite exhibits a rich violet-blue color for which the gemstone is treasured; often it is heat-treated to achieve this color.  Colors range from blue to purple, and tanzanites that are medium dark in tone, vivid in saturation, and slightly violet blue command premium prices.  As tanzanite can be less expensive than sapphire, it often was purchased as an alternative.  However, it has increased in popularity and now is valued more for its own beauty and brilliance than as a sapphire substitute.

Zircon

Derived from the Arabic words zar and gun, meaning gold and color, zircon is found in a wide range of colors such as: blue, yellow, orange, brown, green, colorless, and red (the most prized color). For many years colorless zircon was used to imitate diamonds.  Folk wisdom grants zircon the power to relieve pain, whet the appetite, protect travelers from disease and injury, to ensure a warm welcome, and to prevent nightmares guaranteeing a deep, tranquil sleep.  Major sources of zircon are the Chanthaburi area of Thailand, the Palin area of Cambodia, and the southern part of Vietnam.

Turquoise

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Turquoise was certainly known as early as 3,000 B.C. In fact, there is evidence to suggest that it was used as early as, and even before, the first Egyptian Dynasty, for brace found on the mummy od Queen Zer are said to be set with alternate plaques of cast gold and carved turquoise. In ancient times, when people prized the minerals found in the earth for their color alone, the beautiful blue or greenish blue color of turquoise must have made it one of the earliest gem to be used.

A stone with such a long hitory abounds with lore and superstitution. It is said that turquoise should be given and not bought, as it will then remove any animosity between the parties concerned. Its color is said to indicate the state of the wearer's health, and by its luster to tel if any peril awaits him. Turquoise is also said to arouse sexual passion ans was once supposed to betray the infedility of a wife by changing color. In olden day's it was the horseman's talisman, for it was said that"so long as the rider hath the turquoise with him, his horse will never tire and it will preserve him in any accident and defend him that carries it from untoward and evil casualties"