Color, Cut & Clarity
How to Choose
Introduction - Modern Birthstones
On August 12, 1912, the American National Retail Jewelers' Association adopted a standard list of birthstones, changing some of the traditional birthstones to other more commercially viable gems. In 1938 the American Gem Society also adopted this list, with the addition of Citrine, for it's members' use. In 1952 the American National Retail Jewelers Association, The National Jewelers Association, and the American Gem Society all approved this list, thereby creating the official list of Modern Birthstones as follows:
January - Garnet
Garnet represents friendship, passion, love and devotion.
Legend holds that Noah hung a large garnet in the ark for illumination. It reportedly give its wearer guidance in the night, protection from nightmares. Garnets are found in the U.S., Africa, Sri Lanka, Brazil and India.
February - Amethyst
Symbolizes sobriety, peace, protection, and tranquility.
The Greeks believed that it would prevent intoxication when worn. The amethyst has also symbolized peace, protection and tranquility. It is mainly found in Brazil, Uruguay and Zambia.
March - Aquamarine
It is the universal symbol of hope, youth, and health.
In ancient times, the stone was said to aid seafarers. To dream of an aquamarine signifies the making of new friends; to wear aquamarine earrings brings love and affection. It is the universal symbol of youth, hope and health. The aquamarine is mainly found in Brazil, Nigeria, Madagascar, Zambia and Ukraine.
April - Diamond
Diamond symbolizes power, purity, strength, committment, health.
Discovered about 2,500 years ago in India, the ancients believed they were splinters from the stars, or maybe crystallized lightening or hardened dew drops.
May - Emerald
Symbolizes Fidelity, goodness, love, faithfulness.
The emerald was thought to cure a wide range of ailments, including low IQ, poor eyesight and infertility, it also enabled the wearer to predict the future. They are characterized by a garden of included crystals trapped within, known as the "jardin". Emeralds are found mainly in Columbia, Brazil, Zimbabwe and Zambia.
June - Pearl / Alexandrite
Symbolizes wisdom. wealth, faith, knowledge and innocence.
Pearls are composed of organically generated Calcium Carbonate (Aragonite). A shellfish, usually an oyster, deposits the calcium carbonate around an irritant such as sand grain to create a perl. The most valuable are salt water pearls, perfectly round and pure white or pure black. They occur in a myriad of shapes, sized, and colors from pure white to pink, cream, champagn, (yellowish), greenish, bluish, grey, and black. Pearls are very soft, and tend to decompose after about 150 years. Most modern pearls are "farmed" by introducing an irritant into an oyster, and most are chemically treated to enhance colors.
Alexandrite is considered important for gamblers. When worn near the heart it is to bring luck in love, and said to have a positive effect on the nervous system and glandular system.
Alexandrite is best known for its color change from greens- blues in daylight to reds/purples in incandescent light. It was named after Czar Alexander II of Russia as it was found on his 21st birthday. Because of the luck of discovering the gem on the Czar's birthday, it is considered a good luck amulet.
July - Ruby
Symbolizes love, loyalty and stability.
Known as the "Lord of the Gems", the ruby is said to protect their owners from all kinds of misfortune. A fine ruby assured its owner that he would live in harmony with his neighbors. Many ancients believed the ruby possessed an inner flame that burned eternally. Rubies are found in Burma, Thailand, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Tanzania, Cambodia, Afghanistan and India.
August - Peridot
Symbolizes success, peace and luck.
Peridots formed as the result of volcanic action. Tiny Peridot crystals are sometimes found in the black sands of Hawaii. They were considered powerful amulets against all evil and said to be favored by pirates. The Peridot is found in Burma, China and the U.S.
September - Sapphire
Represents Chastity and Hope.
The sapphire was honored by ancient priests and sorcerers for it was said to enable them to foretell the future. Ancients believed the Ten Commandments were written on a sapphire tablet. Sapphire is found in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Cambodia, Burma, Kashmir, Australia, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, China and the US.
October - Opal
Symbolizes Hope and Purity.
Opal has symbolized hope, innocence and purity throughout the ages. Medieval writers believed opal could render its wearer invisible when the need arose. It is though to banish evil spirits and favor children, the theater and friends. Opals are found in Australia, Mexico and the US.
November - Yellow Topaz / Citrine
Symbolizes wisdom, courage, and sincerity.
The Topaz hold the distinction of being the gemstone with the widest range of curative powers. It has been know to change colors in the presence of poison. The Greeks felt it gave them strength. Topaz is found mainly in Brazil, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and China.
Symbolizes self-confidence, healing, endurance, mental clarity.
Citrine is one of the most affordable gemstones, thanks to the durability and availability of this golden quartz. Named from the French name for lemon, "citron," many citrines have a juicy lemon color.
December - Blue Zircon / Turquoise
Symbolizes wisdom, courage, and sincerity.
Blue Zircon is a pastel blue, but some exceptional gems have a bright blue color. Zircon is mined in Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Myanmar, Australia, and other countries.
Symbolizes love, happiness and luck.
In the 16th century, turquoise was used as currency by the Southwest Indians. They believed the gemstone bring everyone good fortune.