What the Birthstone?! – BABES & BABIES
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What the Birthstone?!

What's the December birthstone? What are the October birthstones? Why do some months have multiple birthstones?

In this article, we'll elaborate on why months have birthstones associated with them, which months are represented by which stone, why some months have a couple or several birthstones, and more!

Birthstone Chart 

 

Why do some months have a couple - or few - birthstones?

Normally, each month is associated with a birthstone, though some months have multiple birthstones (e.g., December birthstone, anyone?) to allow more affordable options in addition to the traditional more expensive stones.

So-called modern birthstones were introduced in the early 1900s. The modern list includes transparent gems. Most people regard the traditional and modern lists as equally favorable and choose among multiple birthstones, when applicable, based on their preference.


January – Garnet
View all garnet / red-colored jewelry→

 

red birthstones

When people think garnet, typically we think red, albeit garnet can be found in almost any color! Garnet consists of varieties to choose from.

Color: Mostly red; sometimes lighter red and even any other color.

Major Sources: Brazil, India, Madagascar, and the United States.

Garnet is both the modern and traditional birthstone for January.


February – Amethyst
View all amethyst / purple-colored jewelry→

amethyst
purple birthstone

Amethyst is a popular quartz that ranges from a lilac to deep purple or ruddy purple. It's hardy and used by crystal-lovers and jewelry aficionados all over the world. . It has a relatively high hardness of 7, which means it’s very scratch resistant. The February birthstone makes a fine gem for any kind of jewelry.

Color: Pale purple to deep purple or ruddy purple; risks fading in direct sunlight.

Major Sources: Brazil and Uruguay

Amethyst is the modern and traditional birthstone for February.


March – Aquamarine
View all aquamarine / blue-colored jewelry→

march

Aquamarine is a blue or blue-green gem among the beryl family. Blue like seawater, the deeper the blue, the more valuable, although in this modern era, many are treated to have a more intense blue.

Color: Blue or blue-green.

Major sources: Brazil, Madagascar, the United States, Australia, India

While Aquamarine is the modern birthstone for March, bloodstone is the traditional option. However, aquamarine is more popular.


April – Diamond
View all diamond and diamond-resembling (e.g., zircon) jewelry→

diamond
diamond birthstone

As you may know, diamonds are the most popular gemstone in the world, loved for their shimmer and purity.

Color: Colorless, gray, shades of yellow, brown, pink, green, orange, lavender, and even black and blue.

Major Sources: South Africa, Brazil, Venezuela, Russia, Australia

Diamond is both the modern and traditional birthstone for April


May – Emerald
View all emerald jewelry→

green birthstone
green jewel

Emerald has been synonymous with the color green since ancient times. A fine emerald is a truly breathtaking sight, and this member of the beryl family deserves its placement among the traditional “Big Four” gems, along with diamond, ruby, and sapphire.

Color: Deep to medium green, blueish green.

Major Sources: Colombia, Brazil, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Madagascar, and Nigeria

Emerald is both the modern and traditional birthstone for May.


June – Pearl
View all pearl jewelry→

pearls

Pearls are the only gems found within living creatures, both salt and freshwater mollusks. However, most pearls on the market today are cultivated or cultured, since they now occur extremely rarely in nature. While pearls require special care, they have an enduring appeal for jewelry, particularly as the traditional June birthstone.

Color: Pearl color is the result of a body color and an overtone color or orient present as a lustrous sheen. The orient is the color seen as reflected by a diffuse light source. The rest of the color is due to the body color.

Sources: Occurs naturally worldwide (but rarely); most pearls are cultivated.

Alexandrite is the modern birthstone for June. Pearl is the traditional birthstone. Cultivated pearls are far more attainable than alexandrites, so consumers frequently choose pearls for birthstone jewelry. In contrast, even lab-created alexandrite is expensive!


July – Ruby
View all ruby jewelry→

ruby

One of the most popular traditional jewelry stones, ruby is exceptionally durable. Its colors — always red — can reach vivid levels of saturation. Fine-quality rubies are some of the most expensive gemstones, with record prices over $1,000,000 per carat.

Color: All varieties of red, from pinkish, purplish, orangey, brownish, to dark red.

Sources: Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Cambodia, Madagascar, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Afghanistan, Nepal, and Vietnam

Ruby is both the modern and traditional birthstone for July.


August – Peridot
View all peridot jewelry→

green

The modern August birthstone, peridot has been prized as a jewelry stone since

ancient times. Always green in color but with considerable variations, a peridot’s particular shade depends on its source. Peridot is the gem variety of the mineral olivine. Its chemical composition includes iron and magnesium, and iron is the cause of its attractive yellowish green colors. The gem often occurs in volcanic rocks called basalts, which are rich in these two elements.

Color: Shades of green

Sources: Egypt, Myanmar, the United States, Norway, Mexico, Sri Lanka, Kenya, and Australia

You’ll usually find peridot listed as the modern August birthstone. However, spinel is another modern option. Sardonyx is the traditional August birthstone. Peridot is the most popular of these gems.


September – Sapphire
View all sapphire jewelry→

sapphire

Few gems have held our attention over millennia as well as sapphire. Its pure blue colors and excellent durability make it an exceptional gemstone. However, not all sapphires are blue. The September birthstone comes in many colors.

Color: Colorless, white, gray, blue, blue-green, green, violet, purple, orange, yellow, yellow-green, brown, golden amber, peachy pink, pink, black. May show color zoning.

Sources: Sri Lanka, Kashmir, Australia, Myanmar, Thailand, and the United States.

Sapphire is both the modern and traditional birthstone for September.


October – Opal
View all opal jewelry→

opal gem

Opals are in a class by themselves. As a species, opal is so unique its patterns have their own descriptive vocabulary. More than any other gem, each opal is distinctly individual. Opals are also the most delicate gemstones commonly worn and require special care.

Color: Colorless, white, yellow, orange, and red (various shades), yellowish brown, greenish, blue, gray, black, violet.

Sources: Australia, Brazil, Czech Republic, Ethiopia, Honduras, Indonesia, Mexico, Poland, Tanzania, and the United States.

Tourmaline is the modern gem for October, and it rivals all others in terms of color! It comes in vast color combinations and possibilities.


November – Citrine
View all citrine jewelry→

november

Citrine is the yellow to red-orange variety of crystalline quartz. Clever marketing and the rise of “earth tone” fashions have made this durable and readily available gem a popular modern birthstone in recent years.

Color: Yellow to red-orange, also deep orange and orangey brown.

Sources: Bolivia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Madagascar, Mexico, Myanmar, Namibia, Peru, Russia, South Africa, the United States, and Zambia.

Topaz is the traditional November birthstone. Before the 20th century, all yellow gemstones were called topazes. Since then, gemology has recognized topaz as a distinct gem species that can actually occur in many colors. Golden topaz is now a modern birthstone option. However, citrine is a more affordable modern option. Even though topaz has a greater hardness (8) than citrine, citrine still makes a more durable ring stone. It has greater resistance to breaking than topaz. Both topaz and citrine make wonderful jewelry stones, but citrine is a more popular and practical choice.


December – Blue Zircon
View All Blue Zircon Jewelry→

december

Zircon, by definition, is a gemstone; it differs from cubic zirconia, commonly used as an alternative to diamond jewelry. Zircon gemstones come in a variety of colors. Blue is the most sought-after and popular: Blue zircon is the modern birthstone for December.

Color: Ruddy brown, red, yellow, green, and a slew of other colors 

Sources: Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand, Australia, and Canada.

december gifts

Blue zircon is the most popular modern December birthstone. However, blue topaz and tanzanite are also modern options. Turquoise and lapis lazuli are the traditional birthstones. Since blue is such a popular color for gemstones, any of these choices would look fabulous, but a well-cut blue zircon will really outshine its rivals.

There's much more to learn about birthstones! The above is a mere summation mean to help guide shopping choices. Birthstones are fun when gifting because they add another layer of heartfelt, sentimental touches, calling for celebrating oneself or the lucky giftee. 

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