The Power of Birthstones
Which gem can bring you luck?
And which can help you heal?
Know more about your birthstones here
Let the facts and myths reveal.
What are birthstones?
Certain gemstones are assigned to each month and are believed to be lucky for the people born in those months. Apart from this, there are various effect that these gemstones have on one’s lives which I will be covering in this article as well.
What is the relation between my birth month and a gemstone?
It was seen that different gemstones help different people. It was probably so because these gemstones aligned well with their personalities. And since our personalities are affected by the month and zodiac in which we are born, different gemstones for every month are considered to bring good health and fortune to the people born in those months.
I could go on and on about each gem and would never stop writing this article as there is just so much to say… However, I thought I’d just give you a brief about each gemstone here first and probably will write about each stone extensively in separate articles later.
So Here are 6 Interesting Facts that you need to know about each gemstone! Simply click on the icons below to read (I had to make icons to avoid making this article seem super lengthy) 🙂
*The information provided here is for entertainment and reference purposes only. It is not meant as actual medical information. For advice about any of the illnesses listed, please visit a qualified physician.
Garnet - The January Birthstone.
Origin: – Latin word “Garanatus” meaning “seed like”. This in reference to the fact that a small garnet looks very much like the bright red seeds of the pomegranate fruit.
Colors: – It comes in ALL colors except blue but is most famous for its reddish hues.
Symbolism: – A Garnet is not only the birthstone of January but is also believed to be a stone that celebrates 2nd anniversaries. It is also a symbol of faith, love, friendship, and consistency.
Healing Effects: – Garnet regenerates the body and stimulates the metabolism. It treats disorders of the spine and spinal fluid, bone, cellular structure, and composition, purifies the heart, lungs, blood and regenerates DNA. Garnet boosts the immune system and energy levels as well.
Fun Facts: – The garnet is so durable, remnants of garnet jewelry can be found as far back as the Bronze Age. It was also used as bullets by Hunzas in 1982, as they thought this hard gemstone was deadlier than lead.
How to care for the stone: – You can clean your garnet with warm soapy water and a soft brush. As with other stones, one should take care of the garnet and protect it from sharp blows, harsh temperatures, and chemicals.
Amethyst - The February Birthstone.
Origin: – It comes from a Greek word “amethystos” meaning “not drunken/sober”. In earlier times it was considered to prevent intoxication, because of which Ancient Greeks used to decorate their wine goblets with this gem.
Colors: – It ranges from pinkish to violet to dark purple. Many people incorrectly call green quartz as green amethyst. Deep Russian is one of the best grades.
Symbolism: – It is also the gemstone that celebrated the 6th marriage anniversary. It is said to symbolize deep love, happiness, humility, sincerity, and wealth.
Healing Effects: – It increases creativity, enhances peace of mind, makes one feel calm and relaxed. It is also believed to improve cell regeneration and help get better sleep. It strengthens the body to fight against cancer, eases headaches and releases tension.
Fun Facts: – The Amethyst was once called “The Jewel of Gods” and is today the official gemstone of the Province of Ontario in Canada.
How to care for the stone: – The color of Amethyst may deteriorate by overexposure to sunlight and heat. Avoid any contact with chemicals such as household cleaners or hairspray. To clean, use a soft toothbrush or cloth and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water to gently scrub the stone.
Aquamarine - The March Birthstone.
Origin: – Its name comes from the Latin words for water and sea.
Colors: – Aquamarines come from pale to deep blues and are more commonly known for their blue-green color. The most prized color is the deep-blue aqua color.
Symbolism: – Is it a gemstone for the 19th wedding anniversary gift and a symbol of youth, health, and hope
Healing Effects: – It is said to discourage miscarriage and hence considered highly protective during pregnancy. Aquamarine is helpful to sore throats, swollen glands, and thyroid problems. It regulates hormones and growth and boosts the immune system. It is also said to counteract short-or long-sightedness.
Fun Facts: – In ancient lore, Aquamarine was believed to be the treasure of mermaids, and the sailors used it as a talisman of good luck, fearlessness, and protection.
How to care for the stone: – The best way to clean your aquamarine jewelry is with plain, warm (not hot) soapy water (using mild liquid soap) and an old tooth brush. Avoid contact with cosmetics, hairspray, perfume or household chemicals.
Diamond - The April Birthstone.
Origin: – The name Diamond comes from a Greek word “adamas,” which means invincible or indestructible.
Colors: – The diamonds are graded from color D to Z, where D is the most white. However today many fancy colored diamonds are available in the market as well. Blue diamonds are the rarest and most expensive.
Symbolism: – As a symbol of everlasting love, diamonds are given during engagement and also during the 60th wedding anniversaries.
Healing Effects: – It is said to be an energy amplifier. It detoxifies all our systems, prevents cardiovascular disease, leukemia, and skeletal problems. Diamonds stimulate the glands of the endocrine system, balance metabolism and enhance eyesight.
Fun Facts: – Scientists have discovered a star that is a diamond of ten billion trillion trillion carats!!!! They named the star Lucy after the Beatles song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.” They have also discovered a planet called 55 Cancri e that one-third of pure diamond… Don’t you wish they had thought of a better name for such a glamorous planet, though? 😉
How to care for the stone: – Diamonds and natural grease magnets and can even pick up the oil from your fingers when you touch them. Thus it is important to regularly clean your diamond jewelry in order to keep it sparkling. The best way to clean diamond jewelry is to make a solution with warm water (almost hot) and dishwashing soap. Soak your jewelry for about 20 to 40 minutes, gently brush the stone with a very soft toothbrush, and then rinse under warm running water. If needed, repeat and wipe it with a soft lint free cloth. Make sure that you are gentle and there is no vigorous scrubbing throughout the process.
Emerald - The May Birthstone.
Origin: – The name emerald has been adapted from various modifications of the Latin word “esmeraude” and finally adapted from a Greek word “Smaragdus” meaning “green gem”
Colors: – Emerald is a green gemstone and the increase in the intensity of the color green enhances its value. The best color is vivid green or bluish green with even saturation and no color zoning.
Symbolism: – It is a symbol of rebirth and love and is considered as a celebration stone for the 55th wedding anniversary.
Healing Effects: – It is believed to strengthen memory and treat disorders of the heart, lungs, spine and muscular system. It is said to be the favorite stone of creative people such as artists, actors etc as it fills them with new ideas and energy.
Fun Facts: – The Romans believed that if you wore jewelry studded with emerald beads, cupid would strike in your life soon.
How to care for the stone: – An emerald should never be exposed to high heat. A good rule of thumb is that if the cleaning solution you use is too hot for you to put your hand in, you should not place your emerald in it. Avoid using strong soaps, jewelry cleaner liquids or other cleaners as most of these are not compatible with the oil treatment of Emeralds. Cleaning should be done no more frequently than is necessary, and never more than several times a year. After many years of wear, you may wish to have your Emerald re-oiled. Most local Jewelers can provide this service.
Learn more about Emeralds here.
Pearl - The June Birthstone.
Origin: – The name comes from an old French word “Perle” meaning “leg” possible due to the fact that the bivalve mollusks (in which pearls are found) look like the shape of a Ham’s leg.
Colors: – Pearls come in a variety of colors by white and cream are the most famous ones.
Symbolism: – Pearls symbolize wisdom acquired through experience and is the gemstone of a 30th marriage anniversary celebration.
Healing Effects: – Pearl is said to treat digestive disorders and the soft organs of the body. It relieves conditions of bloating, increases fertility, and eases childbirth.
Fun Facts: – Pearl is the only jewel created by a living animal and it is found only in one of 10,000 oysters.
How to care for the stone: – If you want your pearl to last a lifetime, it is important not to expose it to sunlight, humidity, dryness, wide temperature variations, or acids which can all dull a pearl’s luster. Natural pearls retain their qualities better than cultured pearls. Pearls are also relatively soft and can be marked by scratches and crushed by pressure. Wearing your pearls often is the best way to care for them as the body’s natural oils keep them lustrous. Wipe the pearls with a soft cloth before putting them away.
Learn more about Pearls here.
Ruby - The July Birthstone.
Origin: – The name Ruby comes from the Latin Word “Rubeus” meaning “red.
Colors: – Ir comes in shades of red, including pink. The best color is called “Pigeon Bloodred”.
Symbolism: – A symbol of love, energy, passion, power, and a zest for life, ruby is also the gemstone for 40th wedding anniversary celebrations.
Healing Effects: – Ruby detoxifies the body, blood and lymphatic system. It treats fevers, infectious disease, and restricted blood flow. Ruby stimulates the adrenals, kidneys, reproductive organs and spleen. It is said to remove negative energies and retain wealth and passion.
Fun Facts: – The most expensive ruby ever sold was the “Hope Ruby” which weighs 32.08 carats and sold for $6.74 million.
How to care for the stone: -Since rubies are so hard and durable, they are easy to care for, however it is not recommended to wear a ruby if you are doing any sort of rough work or are using harsh chemicals. Rubies should be stored in a fabric-lined box, away from other pieces of jewelry, as they may scratch other, softer gemstones. When it is time to clean them, you can use soapy water and a brush, or a commercial jewelry cleanser. It is important to rinse the stone thoroughly and dry it, after cleaning it. If you take care of your ruby, it will stay with you, and retain its beauty for many years to come.
Peridot - The August Birthstone.
Origin: – The origin of them name Peridot is uncertain. Some suggest it could have originated from the Arabic word “faridat” meaning gem.
Colors: – Peridot only comes in one color – Green! It’s hues range from yellowish-green to olive-green to even brownish-green.
Symbolism: – It is a gemstone for 16th-anniversary celebration and a reminiscent of spring.
Healing Effects: – Peridot enhances confidence and reduces stress and anger. Peridot strengthens the immune system, metabolism, and benefits the skin. It aids disorders of the heart, thymus, lungs, gallbladder, spleen and intestinal tract. Treats ulcer and strengthens eyes. Balances bipolar disorders and overcomes hypochondria.
Fun Facts: – Peridot has been found in some meteorites, making it one of the few gems known to exist outside of our solar system (Opal is one such gem too).
How to care for the stone: – The best and safest way for you to clean your peridot, is with warm, soapy water. You should take special care of your peridot to ensure that it does not come in contact with drastic temperature changes, which can damage the stone. You should also protect your stone from scratches and sharp blows and avoid any contact with chemicals.
Sapphire - The September Birthstone.
Origin: – The name Sapphire is derived from the Latin word “saphirus” and the Greek word “sapheiros,” both meaning blue.
Colors: – Blue sapphires might be grayish, too light, or too dark when they are of a lesser value. The major fancy sapphire color categories are pink and purple, orange, yellow, green, colorless and even black! The rarest type of sapphire is a pinkish orange variety called padparadscha, a name that comes from the Sanskrit word for lotus flower.
Symbolism: – It is the gemstone of the 5th marriage anniversary celebration and a symbol of wisdom, virtue, good fortune, and holiness for royals.
Healing Effects: – Sapphire treats blood disorders, cellular disorders, regulates the glands and calms overactive body systems.
Fun Facts: – Perhaps the most intriguing type of sapphire is the “color changing” variety. These gemstones show different colors depending on the lighting. They may appear blue in daylight to purple in incandescent light.
How to care for the stone: – Because of their hardness, Sapphires can be cleaned in almost any way. Warm, soapy water is best. You can also try using water with a touch of ammonia in it. If you have a fracture in your sapphire or own a star sapphire, do not use mechanical cleaning methods as a sapphire can shatter with one single blow, if hit sharply. This may be especially risky if the stone has inclusions, which weaken the crystal structure. As with most valuable stones, avoid doing heavy work or coming into contact with chemicals while wearing your stone, as they can damage your settings.
Opal - The October Birthstone (1).
Origin: -Having been first brought from India the name Opal is probably taken from the Sanskrit word “Upala” meaning “precious stone” and later from the Greek derivative “Opallios,” meaning “to see a change of color.”
Colors: – Precious opal is identified by the defining “play of color,” or the way in which colors change within a particular stone as it is rotated and tilted. The “fire opal” is a transparent or translucent opal ranging in color from yellow to orange to bright red.
Symbolism: – Opal is also the gemstone for 14th marriage anniversary celebration.
Healing Effects: – Opal is believed to counteract bad effects and bring prosperity, beauty, love, and romance in life. It strengthens the will to live and treats infections and fevers. Purifying the blood and kidneys, Opal also regulates insulin. It is also said to ease childbirth and alleviates PMS.
Fun Facts: – Opal has been found on Mars! It is one of the few gemstones that have ever been discovered outside of our planet (the other being Peridot from outer space).
How to care for the stone: – Protect your Opal from any scratches or blows. The stones should never be kept in oil or any other chemicals. This may cause them to lose some or all of their fire. Because opals contain some water (as much as 20% water), they should never be stored in a bank or vault for long periods of time because of the dehumidifiers used in many vaults. If opals get too dry, they tend to crack. This phenomenon is called “Crazing,” and it wipes out the value of the stone. You should avoid leaving your opal near anything potentially drying. To keep your opal from drying, it may be helpful to immerse it in water for several hours from time to time.
Tourmaline - The October Birthstone (2).
Origin: – The name tourmaline comes from the Sinhalese term “Turmali” which was the name given to all colored crystals on the island of Sri Lanka at that time.
Colors: -Tourmaline has a variety of colors – blue, green, red, yellow, pink, etc. Rarely, it is colorless. There are some multi colored tourmalines also such as watermelon tourmaline that shows green, pink and white colors in the same crystal. Parabia Tourmalines are ususally the most expensive ones.
Symbolism: – This stone is most associated with love and other matters of the heart and is an 8th-anniversary celebration gift gemstone.
Healing Effects: – It promotes self-confidence and diminishes fear. Tourmaline attracts inspiration, compassion, tolerance, and prosperity. It balances the right-left sides of the brain, helps treat paranoia, overcomes dyslexia and improves hand-eye coordination.
Fun Facts: – Until the 1700s, red tourmalines were often believed to be rubies and green ones were sometimes tagged as emeralds. This was until a discovery that made it apparent that all gems are unique. Heating tourmaline (or even rubbing the stone) creates an electrical charge that makes it act a little like a magnet that attracts and repels lightweight particles, not metals. For this reason, this stone is often used in crystal healing practices.
How to care for the stone: – Like with most gemstone jewelry, the best way to clean your tourmaline jewelry is with mild soapy water and a soft brush like a child’s toothbrush. It should be stored in a soft bag or compartment away from other jewelry as being carelessly tossed around with other items can abrade and scratch the jewelry settings or the stones themselves.
Topaz - The November Birthstone (1).
Origin: – Topaz gets its name from the Greek word “topazion” which may originate from the Sanskrit “tapas”, meaning, “fire.”
Colors: – Its comes in a variety of colors and is even colorless sometimes.
Symbolism: – Blue Topaz is considered to be the gemstone of the 4th-anniversary celebration and is a symbol of love and affection.
Healing Effects: – Topaz aids digestion and combats eating disorders, such as anorexia and bulimia. It fortifies the nerves and stimulates the metabolism. It promotes truth and forgiveness and brings joy, generosity, abundance and good health. It is also known as the “lover of gold,” as it is used to bring wealth and money. Placed in the home, topaz protects against fire and accidents. When put under the pillow, it fends off nightmares and ends sleep walking. Overall, topaz has been known to transmute negative energy into positive energy.
Fun Facts: – In 1740, the “Braganza” diamond (1,640 carats) was found in Ouro Preto, Brazil. It was set in the Portuguese crown and was thought to be the largest diamond ever found. The fact that it was a diamond was never confirmed, and it is now believed to have been a colorless topaz.
How to care for the stone: – The best way to clean topaz is with warm soapy water. Never clean topaz in a home ultrasonic cleaner or a steamer. It is important that the stone is protected from any sort of exposure to rapid temperature change, acids, or heat or else it will start to lose its color. Topaz is relatively hard but can crack easily if dropped so handle your topaz with care.
Citrine - The November Birthstone (2).
Origin: – Named after the French word “citron” for “Lemon”.
Colors: – It ranges from yellow to orange shades and has various names depending on the color. Eg – Golden Citrine (golden yellow color), Madeira CItrine (Brownish-red to orange-red), Palmeria Citrine (a bright orange color).
Symbolism: – the anniversary stone for 13 years of marriage and is said to be associated with values of hope, cheerfulness, youth, strength, health, and fidelity. It is also believed to help produce more wealth so it is also known as the “Merchant Stone.”
Healing Effects: – Carrying the power of the sun, Citrine erases self-destructive tendencies, boost creativity and helps personal clarity. It stimulates digestion, the spleen, and pancreas. It is even believed to negate kidney and bladder infections. Citrine helps eye problems, increases blood circulation, detoxifies the blood, activates the thymus and balances the thyroid.
Fun Facts: – Today, citrine is used by modern Chinese students to help them succeed on exams. Many Chinese professors and teachers also use it when lecturing. Citrine is widely used in China during gem stone healing sessions to produce feelings and emotions and thoughts of abundance.
How to care for the stone: – Prolonged exposure to sunlight and heat can cause its color to fade. You can use any commercial jewelry cleaner or plain soap and warm water (using a soft brush) to wash your citrine. As it is with every other stone, you must protect your citrine from any scratches and blows too.
Tanzanite- The December Birthstone (1).
Origin: – This gemstone is found in very limited quantities, almost exclusively in the northern part of Tanzania and thus was given the name Tanzanite.
Colors: – The typical color of tanzanite is blue with a violet tinge. In some lighter colored stones, the color is described as lavender. The most-prized color is a pure blue, similar to fine sapphire, or an intense violet-blue all its own. Tanzanite with a bluish purple body color is also popular, but less valuable. In any shade, pale colors are less prized than saturated ones.
Symbolism: – Tanzanite is called a “stone of magic” that helps with spiritual awareness and psychic insight. It is also sometimes called the “workaholic’s stone” too. It is a gemstone that celebrates 24 years of marriage.
Healing Effects: – It is a wonderful tool to encourage recovery from severe illness or stress. It strengthens the immune system, regenerates cells, and treats the heart, spleen, pancreas, lungs, head, throat, and chest. Tanzanite also stimulates fertility and heals diseases of the ovaries and testicles.
Fun Facts: – A prospector named Manuel D’Souza who was looking for sapphire discovered tanzanite in 1967 in northeastern Tanzania. D’Souza was originally from India and had been looking for stones in the wilds of Tanzania. Eventually, some natives took him to an area in the region of the Merelani Hills near Mount Kilimanjaro, around 90 kilometers from his home town of Arusha. There, he found these precious blue stones he thought were sapphire. According to legend, the Masai herders were actually the ones who originally discovered the stone, when a lightning strike set the surrounding grasslands on fire. When they returned to the land with their livestock, the blue stones were all over the ground. D’Souza soon discovered that the blue stones he had found were not Sapphires, so he staked a claim with the government and began mining. Being little known and of very recent history, this stone has neither been imitated nor produced synthetically. It is a rare gem likely to gain in value as a collector’s item.
How to care for the stone: – The stone is soft and brittle so it can crack if one is not careful. It is also important to avoid exposure to sudden temperature changes or heat. Tanzanite is also sensitive to pressure and has a low resistance to ultrasound so it should never be cleaned with the ultrasonic cleaners commonly used by jewelers. It can suffer irreparable damage. In general, tanzanite should be worn with care.
Turquoise - The December Birthstone (2).
Origin: – The name turquoise comes from the same French word, “Turquoise”, meaning Turkish, since it originally arrived in Europe through Turkey, originating in Iran.
Colors: – The color is, of course, turquoise, but this color actually varies from very green blue to light sky blue shades. Turquoise is sometimes described as a mixture of pale blue and green. It’s hues also vary from sky blue to a paler sky blue, to greenish blue, or pale green. Turquoise with black veins (matrix) is called “Spider web” turquoise.
Symbolism: – Turquoise is perhaps the oldest stone in man’s history and is the gemstone for 11th marriage anniversary celebrations. It is a symbol of friendship and stimulates romantic love.
Healing Effects: – Turquoise is a purification stone.Turquoise aids in the absorption of nutrients, enhances the immune system, stimulates the regeneration of tissue, purifies lungs, soothes and clears sore throats, and heals the eyes, including cataracts. It neutralizes over-acidity, benefits rheumatism, gout, stomach problems, and viral infections.
Fun Facts: – In the earlier times Turquoise was also used by warriors who fixed turquoise to the end of their bows to ensure accurate shots.
How to care for the stone: – The best way to clean turquoise is with warm, soapy water and a soft brush and dry it immediately with a cloth. Avoid any exposure to sharp blows, scratches, chemicals, sunlight or any high heat, dry air, and grease. Do not use commercial jewelry cleaners and avoid contact with cosmetics. Some porous gemstones, especially in the US, may require an impregnation with resin or wax in order to resist fading and cracking. Turquoise may also be spoilt if stored in airtight containers.
Whether you are lucky enough to have your birthstone or you just enjoy them for their natural beauty, think about some of these facts the next time you encounter these gems… I hope that this article has given you a new insight about these precious gemstones and a greater appreciation for it.
Now I want to hear from you! Did you know about any of these facts earlier? Have they changed your perception about gemstones in any way? Let me know in the comments below!
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