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+For over 3000 years, there has been a strong belief that you are influenced by the stone of your birth month. While customs and traditions have been extremely varied over the years, it is believed your birth stone affects your life choices and your personality.

January: The January birthstone is GARNET. It is found in many colors and hues. It is an 8 on the hardness scale, making it a durable gem and easily worn daily. The folklore of garnets goes back to the ancient Egyptians. Garnets were placed in open wounds for healing. The Greeks and Romans believed garnets protected them from poison. It is widely believed garnets have the power to alleviate nightmares and provide a cure for depression. Garnets are also worn to increase the popularity of the wearer, and to enhance self-esteem.

February: The February birthstone is AMETHYST. It has a hardness of 7, and ranges from a pale lavender (Rose de France) to a deep, intense purple with red highlights (Siberian). The ancient Greeks believed amethyst protected the wearer from the excesses of alcohol. The Romans believed amethyst gave strength in battle. Today, it is also believed that amethyst induces deep sleep and healing dreams.

March: The March birthstone is AQUAMARINE. It is a member of the beryl family of gems, and has a hardness of 8. It varies in color from the lightest of blue-green to deep ocean blue. Aquamarine has a varied and ancient history. The early Chinese believed aquamarine was a cure for ailments of the stomach and intestines. The ancient Romans were the first to name the stone (which means ‘sea water’). They believed it was acquired by one of the gods from the mermaid’s treasure chest. The ancient Greeks believed it possessed the calming effects of the sea.

April: The April birthstone is DIAMOND. It is a pure carbon, and the hardest of all known substances. It has a hardness of 10. Most ancient cultures had access to diamonds, and used them to symbolize purity and eternal love. Today, diamonds are given to the person we love as a pledge of love and fidelity. Diamonds are found in a variety of natural colors (called ‘fancy’).

 

May: The May birthstone is EMERALD. It is also a member of the beryl family of gems, and has a hardness of 8. Its name comes from the ancient Persian word for ‘green’. Emeralds can vary in color from a light green to a vivid, intense bright green. They are often referred to as the “Queen of Gems”, and are far more rare than diamonds. 

 

June: The birthstone for June is PEARL. It is the only organic gemstone. It is created from an irritant implanted in an oyster. Countless references to the pearl can be found in religions and mythology of many cultures. The ancient Egyptians prized pearls so much they were buried with them. Reportedly, Cleopatra dissolved a single pearl in a glass of wine and drank it, simply to win a wager with Marc Antony that she could consume the wealth of an entire country in just one meal. In Rome, pearls were considered the ultimate symbol of wealth and social standing. The Greeks held the pearl in high esteem for both its unrivaled beauty and its association with love and marriage. 

 

July: The birthstone for July is RUBY. It is often referred to as the “King of gems” because it is one of the rarest forms of corundum, and is much more precious than diamond. It has a hardness of 9 on the Mohs scale. The ancient Egyptians believed that ruby offered the greatest spiritual protection of any gem. Western civilizations believed that the stone helped provide long life, good health and ultimate wisdom. In Eastern cultures, ruby was believed to protect the owner from poison, bad health, and loss of wealth. 

 

August: PERIDOT is the birthstone for August. It is usually formed by volcanic activity. It has a hardness of 7. It has a beautiful bright green color with good clarity. In ancient times, the stones were pierced and strung around a warrior’s neck to protect them during battle. Even today, peridot is used as a healing stone for depression, digestive upsets and fear. Peridot may vary in color from bright yellow to apple green. It is widely believed that peridot will improve the wearer’s love life. 

 

September: SAPPHIRE is the birthstone for September. It is the only gemstone that can be found in any color you can imagine. It is a member of the corundum family and has a hardness of 9. Some sapphires, when cut properly, display a six-rayed star. These are the rarest and most unique of all sapphires. In most ancient civilizations, sapphire was the stone of prophecy and inner wisdom. The Romans believed sapphires were the patron stone of creativity and inner peace. Today, sapphires are the stones of perception, destiny and mind stimulation. It is believed that they endow their owners with clear perception and the ability to make good decisions. 

October: The birthstone for October is OPAL. It is the most unique of all stones in colors and brilliance. Opal is found in many parts of the world, but only the Australian opal is considered “stable” because of its low water content. Opals range in hardness from 5 to 6.5. Opals form in a variety of base colors. These range from an almost opaque white with dots of color, to translucent with floating colors, to the dark based black opal. In the ancient world, opals were the rarest of all gems. Because they contain the colors found in all other gems, the ancient Egyptians believed that the opal was the most powerful of the healing stones. Australians believe it is bad luck not to own an opal. 

November: IMPERIAL or Natural GOLDEN TOPAZ is the birthstone for November. It has been called the fire stone during the course of its long history. It is found in a variety of colors-including yellow, peach, white, pink, green, blue, and madeira. It is very durable with the hardness of 8. Topaz has a rich history dating back to the Sumerians. Ancient lore claimed great healing powers from topaz, especially for healing angry passions and diseases of emotional natures. Folklore held that the topaz would soothe wild passions. 

December: The birthstone for December is BLUE ZIRCON. It is one of the most brilliant and sparkling of all gemstones. It has a hardness of 7.5. Recent finds of natural blue zircon are yielding some of the most brilliant and highest dispersing of all gems. When out of direct light, the zircon will outshine the diamonds set around it. It can vary in shade from light blue to deep electric vivid blue. Zircon has been the stone of the tranquility for multiple ancient cultures. It is believed to prolong life and insure happiness. 

Turquoise is also used for the December birthstone. It varies in color from sky blue to the deepest green. It has a hardness of 5 to 5.5. Turquoise has an ancient, varied history. The Egyptians believed it was a stone that should only be worn by royalty. For over three thousand years, the Egyptians set turquoise as the most valuable gem. In the new world, the Aztecs believed it could protect in battle and was a visible sign of wealth. The Persians revered turquoise as gifts from the gods and that it should always be worn to prevent tragedy. Native Americans wore turquoise from the earliest meetings with Europeans. It is believed to restore a healthy mental attitude, protect against a violent death, and to calm the emotions of disturbed people. When given to a potential suitor, it is believed to help encourage the bonds of love.