Precious and semi-precious stones have been used since the dawn of history as a way of bringing good luck, protect against evil and reinforce positive character traits. Astrologers associated particular stones with specific planets and astrological signs, using them to mitigate or reinforce the influence of planets on a person’s astrological birth chart. The meaning of birthstones is not the same across different cultures and ages, but one of the most popular charts is the official list from the American National Association of Jewelers, also known as The Modern Birthstone List.
January – Garnet
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Garnet is considered the Capricorn birthstone, and often used to commemorate 2nd wedding anniversaries. Garnets can be multiple colours, though it’s the red variety that gives them their name, from the Latin word for pomegranate. Garnets are said to protect from poisons and stop bleeding, and are associated with fidelity, loyalty and love.
February – Amethyst
With colours ranging from lavender to deep purple, the amethyst is a form of quartz crystals tainted with Iron. It’s one of the birthstones for the astrological signs of Aquarius, Pisces and Sagittarius, and is said to combat drunkedness, and encourage piety and celibacy which made it the main stone on a traditional bishop’s ring. It’s also closely associated with royalty, due to its purple colour.
March – Aquamarine
The name of March’s birthstone comes from ‘sea water’ in Latin, given because of its rich blue tones. It signifies faithfulness, friendship and courage, but also helps fluid communication and quick responses, and heals stress related illnesses. Sailors often use it as a charm for protection while at sea, and it’s also used to celebrate 19th wedding anniversaries.
April – Diamond
The diamond is probably one of the most popular and valuable gems, and as a birthstone is also associated with the sign of Aries. It’s used to celebrate the 60th wedding anniversary, and represents balance, inner strength, clarity but also success and abundance. It was used as a remedy for poison and said to help seizures and other brain diseases.
May – Emerald
Emeralds are the birthstone for May and the sign of Taurus, and represent friendship and loyalty. They were also used on meditation, to help focus the clairvoyance skills and strengthen faith. It is often used to commemorate the 20th anniversary of marriage.
June – Pearls
Pearls are one of the birthstones for the astrological sign of Gemini, and also used to celebrate the 1st and 30th year of marriage. It’s meaning is closely related with faith, modesty and chastity, and as a symbol of friendship.
July – Ruby
Rubies are the wedding anniversary gemstones given to celebrate the 40th year of marriage, and the astrological birthstone for Cancer. It signifies devotion and integrity, courage in the face of adversity and it’s said to bring success and happiness.
August – Peridot
Peridots are the astrological birthstone for the sign of Leo, and is closely associated with love and faithful relationships, fame and dignity and prosperity. The Peridot is a gem for personal and social growth, and serves to protect against the dangers brought by fame.
September – Sapphire
Sapphires are the birthstone for September and the astrological sign of Virgo. They represent insight, even clairvoyance and dream interpretation, but also sincerity and tenacity. It was traditionally used for lowering fevers and reducing inflammation.
October – Opals
Opals come in a variety of colours, including red, orange, yellow, blue and green, but often as a combination with varying colours and shades that change with the light. It’s traditionally associated with the astrological sign of Libra, and represents hope and purity, faithfulness and loyalty and also confidence and innocence.
November – Yellow Topaz
The topaz is also the birthstone for the sign of Scorpio, and it’s said to help release tension and balance emotions, giving the wearer strength and constancy. It also represents faithfulness and loyalty to friends.
December – Turquoise
Blue turquoises are associated with the astrological sign of Sagittarius and are said to bring prosperity, success, happiness and good luck. It represents open communication and helps the healing process, as well as protecting against diseases and depression.