Do You Know Your Birthstone? Here Are the Colors and Meanings for Each Month

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Do You Know Your Birthstone Color and Meaning?MinttuFin

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Birthstones are a beautiful way to celebrate your birthday month—and make for great jewelry gifts, too! From birthday gifts for a friend and Mother's Day necklaces to Valentine's Day jewelry gifts, they're the perfect present to give and receive. But did you know all that sparkle actually has significance? Much like astrological signs and birth month flowers, each gem has its own distinct meaning that's special to you!

And there's actually more history to birthstones than you might expect! Their origin is often traced back to the Bible, specifically the story of the Breastplate of Aaron in the book of Exodus. The breastplate was decorated with 12 differently colored gems. Throughout history, different cultures assigned these gems to each month based on factors such as astrological signs or seasonal attributes, and wearing them was thought to bring good luck, good health, and protection to individuals born during their associated month.

Fast forward to the birthstones we know today! This list of traditional birthstones originated in Poland between the 16th and 18th centuries. Then, in 1912, the National Association of Jewelers released a standardized list of "modern birthstones." The modern list differs slightly from the traditional list (to include transparent gems), which is why some months have two birthstones! For example, people born in June can choose between pearl and alexandrite.

But what are the rest of the birthstones by month and what do they mean? Whether you're a fiery garnet like Ree Drummond or belong to sapphire-adorned September, keep reading for everything you need to know—then find a dazzling ring, necklace, or bracelet to represent you!

January: Garnet

To kick off the year, we have Ree Drummond's birthstone! A derivation of the word "pomegranate," the deep red coloration resembles that of the fruit’s seeds. Garnet is not actually a single material though and describes a group of several different minerals. That means it can also be found in shades of purple, pink, brown, and more. The red hue is the most popular and symbolizes protection, devotion, commitment, and love.

birthstones garnet

February: Amethyst

The Amethyst, with its regal purple hue, is commonly associated with royalty and used to be reserved for royal or religious figures. It was also associated with the Greek god of wine, as wearing it was thought to keep the drinker sober. The word actually comes from the Greek amethyein or amethystos meaning "not be drunk." Today, it's said to have calming properties and signifies peace, happiness, and wisdom.

birthstones amethyst
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March: Aquamarine

Much like the ocean, aquamarine invokes serenity and harmony. The name even comes from the Latin phrase, "water of the sea" because of its mesmerizing blue color. Once, aquamarine was thought to calm the waters and keep sailors safe while out at sea. Now, it's believed to promote clarity and release negative energy. It symbolizes youth, hope, and health. March also has another traditional birthstone: bloodstone. It stands as a symbol of enduring strength and courage.

aquamarine birthstone
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April: Diamond

If you're lucky enough to have the dazzling diamond as your birthstone, here's what it means: everlasting love, strength, and good fortune. The diamond is one of the most coveted stones, prized for being one of the hardest gemstones on earth and for its complete lack of color. Its name is derived from the Greek word "adamas," which means "unbreakable." It was also once thought that diamonds were tears of gods fallen from heaven.

diamond birthstone
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May: Emerald

The emerald might make other months green with envy! The word "emerald" actually comes from the Greek word "smaragdos," which means green stone. It has long been associated with nobility and royalty from Cleopatra in Egypt and Greek goddesses to Roman Emperor Nero who is said to have used emerald slices to view gladiator fights. Known as an emblem for the beauty of nature, this gem is a symbol of wealth, abundance, success, and growth.

emerald birthstone
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June: Alexandrite

June babies also have two stones associated with their month: the modern, beautiful alexandrite and the traditional, elegant pearl. Since its discovery, Alexandrite has held the meaning of fortune, good luck, love, and embracing change. This last meaning is because the rare gemstone changes color based on lighting, usually a purplish red in incandescent light and a bluish green in fluorescent light. Then, there's the pearl. Once known to be tears of the moon, this highly valued gemstone is associated with purity, loyalty, and peace.

alexandrite birthstone

July: Ruby

Ah, the beloved red ruby! This rare beauty has been esteemed since ancient times and is often enjoyed by kings and queens in royal regalia. Ruby is derived from the Latin word "ruber," which means red, and is known as the king of precious gems. Since red is the color of passion, the ruby is popularly thought to symbolize passion and love. It also has meanings tied to health and wisdom. Wearing this gem can even attract good fortune.

red ruby birthstone
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August: Peridot

The most popular birthstone for August is the peridot, but another modern option is spinel. You could also go with the traditional sardonyx. As for peridot, the bright lime green stone was once thought to contain rays of sunshine and would protect its wearers from evil spirits. It was also said to have the healing powers of nature. Because of this, wearing the gem may bring about prosperity, strength, and health. Sardonyx is also thought to bring strength and protection while spinel encourages passion and hope.

peridot birthstone

September: Sapphire

Sapphire for September! Did you know that these gems were referred to as hyacinths in ancient times? Now, their color is likened to the cornflower. The word "sapphire" comes from the Hebrew, Arabic, and Persian "safir," and means both blue and "beloved of Saturn." For centuries, it has adorned royalty and ancient elites. Though this stone comes in nearly every color, blue is the most popular—and represents loyalty, trust, and sincerity.

sapphire birthstone
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October: Tourmaline

October, you're looking so pretty in pink! Tourmaline often comes in this fun hue, but is also available in other colors, too. It's just one of the birthstones for this month and is associated with beauty, love, and gentleness. The traditional October birthstone, opal, is also still widely accepted today and has a meaning of good luck and hope. Literally meaning, "precious stone," opal is unique because each one sparkles with a one-of-a-kind color combination.

pink tourmaline birthstone
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November: Yellow Topaz

It's probably no surprise that the warm, amber-yellow topaz has deep connotations with happiness, abundance, and affection. Though this is the most common shade, it also comes in a range of rainbow colors. November's alternate stone, citrine is also a bright yellow shade and is thought to be a healing gemstone gifted from the sun. The name comes from the Latin root for “lemon,” and is also thought to bring positive energy and joy to the wearer.

golden topaz birthstone
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December: Tanzanite

Those born in December actually have a range of birthstones to choose from! The traditional list is made up of turquoise and lapis lazuli, while the modern list is blue zircon, tanzanite, and blue topaz. Each of these gems shines in a different shade of brilliant blue—perfect for the wintry month. One of the more popular options, tanzanite, can only be found on one place on earth: the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. It's a transformative stone that is known for fostering inner calm, tranquility, and clarity.

tanzanite birthstone
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