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Birthstones for Month - Birthstone Guide

October 20th, 2011 Jewelry

Aquamarine Stands in For March

The beautiful blue aquamarine is the March birthstone and the anniversary stone for 19 years of marriage. The perfect aquamarine color is a sea blue. Stones with this clear blue coloring, without any shades of gray, are the most valuable of all aquamarine gemstones.

This stone looks best in larger chunks and falls in the beryl family, which also includes emeralds. During the finishing process, aquamarines are heated to remove any traces of yellow coloring. This stone should be cleaned thoroughly with soapy water to maintain its brilliance.

Birthstones by Month

It can be difficult to keep up with the changing birthstone list. To make it easier, here is a listing of the modern birthstone, an alternate choice and the traditional birthstone:

January

  • Modern – Garnet;
  • Alternate – Rose Quartz;
  • Traditional - Garnet
February
  • Modern –Ame thyst;
  • Alternate – Onyx;
  • Traditional – Amethyst
March
  • Modern – Aquamarine;
  • Alternate – Red Jasper;
  • Traditional – Jasper
April
  • Modern – Diamond;
  • Alternate – Rock Crystal;
  • Traditional – Diamond or Sapphire
May
  • Modern – Emerald;
  • Alternate – Chrysoprase Emerald;
  • Traditional – Agate
June
  • Modern – Pearl;
  • Alternate – Moonstone;
  • Traditional – Alexandrite, Emerald
July
  • Modern – Ruby;
  • Alternate – Jade;
  • Traditional – Ruby
August
  • Modern – Peridot;
  • Alternate – Sapphire;
  • Traditional - Sardonyx
September
  • Modern – Sapphire;
  • Alternate – Lapis Lazuli;
  • Traditional – Peridot, Sapphire
October
  • Modern – Opal;
  • Alternate – Pink Tourmaline;
  • Traditional - Aquamarine
November
  • Modern – Yellow Topaz;
  • Alternate – Citrine;
  • Traditional - Topaz
December
  • Modern – Turquoise;
  • Alternate – Lapis Lazuli;
  • Traditional – Ruby

Diamonds and Emeralds For April and May

Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, especially those girls born in the month of April. This stone is also given for the 10th and 60th wedding anniversaries. Diamonds come in shades of pink, green, blue, yellow and fiery amber. It is the most durable of all the gemstones and should be protected from exposure to harsh household cleansers and chemicals.

Emerald is one of the most popular of all gemstones, falling right at the top with diamonds. It is the birthstone for May as well as the stone given for the 20 and 35th wedding anniversaries. This stone is rarely found in a flawless, clear quality and a smaller sized stone. Bright green is the most valuable and common color found in this gemstone, usually in a step or emerald cut. During the finishing process, emeralds are sometimes immersed in a special oil or resin to cover up any small voids in the stone.

Different Cultures, Different Birthstones

Birthstones are unique because they are the only jewels assigned by various cultures to dates of birth. In each culture, the specific gemstone assigned to each month may vary, but the correlation between stone and birth month remains the same. In 1912, the Jewelers of America association standardized the list of birthstones. This list is the most commonly used in the United States, as well as in other countries.

Another common thread from culture to culture is that wearing a birthstone can bring good luck. There is an endless selection of stones, and you do not have to be limited to only wearing stones that coordinate with your particular birth month. Birthstones can also be chosen for the quality of the stone as well as their color or style.

Garnet and Amethyst Kick Off January and February Birthstones

Garnet is the birthstone most accepted for the month of January. It comes in a variety of shades, including bright green, deep pink and orange. The only color not found in the garnet family is blue. However, the range of reds is quite impressive, with some of the brightest red stones found in the United States , around the Arizona region. Garnets are also found in Africa, India and South America. These stones are strong and durable and can last for years with a brilliant sparkle, when polished often and cared for properly.

By contrast, February’s birthstone is the amethyst, which ranges in color from a light lilac color to deep purple. This is the gemstone given for a sixth year wedding anniversary. This gemstone is easy to find in just about any shape and size and is perfect for everyday wear. The ideal and most common color of amethyst is a rich purple with reflections of pink. Amethyst is found in parts of South America and Africa.

Green Peridot is Birthstone For August

The spunky green peridot is the birthstone for August and the anniversary stone for 16 years of marriage. These stones are most valuable when they do not have a brown or olive-colored highlight. This stone can be found in abundance and comes in all sizes. This is a gentler gemstone and should be handled with extreme care.

The peridot is one of only a few stones still mined by Native Americans on a reservation in Arizona.

July's Ruby is Very Rare

Ruby is the birthstone for July and is known as one of the top three gemstones in existence. It is a rare and incredibly beautiful stone and can only be found in deep shades of red, with very light, very faint blue undertones.

During the finishing process, rubies are heated to leave a permanent improvement in their deep color and brilliance. These stones are durable; however, they should be handled with the utmost care because of their rare nature and high value.

June's Pearl a Gemstone?

In extreme contrast to May’s emerald is June’s pearl. Pearl is the only gemstone that is not actually a stone, but rather a product of a living organism. Pearls come in a beautiful array of colors, with the more round shape being the most valuable.

Pearls have an incredible luster and are found in a diverse range of styles from fresh water, which feature a dazzling array of colors, to the South Sea variety, which are the huge round pearls found in the South Pacific. A pearl’s value rises by size --- so the bigger the gemstone, the more valuable it is.

Opal is October's Birthstone

The pale Opal is the birthstone for October. The unique thing about this stone is that it comes in either a white or light neutral or black, with multi-colored flashes in each. Opals look most distinct in a platinum or sterling silver setting to really set off the multi-colored aspects of the stone.

Most opals are formed into earrings and rings, which works well because of the stone’s dainty nature. The opal is also a very sensitive stone and should be treated accordingly. Most opals are found in the United States, as well as Australia and Mexico.

Sapphires in September

Another of the big three is sapphire, or September’s birthstone. It comes in just about any color except for red. But we'd bet you have probably seen a red sapphire. They are actually rubies!

Some of the most dramatic hues of sapphire include green, orange, pink and yellow. This is one of the only stones that is accepted as an alternative to an engagement ring because it is very strong and very durable. It is extremely brilliant and stunning in just about every setting. Sapphires can be worn every day and still maintain its brilliance and design.

Topaz is November's Birthstone

Topaz is November’s birthstone and the anniversary gemstone for the 4th year of marriage. The imperial topaz stone is the anniversary gemstone for the 23rd year of marriage. This is normally found as a golden yellow stone, however, it can be colorless (similar to a diamond) and orange, red, brown, blue and pink.

During the finishing process, brown topaz stones are heated to make them permanently pink in color. Some stones are heated to get shades of blue. Topaz is found in South America, China and some areas of the Middle East.

Turquoise is December Birthstone

Shades of blue and green dominate December with the turquoise birthstone. This is the gemstone for 11-year wedding anniversaries. Sky blue is the most popular of all turquoise stones. Naturally occurring turquoise stones are not readily available, which is why this birthstone is usually stabilized with plastic to improve color and the level of durability.

The larger and deeper blue the turquoise gemstone, the more valuable it will be. This stone looks great in just about any setting, with larger styles working better for rings.