The concept of birth stones is familiar to many, including those who are not necessarily experts in the field of precious stones. However, even those who know the birth stones of each month far and wide may not fully understand the meaning of birth stones, where they come from, how they were selected for each month and which birth stones are the rarest.
The meaning of birth stones
It is widely believed that each month or each particular season of the year has an impact on people born during that time. In addition, many cultures believed that certain gemstones have different powers and are therefore used to heal, protect, and renew energy. This is why the significance of each family stone can be particularly significant. From the January garnet, which symbolizes friendship and trust, to the April diamonds, which are associated with love, and September sapphires, which are associated with trust and loyalty, each birthstone has its own meaning as well as energy.
Where do birth stones come from?
The use of precious stones as jewellery dates back to ancient times. Precious stones have been associated with the signs of the zodiac and birth months. Each of these stones including garnet, amethyst, aquamarine, diamond, emerald, alexandrite, ruby , peridot, sapphire, opal, topaz and zircon, are mined in different parts of the world in varying quantities.
- Pomegranates are found all over the globe, but especially in Africa, Asia, South America, and the United States.
- Most amethysts are mined in Zambia, but they are also found in several locations in South America, including Bolivia, Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina, as well as in Asia, the United States, and Canada.
- Most of the aquamarine stones come from Brazil, with Russia being the largest diamond producer, followed by Africa, India and Australia.
- Colombia, Brazil and Zambia are the main suppliers of emeralds, while alexandrite has been found in Russia, Sri Lanka and Brazil.
- Rubies are mined all over the planet, like peridots.
- On the other hand, sapphires are mined in only a few locations around the world. These include Kashmir, Burma and Sri Lanka.
- Australia is the main source of opals, while Topaz is mined in many countries spanning six continents.
- Zircon comes from Sri Lanka, Burma (Myanmar) and can sometimes be found in Canada.
The rarest birthstones
While some birthstones are easier to find than others, all gems are considered quite rare. However, the price tags can be misleading in terms of rarity, as some really expensive stones are not that rare and vice versa.
For example, a diamond, although expensive, is less common than rubies, emeralds and alexandrite. While alexandrite is currently the rarest gem on the birthstone list and can be quite expensive. Black opals are also incredibly rare.
Birthstones offer a fun way to choose jewellry. They allow people to explore gems that they might otherwise stay away from. At the same time, birthstones are not necessarily what people think, so when choosing birthstones jewellry make sure you understand the basics.
Each month of the year has its own birthstone. From garnet, the birthstone of January to zircon, the birthstone of December, let’s take a look at the stunning stones of the year and their beautiful hues.
Red / Pink
The first month of the year, January , has a birthstone that fits into this category. Garnet is a deep red gemstone that is often mistaken for ruby. While they are both pleasing to the eye, both are red and may appear similar, garnets are much cheaper than rubies, but also less durable and generally less red.
The birthstone of July is Ruby. Rubies belong to the corundum mineral family and are ranked 9th on the Mohs scale of hardness, right after diamonds. They are one of the four precious stones along with diamonds, emeralds and sapphires. Rubies are a red variety of sapphire. Sapphires that are not considered red enough are known as pink sapphires.
Spinel is abirthstone for August .The main birthstone is peridot. Red spinel is the most desirable color for spinels and is a cheaper alternative to rubies. It can also be pink.
Tourmaline is the second birthstone of October and comes in a variety of colors, including breathtaking pink.
The main birthstone of November is topaz, which is yellow in color. Another stone is citrine, which is also yellow.
It is impossible to be greener than the emerald, which is May’s delightful birthstone . Emeralds are one of the four gems and are ranked 7th on the Mohs scale of hardness. Other green stones include the peridot, which is the main birthstone of Augustus . Peridot actually only appears in green and looks more like olive green.
Blue is the most common color for birth stones.
Let’s start with aquamarine. This soothing stone has a very fresh shade of blue. It can sometimes have a combination of green and blue.
September Sapphires are mostly known for their dark blue variety, but sapphires actually come in a palette of colors. For now, we will focus on blue sapphire. Sapphires are another of the four gems and are priced accordingly. As mentioned earlier, they are related to Ruby and also rank 9th on the Mohs scale, right after diamond.
Zircon is the main birthstone for December. It is known for its colorless variety, but it also appears in blue as well as other colors. Tanzanite and Turquoise, also blue stones, are minor birth stones for this month and are the other birth stones for December.
Alexandrite is one of the two June gems and may have a blue hue, but is mostly known for its color-changing abilities. Another stone for this month is pearls.
A gem known for its purple color is, amethyst. This stone belongs to February . Other gemstones that can be purple in color are fancy colored diamonds, sapphires, spinels, and tourmaline. Amethysts belong to the quartz family. They are ranked 7th on the Mohs scale of hardness.
Colorless / White
April Birthstone – the most popular colorless / white rock on the planet – diamond.
Many people are unaware that diamonds are actually found in other colors. These are known as fancy colored diamonds. Diamonds are ranked 10 on the Mohs scale of hardness and are the hardest substance known to man.
One of the birthstones of June is pearl, which has a creamy opaque white color.
Finally, the famous birthstone of October , opal, has a whitish appearance, but often has a blue tint and can contain a variety of colors. Additional stones come in colorless varieties such as sapphires and emeralds.
Just for your information, here’s a list of all birth stones and their colors:
January : Garnet-Red
· February : Amethyst Purple
· March : Aquamarine-Blue
· April : Diamond-Colorless
· May : Emerald-Green
· June : Pearl Cream
· July : Ruby-Red
· August : Peridot-Green
· September : Sapphire Blue
· October : Opal-whitish basis, copies of different colors
· November : Yellow Topaz, Citrine, Yellow
· December : Zircon-colorless / blue, turquoise blue, tanzanite blue (and other colors)