BIRTHSTONE JEWELLERY

Gemstones have been imbued with spiritual meaning for eons, dating back to the breastplate of Aaron that contained 12 gemstones representing the signs of the zodiac and the tribes of Israel. The modern birthstone list was established by the National Association of Jewellers in 1912, with a few updates over the years.

JANUARY: GARNET

Garnets were prized by the ancient Egyptians, and during the Middle Ages were exchanged to signify trust and affection. High-quality garnets have vivid colour and good translucency. Commonly found in a deep red, this crimson stone’s name comes from the word granatum, Latin for pomegranate seed.

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FEBRUARY: AMETHYST

The vibrantly purple amethyst, a variety of quartz, has long been worn by royalty and was a favourite of both St. Valentine and Leonardo da Vinci. Once considered as rare as diamonds, amethysts were believed to protect against drunkenness. High-quality specimens have saturated colour and pure purple hues.

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MARCH: AQUAMARINE

These light blue gemstones are a variety of the mineral beryl, as is the emerald. Long associated with water, the aquamarine was especially treasured as a talisman by ancient seafaring people. Aquamarine’s cool blue hue is believed to have a calming effect on its wearer. Look for clear, bright colours and good translucency.

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APRIL: DIAMOND

April is the winner of the birthstone lottery—diamonds! Treasured for their rarity and brilliance, diamonds have been prized for centuries as the symbol of eternal love. Highly valued for their brilliance and durability, diamonds also signify strength, balance, and courage. Look for diamonds with a good balance of the 4Cs: cut, colour, clarity, and carat weight.

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MAY: EMERALD

The rich, green emerald has been held in high esteem by many cultures around the world for centuries, including the ancient Incas and Aztecs who regarded them as holy. Emerald, like aquamarine, is a variety of beryl and truly flawless specimens are exceptionally rare. Finest-quality emeralds have vivid, saturated colour.

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JUNE: PEARL

The lustrous pearl is the oldest known gem and symbolizes purity and innocence. A rare gift from the sea, only about one in 20 pearl-growing mollusks will produce gem-quality pearls and no two are alike. Coveted by fashion icons and royalty, pearls have become an heirloom for generations of women around the world.

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JULY: RUBY

Because of its fiery crimson colour, the ruby has long represented romance, devotion, and passion. They are eight times the price of diamonds per carat and like sapphires, are a variety of the corundum, a mineral nearly as hard as diamonds. Examples of flawless rubies are extremely rare and highly prized. The best examples have good translucency and depth of colour.

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AUGUST: PERIDOT

This vivid green gemstone is thought to ward off evil, and bring good fortune to its wearer. Peridots, like diamonds are formed deep in the earth, surfacing only during volcanic eruptions. Hawaiian mythology refers to this vibrant green gemstone as the tears of the fire goddess, Pele. Look for bright yellowish-green hues and good translucency.

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SEPTEMBER: SAPPHIRE

Sapphire is well known for its velvety-blue hue, but pink sapphire is gaining popularity. A variety of corundum like rubies, sapphire’s natural hardness makes it an ideal gemstone for fine jewellery. A traditional symbol of nobility, truth, and romance, the most prized sapphires have good transparency and vibrant depth of colour.

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OCTOBER: OPAL

The dramatic opal stands out for the fiery range of colours contained within a single stone, and is typically cut into rounded cabochons to enhance its exceptional light play. The Greeks believed opals provided the power of prophecy and the stone is a celebrated symbol of loyalty, faith and hope. Look for stones with bright spots of well-distributed flashes of colour.

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NOVEMBER: CITRINE

This bright, effervescent gemstone gets its name from the French word for lemon and has been regarded as a symbol for happiness, health and vitality for centuries. High quality citrines will have good transparency and no eye-visible inclusions. They range in colour from earthy deep browns and reddish-oranges to glowing yellow-orange.

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DECEMBER: BLUE TOPAZ

Blue topaz symbolizes long life, wisdom and knowledge. Found in a wide range of hues from deep London blue to paler sky blue, its versatility allows it to be cut in a wide variety of shapes. The ancient Greeks believed that topaz gave strength to the wearer. This stone comes in almost every colour on the spectrum and high quality examples will have bright colour and good transparency.

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BIRTHSTONES BY MONTH
JANUARY
Garnet
FEBRUARY
Amethyst
MARCH
Aquamarine
APRIL
Diamond
MAY
Emerald
June
Pearl
July
Ruby
August
Peridot
September
Sapphire
October
Opal
November
Citrine
December
Topaz
Giving Birthstone Jewellery
Most people find special, personal meaning in their birthstones, and a ring, necklace or bracelet set with their stone is an important part of a well-rounded jewellery collection. Birthstone jewellery is also a great way to honour and celebrate the most important people in your life—and keep thoughts of them top of mind.
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