One of nature’s most beautiful gems, Birthstone gems are each associated with a particular month and are said to bring with them a unique range of characteristics, benefits and charms, complete with legends and mysticism.
Historically, birthstones can find a mention in the Bible, in the Book of Exodus, where Aaron wore a breastplate decorated with 12 gems, symbolising the tribes of Israel. Christians started wearing birthstone jewelry and associating them with birth months after a historian, Joseph decreed that the jewelry represented the months of the year and the zodiac signs.
The confluence of Eastern and Western traditions due to shifting geopolitical relations and commerce between the two spheres of the world led to an exchange of cultural ideas and relations. The Eastern idea was to assign gemstones to celestial bodies, and recommend gemstones as solutions to problems and to enhance certain qualities.
Today, in the 21st century, an association of jewellers maintains and updates a list of gemstones and people can look them up on the internet for their own purposes. Since birthstone jewelry is a juxtaposition between old and new, classic and modern, and are, at the end of the day, precious and semi-precious stones with lustre and character that command respect.
With that being said, let’s take a look at some of the birthstones, the months they belong to and what to look for when buying earrings.
Garnet is the birthstone for the month of January. Symbolising power, creativity and positivity, it is usually found in shades of red, but is also available in a wide variety of other colours. It is both the traditional and modern birthstone for the month of January, and as such is priced moderately expensively. While buying earrings, remember to choose a piece of metal that shines brightly.
The birthstone for February is Amethyst, which symbolises peace, calming energy, healing and cleansing. It is famous for being a purple stone, but other colours exist as well. It is generally a cheap stone, as well as being the traditional and modern birthstone for the month of February. While buying an earring, remember that visible inclusions in the earring will reduce its value, as well as the pale colouring of the stone.
Aquamarine is the birthstone for the month of March. It exists in shades of blue and green, and is a moderately expensive birthstone. While buying a earring, one should remember to keep in mind that there should be no inclusions in the stone.
Diamond is the birthstone for April, symbolising strength, love, health and invincibility. It is an expensive stone, and is ideally colourless. While purchasing a diamond earring, one should keep the 4 C’s of a diamond’s value, that is, color, cut, carat and clarity in mind.
Emerald is the birthstone for those born in the month of May. It signifies growth, wisdom and true love. It comes in a range of colours, from yellow green to blue green. It is erratically priced, with specimens at extreme ranges of the spectrum While buying an emerald earring, remember that the value is derived from colour, and the colour should be as even as possible.
Pearl is the birthstone for June, and it signifies innocence, beauty, protection and sincerity. Colours range from white, pink, ivory and peach. While buying a pearl earring, remember the price is based on a variety of factors like lustre, surface quality, size, shape and colour. Also remember that round pearls are considered more valuable.
Ruby is the gemstone for those born in July, signifying success, passion, wealth and energy. It is typically red, as well as being one of the most expensive gems. Ruby earrings are often treated, so it is important to ask about those treatments while shopping for ruby earrings.
Peridot is the stone for August, signifying harmony, compassion and peace. While buying Peridot earrings, one should remember that brown and yellow undertones are considered less valuable.
The stone for September is Sapphire, signifies truth, holiness, virtue and wisdom. While purchasing September’s birthstones, one must remember that color vibrancy is most important.
Opal is the stone for October, signifying royalty, good luck, confidence and faithfulness. While buying an Opal earring, it is important to remember you can’t leave it in dry or hot conditions for very long.
Topaz, being the birthstone for November, signifies trust and harmony. An expensive stone, while buying an earring it is important to remember that more colorful stones are a better investment.
Tanzanite is the birthstone for the month of December, signifying positive energy, intellect, intuition and purity. While buying tanzanite for a birthstone, it is important to check that it reflects light from every angle.