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"YOU'RE GETTING OLD WHEN THE ONLY THING YOU WANT FOR YOUR BIRTHDAY IS NOT TO BE REMINDED OF IT!"
Each month of the year is said to have it's own "birthstone", there are several versions of this, one of which is given below.
In addition, it may be helpful to know what flowers are associated with particular months of the year so that you can make that birthday bouquet extra meaningful.
Interesting information on Birthstones
Each month of the year is said to have its own birthstone which symbolizes the month of birth in the Gregorian calendar or a zodiac sign. There are many differing explanations for the origins of the tradition, but there are several biblical explanations as well as evidence of zodiac-based birthstones in ancient civilisations as far back as 1400 BC who associated the birthstones with magical properties and would wear a different one each month.
Gemstones (L-R); Marquise-cut sapphire, Ruby & Diamond claw set, Natural pink diamond ring, Orange sapphire with diamond shoulders, oval peridot set in yellow gold
The idea of an individual wearing one’s own birthstone for the entire year is a modern one, but the tradition can be found all over the world, with religious or astrological explanations. Over time the birthstones have varied. In 1912 the American National Association of Jewellers established a standard definition of birthstones, which remained unchanged until 2002, when tanzanite was added as a birthstone for December. The National Association of Jewellers confirmed that it was a commercial decision to “help retailers sell more jewellery”. Here is a traditional modern birthstone list:
Garnet has been used since the Bronze Age, and tends to come in a dark red colour, but it can also be found in almost every colour except blue. It is thought to represent loyalty, and to help safely guide the wearer.
Amethyst is the gemstone traditionally associated with February and the Aquarius star sign. It is a variety of quartz, and comes in pale blue to deep purple. It is relatively abundant, and so is readily available in a range of shapes and sizes.
Amethyst is said to have a sobering effect on the wearer, and it also symbolizes peace and tranquility. Its deep purple colour means it was a favourite for Greek and Egyptian rulers, and features in the British Crown Jewels.
Aquamarine is March’s birthstone, and comes in blue/green/grey colours, with blue being the most valuable. In ancient times aquamarine was said to help seafarers, symbolizing love, affection, youth, hope and health.
Diamond is the most popular gemstone for engagement rings, and has been the traditional gemstone of love since ancient Greek times. Although they are generally thought of as a colourless stone, they are sometimes found in bright colours.
Emerald is a highly-prized green gemstone. Flawless, clear emeralds are very rare, so they tend to only be found in small sizes. According to folklore, emerald cured a wide range of ailments including low I.Q., bad eyesight and infertility. It was also thought to imbue the wearer with abilities to predict the future.
Pearl is accepted as the birthstone for June. Pearls are the result of an oyster defending itself. When a foreign object penetrates the shell the oyster surrounds it with a substance called nacre, which forms pearls. They come in a wide range of colours and shapes. Perfectly round pearls are considered the most valuable.
Pearls represent modesty, chastity and purity. They are made mainly of calcium carbonate, which means they can be dissolved in vinegar. They can be susceptible to damage from household chemicals and cosmetics. Pearls should be washed with mild soap and water.
Alexandrite is another birthstone for June. It is highly rare, with most Alexandrite on the market being synthetic or man-made.
Ruby is the birthstone for July. It is a rare gem which only comes in red. Rubies are thought to protect their owners from misfortune, ensuring the wearer that he or she will live in harmony with his or her neighbours.
Peridot is the accepted birthstone for August. It comes in lime green and is the result of volcanic activity. It was considered to ward off evil, and wearing a peridot chalice was thought to intensify the effects of drugs. Thanks to being relatively abundant it is widely available in large sizes.
Sapphire comes in all sorts of colours except red, but is most popular in a deep blue shade. Prince Charles famously chose a blue sapphire for Princess Diana’s engagement ring. It is a highly durable stone which was valued highly by religious people, who thought the stone enabled them to interpret oracles and predict the future.
Opal symbolizes hope, innocence and purity. It was thought to protect the blond hair of fair-haired girls and in medieval times some even thought it allowed the wearer to become invisible, as well as offering benefits for eyesight. It comes in black and white. White opal has flashes of other colours running through it, while black opal can actually be black, dark blue, dark green or grey with flashes of colour inside including red, pink and bright green.
Most people think of topaz as being a gold-yellow colour, but it also occurs in orange-red, honey-brown, light green, blue and pink. The orange-red and pink topaz are the most rare and valuable. Ancient Greeks thought that topaz gave them strength, while also moderating tempers, restoring sanity, curing asthma, relieving insomnia and even preventing death.
Smoky Quartz or Citrine is sometimes used as an alternative to topaz because it offers many of the same colours and is less rare and more readily available in large sizes.
Turquoise gemstones range from sky blue to blue-green and apple green. Sky blue is the rarest, and therefore most desirable, colour. Some Native Americans used turquoise as a currency during the 16th century, and believed that the stone could bring happiness and good fortune. Turquoise was even thought to be effective beyond earth, which is why it has been found in many ceremonial burial houses on tombs. Tutankhamen’s mask was heavily inlaid with turquoise when it was found.
The above information has been contributed by www.ringjewellery.co.uk where you can find more information on where the tradition of birthstones began.
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