A birthstone is a gemstone that represents a person’s birth month or zodiac sign. It’s incredibly easy to find your birthstone. There are 12 traditional birthstones that represent the 12 months on the calendar. Simply, select your birth month and you’ll find your birthstone! If you’ve found your birthstone and you’re not the biggest fan of how it looks, there are more options for each month than you may realise. While there are traditional birthstones that have been around for centuries, there are modern birthstones that are also assigned to each month. Some months have up to two or three birthstones, so you can take your pick! In this guide, we look into each month’s birthstone, its origins and meanings - plus each months’ dazzling alternatives.
Kicking this list off is January’s birthstone - the red-orange Garnet. Garnet has been the January birthstone for years, dating back to the 15th century – a birthstones’ earliest time frame. Garnet is a powerful energizing stone, known for its protective properties. Garnet has been worn for centuries as a protective talisman against evil, wounds and nightmares. This birthstone balances and supports its wearer by bringing serenity, passion and order to internal and external chaos. Due to its hardness, garnet is a popular stone to use in jewellery. Its rich red colour looks beautiful with gold and brings a warmth to whatever you’re wearing.
Like garnet, amethyst has been the February birthstone for centuries. According to ancient legend, after being insulted, Bacchus the God of wine decreed that the first person he meets will be devoured by his tigers. This person happened to be a maiden called Amethyst and as she was attacked, she sought protection from the Goddess Diana. She was saved by being turned into a clear white crystal and feeling guilty, Bacchus poured grape juice over the stone as an offering, giving amethyst its purple hue. Amethysts come in a wide range of purple colours, from pale lavender to deep violets. Amethyst is believed to provide courage, relieve stress and is the official gemstone for St Valentine, making it a loving gem to wear in tribute on February 14th!
March: Blue TopazBlue topaz is the March birthstone. The topaz’s name derives from the word Topazos, an ancient island in the Red Sea. In its purest form, topaz is white but comes in many colours, like light blue. Blue topaz is one of three birthstones for March. The traditional March birthstone is Aquamarine – similar in colour and shine to a blue topaz. The modern March birthstone is a bloodstone. Blue topaz is thought to help heal physical and mental illness. It also represents friendship, making blue topaz a great gift to give to a best friend whether March is the birth month or not.
April: White Topaz
The April birthstone is white topaz. Sometimes called clear or silver topaz, white topaz is a natural clear gemstone that shows off its many sparkles and unique markings. White topaz has powerful healing properties and symbolises hope and happiness. It’s an incredible spiritual stone that gives direction and guidance to its wearer. Like March, white topaz is one of three birthstones for April. The traditional April birthstone is diamond and the modern birthstone is rock crystal. White topaz falls in the middle of these two and is an affordable alternative for diamonds.
The modern birthstone for May is Chrysoprase. Chrysoprase is a member of the chalcedony family and comes in a soft apple green colour. The traditional birthstone for May is the dark green emerald, so if you prefer a lighter green colour, chrysoprase is the best choice for you. Chrysoprase represents joy, happiness and is believed to help improve anxiety. It’s also an empowering stone that’s said to help release negativity.
Moonstone is one of three birthstones for June. Moonstone is a versatile gemstone that comes in many opalescent colours, including blue, pink, green, white or grey. The moonstone is a divine gem that gets its name and properties from the moon. It’s connection to the moon makes it a calming gemstone that helps control stress and eliminate negativity. Moonstone is also believed to bring good health, aid fertility and is known as the stone of female energy. The other birthstones for June are pearl and alexandrite.
Another red gemstone on our list is the modern July birthstone: Carnelian. Ruby is the traditional birthstone for July, but carnelian is a more affordable option. Carnelian is a brown-red colour that represents creativity, fertility and passion. The Ancient Egyptians considered carnelian to be blessed with feminine energy and many warriors wore carnelian around their necks to give them courage in battle. Carnelian is a powerful present to give someone who needs some extra strength on their side.
August: Green Amethyst
Green amethyst and peridot are the birthstones for August. Both gemstones are full of luscious green hues and extremely versatile next to other gemstones and colours. Green amethyst is believed to bring good luck to its wearer, making it the ultimate partner to experience life with.
September: Lapis Lazuli
Lapis lazuli is a striking blue colour whose name means ‘blue stone’. The traditional birthstone for September is sapphire but lapis lazuli is a better option for everyday wear and if you prefer a deeper blue. This rich stone is associate with royalty and is a universal symbol of wisdom and truth. Lapis lazuli is not only used in jewellery but has been frequently used in mosaics. It’s rumoured that Michelangelo used lapis lazuli in powder form to colour the Sistine Chapel!
October: Rose Quartz
October has three birthstones: Opal, Tourmaline and Rose Quartz. Rose quartz’s blush pink makes it the stone of universal love. Rose quartz is said to purify and open the heart for love, friendship, peace and healing and restores trust in relationships. In jewellery, it’s the perfect stone to give to someone you love and works beautifully alongside rose gold.
November: Smokey Quartz
Smokey quartz, Topaz and Citrine are the birthstones for November. Smokey quartz comes in a rich chocolate brown colour. Smokey quartz is believed to be a healing stone that cleanses and clears negative energy. It’s said to increase practical thinking and improve the ability to complete tasks. Its deep colour looks stunning next to similarly warm colours like gold.
Finally, the December birthstones are Turquoise, Tanzanite and Zircon. Turquoise is a vibrant sea green colour that represents tranquillity, good fortune and wisdom. It’s an extremely meaningful stone in Native American cultures as they associated turquoise with the God of the sky and wore it for protection during battles. Turquoise is believed to bring human energies together, making it the perfect stone for friendship.