Birthstones and Their Meanings

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The wearing of birthstones is thought to bring good luck and good health. Astrologers long ago attributed supernatural powers to certain gemstones.

The birthstones we associate with certain months now are not necessarily the same ones as in ancient times. Once, color was the most important feature of a stone. Ancients did not distinguish between a ruby and a garnet, for example.

The names used in history may not relate to the stone we think of with that name today.

  • For example, a sapphire in the Bible was probably what we know today as lapis.
  • Diamonds were probably a white sapphire or white topaz.
  • The stones originally assigned to each month related to the stones appearing on the breastplate of a Jewish high priest.

Birthstone Meanings by Month

January's birthstone, the garnet, is thought to keep the wearer safe during travel.

February's birthstone, the amethyst, is said to strengthen relationships and give its wearer courage. At one time, only royalty could wear the gem. Ancient Greeks thought that the amethyst guarded against intoxication. In fact, amethyst comes from amethystos, a Greek word meaning "sober."

March's birthstone, the aquamarine, was thought to cure heart, liver, and stomach diseases—all one had to do was drink the water in which the gem had been soaking. Early sailors believed that aquamarine talismans, etched with the likeness of the sea god Neptune, protected them against ocean dangers.

April's birthstone, the diamond, in addition to being a symbol of everlasting love, was once thought to bring courage. In Sanskrit, the diamond is called "vajra," which also means lightning; in Hindu mythology, vajra was the weapon of Indra, the king of gods.

May's birthstone, the emerald, was one of Cleopatra's favorite gems. It has long been associated with fertility, rebirth, and love. Ancient Romans went so far as to dedicate this stone to Venus, the goddess of love and beauty. Today, it is thought that emeralds signify wisdom, growth, and patience.

June's birthstone, the pearl, has long been a symbol of purity. The ancient Greeks believed that pearls were the hardened tears of joy from Aphrodite, the goddess of love.

July's birthstone, the ruby, was regarded by ancient Hindus as the "king of gems." It was believed to protect its wearer from evil. Today, the ruby's deep-red color signifies love and passion.

August's birthstone, the peridot, symbolizes strength. It is sometimes called the evening emerald for its light green color. It was once believed that the green peridot crystals found in volcanic ashes were the tears of the volcano goddess, Pele. When set in gold, this gem was said to protect the wearer from nightmares.

September's birthstone, the sapphire, was once thought to guard against evil and poisoning. It was believed that a venomous snake would die if placed in a vessel made of sapphire. Traditionally a favorite stone of priests and kings, the sapphire symbolizes purity and wisdom.

October's birthstone, the opal, symbolizes faithfulness and confidence. The word comes from the Latin opalus, meaning "precious jewel." Necklaces with opals set in them were worn to repel evil and to protect eyesight.

November's birthstone, the topaz, symbolizes love and affection. It is believed to give the wearer increased strength and intellect.

December's birthstone, turquoise, is regarded as a love charm. It is also a symbol of good fortune and success, and it is believed to relax the mind and to protect its wearer from harm. Turquoise rings, in particular, are thought to keep away evil spirits.

Want more information about birthdays? Try our Birthdays page to find fun birthday facts, birthday history, folklore, and more!

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Comments

My birthstone is the garnet

By Brainiac

My birthstone is the garnet which apparently keeps the wearer safe during travel. THAT'S IT???!!!!!

My Birth Stone is also Garnet

By Patrick Olschewski on April 16

My Birth Stone is also Garnet and It's a Blessing to know Because I drive 18 wheeler Big Rig Trucks and Company Moto is always keep it Safe. January 18, 1956

You know whats really

By freaked out 2310

You know whats really freaky?
My birthstone is a opal
:-D
I repel evil
yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes

i love the december and its

By Andrew Cole Mock

i love the december and its my birthday

the truth is there is for my

By benedicta asamoah

the truth is there is for my birth day ,opal,and tourmaline

I am born in April the 22nd

By April289

I am born in April the 22nd and I'm a diamond !

just wishing you the best on

By glen frank on April 4

just wishing you the best on our up coming day of birth April 22, 3 members of my family have this date

I am a pearl the hardness of

By kalisha rosario

I am a pearl the hardness of tears of and joy
Im 11 born 6-15 !♡

I am ruby! "king of gems."

By LoveGem Studio

I am ruby! "king of gems."

Is that why you are called

By John Macale

Is that why you are called loveGems? It's because you were born in July so you're a ruby (king of GEMS)

mine is peridot :)

By elaymee salocin

mine is peridot :)

mine isamythest

By gissell

mine isamythest

Darn it I'm a garnet!

By EdmundC

Darn it
I'm a garnet!

turquoise is the best

By Michael Lang

turquoise is the best birthstone

I love my because sapphire is

By jakob

I love my because sapphire is awesome I mean I don't want to get poisoned and it look awesome to me

wow i don't now that pearl is

By yuuki

wow i don't now that pearl is my birthstone

iam diamond what is my

By florelita

iam diamond what is my future?

wow I love my birth stone

By maya persaud

wow I love my birth stone everlasting love wonderful and my boyfriend birthstone is the same too perfect couple I love him

ME TOO, I LOVE MY BIRTHSTONE!

By Im Diamonds Sparkles

ME TOO, I LOVE MY BIRTHSTONE! SUPER LIKE! ITS TOPAZ! It will never fades like me Im Mortal but if I get my "afterlife" I can be an "IMMORTAL" with our Savior! Forever till the world ends.

Well my birthstone is citrine

By Michelle Pham

Well my birthstone is citrine well don't even care if it brings you enough things you want but at least if you wear the right stone every month

I am a aquamarine..... why

By krisia jane b. mabandos

I am a aquamarine..... why only healing...booo!!

I hate mine because mine is

By krisia jane b. mabandos

I hate mine because mine is only healing but not to protect evil spirits and nightmares.........I wish I was born in august.........

ye! I like my birthstone :)

By kimberly villanueva

ye! I like my birthstone :) PERIDOT :D

I'm diamond

By Adam scallionin

I'm diamond

i'm a maybaby so I have the

By humaira

i'm a maybaby so I have the emerald, which is quite cool since I love emeralds. I also have a friend born in june and she loves pearls. crazy, huh?
a really useful website. thanks :)

horoscopes would be a nice

By Anonymous1111

horoscopes would be a nice addition to the page.

We do offer Zodiac profiles

By Almanac Staff

We do offer Zodiac profiles on our Web site if you are interested here:
http://www.almanac.com/bestdays/zodiac

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