Birthstones by Month: Colors and Meanings

Find Out the Meaning Behind Your Birthstone

January 9, 2020
Gems
J. Palys/Shutterstock

What is the birthstone for your month? Check the list below to learn the meanings and history of each monthly birthstone.

Where do the Birthstones Come From?

The birthstones we associate with certain months now are not necessarily the same ones as those used centuries ago. Originally, they related to the 12 gemstones appearing on the breastplate of the High Priest of the Isrealites described in the Book of Exodus.

Color was once the most important feature of a stone, which meant that there was no significant difference in meaning between a ruby and a garnet, for example.

The names used in the past may not relate to the stone we think of with that name today, too:

  • Sapphire was probably what we know today as lapis.
  • Diamonds were most likely white sapphire or white topaz.

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

Birthstones by Month

January – Garnet

The January birthstone, garnet, is thought to keep the wearer safe during travel. The word “garnet” is derived from a term that means “seed,” because the gem resembles the color and shape of a pomegranate seed.

Garnet, January birthstone
Garnet

February – Amethyst

The February birthstone, 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.”

Amethyst, February birthstone
Amethyst

March – Aquamarine

The March birthstone, 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.

aquamarine, March birthstone
Aquamarine

April – Diamond

The April birthstone, 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.

diamond-jewelry-px_full_width.jpg
Diamond

May – Emerald

The May birthstone, 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.

Emerald, May birthstone
Emerald

June – Pearl

The June birthstone, 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.

Pearl, June birthstone
Pearls

July – Ruby

The July birthstone, 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.

Ruby, July birthstone
Ruby

August – Peridot

The August birthstone, 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.

Peridot, August birthstone
Peridot

September – Sapphire

The September birthstone, 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.

Sapphire, September's birthstone
Sapphire

October – Opal

The October birthstone, 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.

Opal, October's birthstone
Opal

November – Topaz

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

Topaz, November's birthstone
Topaz

December – Turquoise

The December 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.

Turquoise, December's birthstone
Turquoise

Learn More

Now that you know your birthstone… Do you know your birth flower? See our birth month flowers page!

And have fun on our Birthdays page with birthday facts, birthday history, folklore, and more!

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Reader Comments

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Me and my sister are Leo.

Me and my sister are Leo. (Lion) We are natural leaders, and are sometimes bossy, but in the sense of accomplishment, and leadership. We speak our minds and I'm proud to fit those standards. JULY 30. I'm obviously a ruby, king of gems to the Hindus and man does it feel good to have these titles. God bless America!!!!!

My sister is a Scorpio I'm q

My sister is a Scorpio I'm q Taurus so I'm particularly fond of my sign but I have to agree that Scorpios are cool

i like my birthstone peridot

i like my birthstone peridot it really come true b'cause im strong and even im scared of the dark im still protected to nightmares

I wish my birth-month is to

I wish my birth-month is to be September or July but its August. not so crapiii but I chills it. And how about the April and May, yea!! both are superb. Good but I am a scorpion.

i am emerald the best of them

i am emerald the best of them all ....those born in may

OH YEAH BABY U R CORRECT

OH YEAH BABY U R CORRECT ABOUT THAT I LOVE MAY (EMERALD)!

May barthstone

May barthstone

My b-day is in Nov. The

My b-day is in Nov. The ugliest stone of them all!!! But I am a Scorpio and it say s Love and affection and ironically we are known for that!! LOL!

my b-day is 20th of September

my b-day is 20th of September and its true!!! :)

Mine also! Sapphires ROCK!

Mine also! Sapphires ROCK! WITH AGE COMES WISDOM! Lol Happy day 20th September!

I was born on october i wan't

I was born on october i wan't to run my business my good luck gem is opal

My daughter birthday is on

My daughter birthday is on 22april14 & couldn't find her nick name

My birthstone is the garnet

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

My Birth Stone is also Garnet

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

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

i love the december and its my birthday

the truth is there is for my

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

I am born in April the 22nd

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

I am a pearl the hardness of

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

Im a June Bug TOO!!!!!!!

Im a June Bug TOO!!!!!!!

just wishing you the best on

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

I am ruby! "king of gems."

I am ruby! "king of gems."

Is that why you are called

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 :)

mine is peridot :)

mine isamythest

mine isamythest

Darn it I'm a garnet!

Darn it
I'm a garnet!

turquoise is the best

turquoise is the best birthstone

I love my because sapphire is

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

wow i don't now that pearl is my birthstone

iam diamond what is my

iam diamond what is my future?

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