Monthly Birthstones - World Gemological Institute
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Monthly Birthstones

 

 

This gem is available in a rainbow of colors, from the deep red Bohemian garnet to the vibrant greens of the Russian Demantoid and African Tsavorite. We also see it appear in the oranges and browns of Spessartite and Hessonite from Namibia and Sri Lanka and in the subtle pinks and purples of Rhododendron.

Legend says garnets light up the night and protect their owners from nightmares. Garnets have long been carried by travelers to protect against accidents far from home. Garnet may be the birthstone for January, but its stunning variety of colors has made it a gift for all occasions.

 

Amethyst, the birthstone of February, is a variety of Quartz that carries a spectacular purple colour that ranges from a blend of deep violet and red to a lighter lilac hue. Not only is this gem known for its beautiful color, but it is also widely available in different shapes and sizes — which makes it more affordable. Amethyst complements both warm and cool colors, helping it look fabulous set in both yellow and white metals.

 

For centuries, Amethyst has been associated with many myths and legends as well as religions in numerous cultures. The ancient Greeks and Romans believed Amethyst would ward off the intoxicating powers of Bacchus and keep the wearer clear-headed and quick-witted.

 

 

Aquamarines are found in a range of blues, from a pale pastel to a greenish-blue to a deep color. Darker shades of blue are increasingly rare and make the value increase. Aquamarine is frequently a pastel gemstone. While the color can be more intense in larger gemstones, smaller aquamarines tend to be less vivid.

 

Chemically, aquamarine is a type of beryl, the same mineral group as morganite and emerald, and is characterized by expansive six-sided crystals that can grow to be as long as a foot. This makes aquamarine an ideal gemstone for producing large carat pieces that, when faceted or polished, make exceptional statements. For centuries, this timeless gemstone has been a symbol of youth, hope, health and fidelity.

 

 

The April birthstone is the diamond, a white or clear symbol of strength and everlasting love. Diamonds have always been one of the most prized gemstones over the millennia of human civilisation. Formed 100 miles beneath the Earth’s surface over a billion years ago, diamonds are the hardest naturally occurring substance known to man – 58 times harder than anything else in nature.

 

Among its other characteristics is its ability to split white light into the seven colors of the rainbow, a process known as diffraction. This is what gives diamond the sparkle that makes it such a delightful gem. Visit our ABOUT DIAMONDS section for information on how to find the diamond that is right for you.

 

 

A bluish green to green variety of beryl, the emerald symbolises the verdant growth and luscious abundance of spring. As a member of the beryl family, the only thing that distinguishes emerald from its siblings is its color – emerald green – though what actually constitutes emerald green is up to interpretation.

 

A deeper and more vivid color of green signifies a more valuable gemstone. The most valuable and beautiful Emeralds exhibit an intense bluish hue in addition to their bold green color. Emeralds, among the rarest of gems, are almost always found with birthmarks, also known as inclusions. Some inclusions are expected and do not detract from the value of the stone as much as with other gemstones.

 

 

A pearl is produced in a living bivalve, shelled mollusk, such as an oyster or an abalone clam. Almost all species of shelled mollusks are capable of producing pearls, yet the majority of pearls on the market today are a product of cultivation under artificial conditions, carefully seeded with irritants similar to those produced by nature.

 

Cultured pearls come in many beautiful colors, ranging from pale cream and white to rose, black, lilac, green, gold and gray. There are four main types of cultured pearls — Akoya, South Sea, Tahitian and Freshwater — each with unique qualities that separates it from the others.

 

 

The Ruby represents love, passion, courage and emotion. For centuries, this gem has been considered the king of all gems. It was believed that wearing a fine red Ruby bestowed good fortune upon its owner. Rubies have been the prized possession of emperors and kings throughout the ages, and to this day remain the most valued gemstone.

 

A Ruby’s color is its most important feature. Rubies are available in a range of hues from purplish and bluish red to orange-red. The brightest and most valuable color of Ruby is often “a Burmese Ruby” — a rich, passionate, hot, full red color with a slight blue hue. This color is often referred to as “pigeon blood” red, a Ruby color only associated with the Mogok Valley mines in Myanmar. The color Pigeon Blood Ruby red is not associated with the color of a pigeon’s blood but rather the color of a white pigeon’s eye.

 

 

In ancient times it was believed that Peridot was a gift from Mother Nature to celebrate the annual creation of a new world. When presented as a gift, Peridot is said to bring the wearer magical powers and healing properties to protect against nightmares. It is also said to instill power and influence.

 

Today, most Peridot comes from Arizona, but it can also be found in Pakistan, China and Myanmar. Peridot is available in several colors ranging from brown to yellowish green, but the bright lime and olive greens are the most desired. If you prefer citrus or earth tones, you’ll find a place for Peridot in your jewelry collection.

“Sapphire” is Greek for blue and since ancient times, the Blue Sapphire has represented a promise of honesty, loyalty, purity and trust. To keep with this tradition, Sapphires are one of the most popular engagement gemstones today.

 

Sapphire is found in many parts of the world, but the most prized Sapphires are from Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Kashmir. Sapphires with a highly saturated violet-blue color and a velvety or sleepy transparency are more rare. The purer the blue of the Sapphire, the greater the price. However, some people find that darker hues can be just as appealing.

 

Sapphires are not only blue. They also come in pink, yellow, orange, peach and violet colors. The most sought-after color of fancy Sapphire is the rare and beautiful Padparadscha — a pink-orange corundum with a distinctive salmon color reminiscent of a tropical sunset. These ultra-rare, ultra-expensive stones are among the most coveted gems in the world.

 

 

Available in a spectrum of color combinations like cranberry red, canary yellow, hot magenta, bubblegum pink, peach and orange, violet, mint, grass and forest green or ocean blue, Tourmaline lives up to its name, which means a “mixed stone.” One multi-color variety is known as Watermelon Tourmaline and features green, pink and white color bands. To resemble its namesake, the gemstone is cut into thin slices with a pink center, white ring and green edge.

 

Opal as one of the birthstones for those born in October. Precious Opal has captivated consumers for centuries due the almost ethereal optical effects displayed by this unique group of gemstones. As you turn and move the Opal, the color plays and shifts, giving you a gem that can be worn with a plethora of ensembles. Each Opal is truly one-of-a-kind, as unique as our fingerprints. Some prefer the calming flashes of blues and greens; others love the bright reds and yellows.