The idea of birthstones, as in a specific stone assigned to a particular month of the year, is believed to have originated way back with the bible. Some of the stones have changed over the years, but very few changes have been made since 1912, when an organisation called 'The Jewelers of America' formulated a birthstone list, which is still mostly current now.
There are all sorts of beliefs about the healing properties and spiritual powers and the meanings and symbolisms that birthstone gemstones hold.
Over the centuries they've been used for spiritual and sometimes physical healing and each different stone comes with her own apparent properties that can help in different areas of your life.
How did birthstones get chosen?
One theory is that birthstones can be traced back to the Bible which talks about Moses giving instructions to make a special garment for Aaron - King of the Hebrews. Seemingly twelve precious gemstones were chosen to decorate the breastplate and these represented the twelve tribes of Israel. How this became associated with the months of the year is not clear to me.
Another belief is to do with the planets. Each month experienced a deficit of colour, depending on which planet was furthest away from earth during the month of that birthstone.
So the birthstones were chosen for the colour missing during that month and supposedly that colour is lacking in people born during that month.
Evidently wearing your birthstone helps to make up for this inadequacy and restores your cosmic colour.
We all need a bit of cosmic colour - right?
What are the Birthstones each month?
January's birthstone is Garnet.
This glorious deep red gem is named for the colour of pomegranate seeds and is known to be a protective and lucky stone that helps you achieve success.
She gives you confidence and helps you let go of old behaviours. She brings both passion and serenity as appropriate.
She inspires you to get things done, finished, completed and is also an ancient symbol of friendship, the story goes that if you give Garnet to a parting friend, it ensures you'll meet again.
February's birthstone is Amethyst
It's hard to beat a gem that balances mood swings, melts away your anger, and puts a stop to anxiety, sadness and grief.
Amethyst has been called 'Natures Xanax' and they say she's a bit like Valium - 'Mother's little helper' ...
She calms and reduces stress and anxiety. She keeps you in tune with your feelings and also brings strength to conquer things that you need to overcome.
The folklore attached to this purple crystal comes from an association with Bacchus the 'God of Wine' and amethyst is often called the sobriety stone for her qualities of staying sober and helping with addictions.
The birthstone for March is Aquamarine
Aquamarine is calming and soothing, like a gentle blue sea.
She's a good luck stone and was believed to be the treasure of mermaids and used by sailors as a good luck charm for fearlessness and protection.
She's considered the stone of eternal youth and inspires trust, truth and letting go.
Aquamarine is said to be a stone of courage, especially for our sensitive souls who may feel overwhelmed at times by responsibility.
She can quiet the mind, and helps aid with tolerance and overcomes judgmental feelings.
Aprils birthstone is Diamond
Diamond is said to bring strength, courage and inspire your imagination and ingenuity, they drive away bad luck or negative energy.
Herkimer Diamonds (which are not diamonds in the traditional sense, but a double terminated extremely hard crystal) bring clarity and peace and are a powerful protection stone.
They attune you to your souls purpose, your environment and energy of others.
Other diamond substitutes are white topaz, zircon and clear crystal.
The birthstone for May is Emerald
Emerald is known as a colour of truth and love which surrounds you with tranquility and attracts harmony and abundance.
Known as the stone of successful love, emerald brings soothing, healing energy along with freshness and vitality. The energy from emerald helps with patience and inspiration and embodies compassion and unconditional love.
She also helps with inspiration, patience, growth and peace and is even said to help with memory loss, because she's a bit quirky like that.
Junes has two birthstones - Pearl and Moonstone
The feminine energy of Moonstone brings inner strength and growth, she soothes and stabilises emotions and enhances intuition. Moonstone helps deal with emotional see-saws, she's governed by the moon herself and understands the web and flow of female energy.
She promotes inspiration, success in business and can even help with love by cultivating compassion and empathy. She brings healing motherly protection.
Pearls represent wisdom gained through experience and new beginnings. They're a symbol of perfection, incorruptibility, long life and fertility, and because of her luster, often brings the femininity of the moon.
Pearls represent hidden knowledge as they are born from being hidden in the oyster. As well as attracting wealth and luck the gorgeous gems of the sea signify innocence and faith.
They enhance personal integrity, help with focus and sincerity. Pearls are a symbol of growth, of succeeding and becoming something beautiful despite or perhaps because of of any hardships.
Ruby is the birthstone for July
Ruby brings energy and self-esteem, she's a symbol of good fortune, love and loyalty.
Ruby helps you to concentrate and be more creative. She's a protective stone full of passion that brings positive energy, vitality and wellness.
Rubies help with focus and leadership and can bring love and passion into your life.
The rich deep pinky red stone has represented nobility, purity, and passion. From ancient times through the modern-day, rubies have been valued by cultures around the world.
Peridot is the birthstone for August
As peridot is my personal birthstone I know plenty about it - like that she brings the wearer success, good luck and peace and also helps with health, protection and sleep and has the uncanny ability to help with eloquency, inspiration and creativeness.
They say that wearing peridot jewellery attracts love, soothes nerves and dispels anxiety. Pretty powerful stuff, and .. these amazing gems have even been found in meteorites, that's truly out of this world!.
A quirky fact about Peridot is that she's known as the ‘gem of the sun’ by Egyptians and priests used it to keep their minds free from envious thoughts and jealousies concerning the pharaoh’s powers.
Even pirates loved peridot and believed that it protected them against evil and kept them safe from night terrors.
Septembers birthstone is Sapphire
Sapphires are said to attract financial abundance, promote mental clarity, strengthen intuition and integrity along with protection from negative energy, bestowing wisdom and even help eyesight.
Sapphire means sincerity and faithfulness.
Now that's quite a rap!
She's a healing stone who brings energy and psychic awareness and help you communicate your thoughts to others..
The Birthstone for October is Opal
Opals are said to bring stability and strength to your life and improve your love life along with all social relationships. Also acting as an emotional stabilizer, opals are said to bring about loyalty and faithfulness.
Professedly opal increases your self confidence, easy to see why, just wear this amazing gem and let it inspire hope, love and happiness.
Associated with love and passion, as well as desire and eroticism, she's a seductive stone that intensifies emotional states and releases inhibitions.
She stimulates originality and creativity and brings loyalty, faithfulness and spontaneity. She bring hope and dreams for the future.
Citrine is the birthstone for November
Well known for her self healing qualities and fostering inspiration, citrine with her sunny colour is believed to help you manifest abundance in whatever you choose.
Now while I'm not promising that she'll make every dream come true, there's no harm in trying. Citrine we love you, you bring abundance and help us to manifest what we want for ourselves.
Wearing citrine ring can bring enlightenment, warmth and clarity. She encourages optimism with her sunny yellow colouring.
All through history she's been valued for her brilliance and sunny beauty, citrine reminds us of the vitality of sunshine and life itself.
She represents a healthy happy mind, body that encourages happiness and success.
December has three birthstones - Blue Topaz, Turquoise and Tanzanite
Wearing Blue Topaz is said to heal and soothe, bring strength and loyalty along with motivation and healing.
Blue topaz is known as the stone of love and good fortune. She has the powers to bring joy, generosity, abundance and good health.
She relieves tension, encourages relaxation, truth and wisdom and helps with communication.
Often associated with loyalty and love, this gem represents eternal romance and friendship. She brings clarity of feelings, honesty and encourages deep emotional attachments.
The dazzling ocean blue of blue topaz is a peaceful stone which is calming and peaceful, it elevates your ability to think clearly and express yourself more easily.
Turquoise is known as the friendship stone and is perfect to gift to a special friend. She brings qualities of protection, friendship and calming energy. She stabilises moods and is excellent for depression and exhaustion.
Along with representing wisdom and tranquility the enthralling stone is associated with enduring love and friendship.
Turquoise is also a protective stone and she has safeguarding qualities to keep you safe, especially when travelling.
In fact turquoise is THE stone to give to a special friend if they're heading off on an adventure to keep them safe.
Tanzanite stimulates perception and intuition and help to to improve energy and vitality by detoxifying the body. She's a perfect stone to wear when you need a soothing or calming presence.
Should you give birthstone jewellery as a gift?
Birthstone jewellery makes a truly thoughtful, personal and special gift idea. Jewellery is always a gorgeous gesture and by choosing a birthstone it becomes an even more uniquely individual keepsake.
You can wear your own birthstone, or the birthstone of someone you love or simply choose whichever resonates with you, for either the colour or the gempower it carries and wear it to help you with a healthy and happy life.
Wearing birthstones can open up great opportunities for discussion as the colours often stand out and people who have a keen interest in their properties will often notice them.
There are so many legends about birthstones - that they bring good luck and protect you. However the good luck isn't magic and isn't a guarantee. They can help in providing inner strength and guidance, particularly in difficult times.
Birthstone jewellery is a perfect gift for any occasion, a birthday, an anniversary or any special occasion like a graduation, an overseas trip, buying your first home, or just because.
And if you don't believe in their spiritual powers? The worst thing that can happen is you enjoy wearing the birthstone beauty.