Birthstones


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January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October | November | December



January- Garnet

Garnet provides a versatile family of affordable gems that can be enjoyed year-round.
Garnet is actually the group name for a family of gemstones that come in every color except blue. They’re beautiful, durable, and most garnets are very affordable.

The name “garnet” comes from the Roman word granatus meaning “seed,” as the gems were thought to resemble pomegranate seeds. The most common garnets are the red to red-brown varieties that people know best. Red garnets can show almost as much fire as rubies.

Though garnets are tough, like all gemstones, special care must be taken, as some varieties can chip. Also avoid steaming, abrupt temperature changes, and acids, because they might damage gems. Warm water with mild detergent is recommended for cleaning.

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February- Amethyst

The royal purple amethyst has one of the most interesting histories of any gemstone. Through the ages, this lovely purple member of the quartz family has been used for everything from love charms to symbols of royalty. Yet, for all its noble traditions, amethyst is a surprisingly affordable gem.

Amethysts that are heat treated retain their color remarkably well, but it’s still wise to keep any amethysts away from strong heat and steam cleaning. When buying any colored gemstone, ask if the stone is of natural origin or if it has been treated in any way to enhance its beauty.

Traditionally associated with royalty and luxury, the amethyst has become the February birthstone in this century. Amethyst is tough and durable, wears well, and gives modern men and women the look of royalty at very affordable prices.

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March- Aquamarine

Aquamarine, the lovely blue-green member of the beryl family, is one of the most fashionable gemstones today. Aquamarine has always been available in small sizes from one-half carat up to 10-carat stones. However, finds in Brazil and Africa have made aquamarine of much larger sizes more accessible for use in jewelry.

Aquamarine is tough, durable and takes an excellent polish. Aquas can be worn in rings and bracelets with minimal risk if the settings are designed to protect the gems. Avoid steam cleaning or excess heat. Clear stones, called eye-clean, are free of inclusions to the naked eye and can be worn under most conditions.

You don’t have to be a March-born baby to enjoy the beauty and sparkle of aquamarine. It’s a year-round treasure of a gem.

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April- Diamond

April is the luckiest month of all since diamonds are its birthstone. More and more women are dressing in these brilliant, dazzling gemstones as effortlessly as they throw on their favorite sweater.

Most diamonds are more than 100 million years old, and many are over three billion years old, making diamonds the oldest of all gemstones. They are also the hardest substance known to man, made of carbon that is crystallized deep within the earth.

Their unique hardness and high refractive index have inspired legends.When purchasing diamonds, customers are adhering to the 4 C’s — cut, color, clarity, and carat weight — but increasingly, they seek finer cut stones. Customers should understand that it is the cutting that releases the true brilliance of a stone.

With something so precious, remember to rely on a well-established jeweler, with a wide selection of merchandise, who is qualified to determine a diamond’s value and quality.

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May- Emerald

Emeralds have been prized by connoisseurs and sought after by the rich and powerful.
The source for many of these stones was Colombia, whose emeralds were regarded by experts as the ultimate in quality and color.

When buying an emerald, the most important factor is color; the more vivid the green, the more valuable the stone. Don’t be put off by a few fissures, or inclusions, in your stone, experts advise. It is rare to find an emerald without these natural birthmarks, and they do not detract from the stone’s beauty or value as they might with another type of stone. However, these fissures do affect an emerald’s care.

Emeralds will remain beautiful and durable for years if taken care of properly. Avoid abrupt temperature changes and contact with rough or sharp surfaces, including those of other gemstones. Store your emeralds in a fabric-lined jewelry box or wrap them in a soft cloth or tissue.

While there is no official alternate choice for May’s birthstone, those seeking a different stone could choose one with an equally vivid shade of green. Regarded as one of the rarest and most precious gemstones in the world, a verdant green emerald set into a ring or pendant can bring years of pleasure to the lucky owner.

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June- Pearl

The pearl, throughout history, has come to symbolize various traits thought to reflect those individuals born in the month of June. Such virtues include purity, wisdom, charity and loyalty.

Distinguishing fine quality cultured pearls need not be a mystery for consumers. The first thing to look for is luster. Luster is the brilliant sheen and deep inner glow that gives a pearl its appeal and, most importantly, its value. The second criteria are a clean surface. Since cultured pearls are grown by live oysters, it’s rare to find a pearl whose surface is completely free of any type of blemish. Blemishes often appear on the surface of a pearl as bumps, cracks, and indentations. The fewer blemishes on the face of a pearl, the prettier and more valuable it will be.

The shape of a pearl is equally important. It’s difficult for an oyster to produce a perfectly round pearl, so naturally those pearls are rare and quite valuable. Baroque cultured pearls, or irregularly shaped pearls, have a uniquely interesting look in their own right, and can cost a fraction of what one would pay for a perfectly round pearl.

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July- Ruby

Just as diamonds have become the gem of romance, ruby has been the gem of passion and the heart’s desire since the dawn of time. Because of its lovely red color, ruby has been associated with the heart, the blood and the centers of passion throughout its history.

Rubies come in many shades of red. Rubies tend to be priced by color. The closer a gem is to the vivid red ‘pigeon’s blood’ color, the higher the price. Many rubies are enhanced by heat treating to improve color, but the color is stable after treatment and does not require special care. Some rubies have fissures or surface breaks that are filled with a glass-like byproduct of the heating process. These stones do require special care in cleaning and wearing, but they are generally more affordable.

For those with a passion for red gems, there are several affordable alternatives to rubies. Garnets offer a wide range of red colors with plenty of fire. Red tourmaline, sometimes called rubellite, provides light to dark purplish reds. And red spinel is sometimes used as a ruby substitute because of its pure medium to deep red colors. Any of these, along with ruby, can satisfy the passion for lovely red gemstones.

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August- Peridot

In ancient times, mariners and pirates believed that a peridot would glow in the dark whenever it was near buried treasure or hidden ore veins, particularly of gold or silver.

Medieval alchemists used peridot in amulets to protect the wearer from demons, but by Renaissance times, peridot had become a love stone, worn to attract romance.

In this century, peridot has become the August birthstone and the zodiac stone for Leo. It has also been alleged to encourage a positive emotional outlook on life, to prevent fear or guilt, and to help develop patience.

The good news for peridot lovers is that new American sources for peridot in gorgeous clear yellowish green colors have made peridot both more available and lovelier than ever. Peridot takes a great polish, and it’s easy to match colors in the smaller stones for bracelets, necklace, and earrings.

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September- Sapphire

All through the middle ages, sapphires were alleged to bring a great destiny to their wearers, and were often used in court and royal jewelry. Today blue sapphire is the September birthstone and the zodiac gem for Virgo. It has become one of the world’s most popular gems.Sapphire comes in a wide range of blues, varying from very light blue to a deep blue that is almost black. The very finest sapphires are a velvet, slightly violetish medium to medium dark blue, often called Kashmir blue. When pricing sapphires, medium blues are usually the most expensive.

Sapphire comes in a wide range of blues, varying from very light blue to a deep blue that is almost black. The very finest sapphires are a velvet, slightly violetish medium to medium dark blue, often called Kashmir blue. When pricing sapphires, medium blues are usually the most expensive.To improve a sapphire’s color and clarity, it is often subjected to a controlled heating. Sapphire is second only to diamond in hardness, which made them difficult to facet until modern cutting technology was developed. Cut stones are available in sizes up to 10 carats, with one to five carat gems most common.

To improve a sapphire’s color and clarity, it is often subjected to a controlled heating. Sapphire is second only to diamond in hardness, which made them difficult to facet until modern day cutting technology was developed. Cut stones are available in sizes up to 10 carats, with one to five carat gems most common.Sapphire is remarkably tough and safe in most types of cleaning. However, it should be given the same care as any other precious gem to avoid scratching. Most damage to sapphires occurs from rubbing them against another sapphire or diamond, careless handling and hard knocks directly to the stones.

Sapphire is remarkably tough and safe in most types of cleaning. However, it should be given the same care as any other precious gem to avoid scratching. Most damage to sapphires occurs from rubbing them against another sapphire or diamond, careless handling and hard knocks directly to the stones.

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October- Opal or Tourmaline

Many people are unaware that Opal, one of October’s birthstones, is Australia ‘s national gemstone. The most common and affordable variety is milky or white opal because it shows a play of color against a white opaque background. Color patches or tiny flashes called ‘pinfire’ are usually light and bright pinks and greens.The most valuable opals, known as black or gem opals, feature large, luminescent areas of one or more bright colors against a dark background. Opals are rarely treated to enhance their color; however they can be quite delicate and should not be exposed to steam cleaning or excess acids. The best cleaning method is with a soft damp or dry cloth.

The most valuable opals, known as black or gem opals, feature large, luminescent areas of one or more bright colors against a dark background. Opals are rarely treated to enhance their color; however, they can be quite delicate and should not be exposed to steam cleaning or excess acids. The best cleaning method is with a soft damp or dry cloth.People born in October have tourmaline as another option for their birthstone. Like opal, tourmaline comes in a wide range of colors and sizes, ranging from dainty to huge, at virtually every price level. Also like opal, tourmaline is said to bring high energy, good luck, creativity and romance, depending on its color. Both gems are lovely to wear and easy to acquire.

People born in October have tourmaline as another option for their birthstone. Like opal, tourmaline comes in a wide range of colors and sizes, ranging from dainty to huge, at virtually every price level. Also like opal, tourmaline is said to bring high energy, good luck, creativity, and romance, depending on its color. Both gems are lovely to wear and easy to acquire.

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November- Topaz or Citrine

Both topaz and citrine were found on an island in the Mediterranean called Topazios in ancient times. The most common topaz colors are brown, yellow, yellow-gold, and orange, all very similar to the shades of citrine.Topaz is reputed to increase understanding, strengthen breathing, prevent colds, enhance creativity, bring relaxation, control angry passions, restore energy, and aid in tissue regeneration.

Topaz is reputed to increase understanding, strengthen breathing, prevent colds, enhance creativity, bring relaxation, control angry passions, restore energy, and aid in tissue regeneration.Nature rarely produces a blue topaz. However, in the 20th century, due to the advent of safe enhancement technology, blue topaz has become available and very popular. Most blue topaz is colorless topaz that has been irradiated and heat treated to produce its blue color. The blue color created by this treatment process is permanent and stable under normal care conditions.

Nature rarely produces a blue topaz. However, in the 20th century, due to the advent of safe enhancement technology, blue topaz has become available and very popular. Most blue topaz is colorless topaz that has been irradiated and heat treated to produce its blue color. The blue color created by this treatment process is permanent and stable under normal care conditions.Blue topaz comes in light to deep blues, which are valued and priced according to the beauty of their color. The more saturated the color, the higher the price.

Blue topaz comes in light to deep blues, which are valued and priced according to the beauty of their color. The more saturated the color, the higher the price. Topaz can be delicate and requires special care to avoid breaking under rough wear. Warm, soapy water is the best way to clean topaz jewelry.

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December- Turquoise or Tanzanite

Turquoise is one of the oldest and best-known opaque gemstones. The name turquoise means “Turkish stone,” because the trade route that brought the gem to Europe came through Turkey. With its robin’s egg blue hue, has graced the necks of Egyptian Pharaohs and adorned early Native Americans in their ceremonial dress.From its beginnings, turquoise was not exclusively a gem for the rich. Cavalry soldiers in most ancient armies carried pieces of turquoise or wore turquoise rings to keep them from falling off their horses. Four centuries later turquoise became December’s best-known birthstone.

From its beginnings, turquoise was not exclusively a gem for the rich. Cavalry soldiers in most ancient armies carried pieces of turquoise or wore turquoise rings to keep them from falling off their horses. Four centuries later turquoise became December’s best-known birthstone.Turquoise is as beautiful, popular and affordable as it was 5,000 years ago. With new sources being found in China and Australia, as well as the established mines in the U.S., Mexico and Chile, turquoise will continue to be a gem that is as easy on the budget as it is on the eye.

Turquoise is as beautiful, popular and affordable as it was 5,000 years ago. With new sources being found in China and Australia, as well as the established mines in the U.S., Mexico and Chile, turquoise will continue to be a gem that is as easy on the budget as it is on the eye.In 2002, the American Gem Trade Association officially added tanzanite to the traditional list of birthstones for the month of December.

In 2002, the American Gem Trade Association officially added tanzanite to the traditional list of birthstones for the month of December.

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