Guide to Birthstones by Month
Birthstones make perfect jewellery gifts, set in either necklaces, earrings or bracelets as not only is every month's birthstone a beautiful gemstone, but they are each steeped in myths, folklore and history which makes each one unique.
The History of Birthstones
The practice of wearing a single birthstone is just a few centuries old. There are many stories as to where the original tradition came from - the most popular being related to the twelve stones in Aaron's breastplate, the twelve months of the year and the twelve signs of the Zodiac.
Today we associate one stone to each month, to signify the month in which each person was born, to bring luck and other attributes according to which stone is applicable.
At Lilia Nash we can make up any style of jewellery you choose in your specific birthstone, so if you don't see something you love in the birthstone jewellery links below, you can also browse the birthstone jewellery options here and choose from Sterling silver or 18ct yellow gold as your setting.
Birthstone by Month Guide:
There is sometimes some confusion as to which birthstone goes with which month, as different countries can use different stones. Our birthstones guide below illustrates gemstones by month in the UK, click on each one to find out more:
January Birthstone Jewellery | Garnet Jewellery
Although January's birthstone, garnets come in many colours, most are a beautiful deep and rich red. The name garnet comes from the Latin ‘granatus’ meaning seed or grain, and the stone was given this name because of its resemblance to a pomegranate seed.
Garnets signify trust, faithfulness and eternal friendship, making this a wonderful stone to give to a loved one or friend. They are to be found mainly in Sri Lanka, Africa and India.
February Birthstone Jewellery | Amethyst Jewellery
Amethyst has long been associated with many myths and religions and is considered to be an antidote to intoxication. This stems from a myth, invented by the French poet Remy Bellau, in which Amethyste was a maid whom Bacchus the gold of drunkenness and wine (also called Dyonisus) pursued. Amethyste refused his advances as she wished to remain chaste, and she prayed to the gods to help her.
Help arrived in the form of the chaste goddess Diana who turned her into a white stone. Humbled by Amethyst's wish to remain chaste, Bacchus then poured wine on the stone, which turned it a beautiful deep purple.
Amethyst jewellery is said to keep the wearer clear-headed and quick-witted. Historically amethysts were to be found in Russia. Today Brazil is the primary source although it is also found elsewhere.
Amethysts are suitable to be set in any form of jewellery. The rich sparkling purple, which has often symbolised royalty, is beautiful in earrings, necklaces, rings and bracelets.
March Birthstone Jewellery | Aquamarine Jewellery
March’s pretty birthstone, aquamarine is one of our most popular gemstones, particularly for spring and summer jewellery. The pretty pale blue-green colour of aquamarine gemstones is beautifully set off by silver, white gold or yellow gold. The name ‘aquamarine’ is derived from ‘water of the sea’ or ‘aqua marina’ and this gemstone is said to protect sailors and promote a safe voyage. Aquamarines are also said to promote cool temper.
Aquamarines come in colours from pale to deeper blue-green, with the deeper colours to be seen in larger sized stones. Mined mainly in Brazil, aquamarines are also found in Zambia, Pakistan, Zambia and other countries.
April Birthstone Jewellery | Diamond or White Topaz Jewellery
Diamonds are the preferred gemstone for April birthstone jewellery. If you are looking for a high-quality diamond you need to consider the 4cs, clarity, cut, colour and carat, as these determine the value of a diamond.
Diamonds are the hardest and purest of gemstones, and were discovered in India around 500 BC. Diamonds are thought to strengthen relationships and be the symbol of eternal love which is why we’re asked to use them so often in our collection of Engagement Rings. They are also purported to bring the benefits of clarity and abundance.
As far as April birthstone jewellery is concerned we offer white topaz as an alternative as it has a lovely sparkle and is a less expensive stone. The word ‘topaz’ is related to the Sanskrit ‘tapas’, meaning ‘heat’, or ‘fire’ and topaz is the symbol of friendship.
Topaz is available in many different colours and can be found in Russia, Pakistan, the United States and many other European countries.
May Birthstone Jewellery | Emerald Jewellery
May’s birthstone – Emerald is a symbol of re-birth, and is said to offer foresight, good fortune and youth to its owner. Emeralds go back a long way, and are said to have been discovered in Egypt as early as 300 BC. Today emeralds are to be found in Columbia, Zambia, Brazil and Afganistan.
Emerald is rare stone which makes it one of the most costly, much prized for the glorious deep green colour. As with diamonds, sapphires and rubies their value is determined by cut, clarity, colour and carat. However, a fine emerald is not only judged on the depth of its colour, but also its transparency, as many emeralds have inclusions.
June Birthstone Jewellery | Alexandrite and Pearl Jewellery
June’s Birthstone is either pearl or the less common alexandrite.
We use alexandrite gemstones in our traditional birthstone jewellery as this beautiful stone, which can change colour from green to red to purple depending on the light, is a lovely stone to wear although it can be difficult to come by.
There is a controversial but popular story that alexandrite was discovered by the mineralogist Nils Gustaf Nordenskiold from Finland. He named the stone after the future Tsar Alexander II of Russia. When first seen, he thought that the stone, due to the light, was an emerald.
Large alexandrite stones are very rare, and the stone is usually found in Russia, Brazil, Sri Lanka and India.
July Birthstone Jewellery | Ruby Jewellery
Ruby needs no introduction, its beautiful deep red is instantly recognisable. Rubies are one of the most valuable gemstones and they are the birthstone for the month of July.
Rubies are said to stir the imagination and arouse the senses. They are the stone of love, and are said to impart wealth, health, wisdom and success in love. These are the second hardest gemstone after diamonds, and are again valued by the four Cs, clarity, colour, cut and carat. The best rubies are a dark red to a slightly purplish red. Some rubies are too light, or contain too much purple or orange. In that case they are often called fancy coloured sapphires.
August Birthstone Jewellery | Peridot Jewellery
The olive or bottle green of the peridot signifies the birthstone for August. This stone in Roman times was described as ‘the evening emerald’ as it lost none of its lustre at night and was still visible by lamplight. Peridot is unusual in that it is one of the few gemstones to only come in one colour – green although the green can be different shades.
The peridot is a significant gem in history, as it has been often used to decorate churches. The earliest finding in England is in the register of St Alban’s Abbey, in Latin, relating to an entry in 1245. The peridot brought to Europe in the middle ages by the crusaders. It is said to bring the wearer power and influence.
In Hawaii peridot symbolises the tears of the goddess of fire and volcanoes, Pele. Most peridots are to be found today in Arizona but they are also to be found in China, Pakistan and other countries. The largest cut peridot is in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC and weighs 310 carats.
September Birthstone Jewellery | Sapphire Jewellery
September’s birthstone, sapphire, is another of our favourite stones. It often appears in a beautiful deep blue but can also be found in other colours. Another of the corundum family such as rubies; sapphires are hard gemstones that are valued by cut, clarity, carat and colour. The sapphire, according to folklore, will protect your loved ones from harm and envy. They were worn by medieval clergy to signify heaven.
Sapphires are to be found in many countries, including Columbia, Sri Lanka, India and the USA, where they are mainly found in Montana. One of the largest faceted blue sapphires in existence is the 423 carat Logan Sapphire in the National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC.
The word sapphire comes from the Greek ‘sappheiros’, meaning ‘special stone’. Sapphires are beautiful gemstones for any kinds of jewellery, whether they are necklaces, earrings, rings and bracelets.
October Birthstone Jewellery | Tourmaline Jewellery
Tourmalines, October’s birthstone, are available in a wide range of colours, and as a result have become a favourite for jewellery from necklaces to rings. Found in many locations including Sri Lanka, Brazil and the USA they have the power to attract and then repel hot ashes, and have sometimes been known as the ‘Ceylonese Magnate’ as a result.
One of our favourites and a stone that I use quite often is the pink tourmaline, as it is an extremely pretty stone, and we are often asked to set this beautiful sparkling pink stone in our birthstone jewellery, and also engagement rings.
November Birthstone Jewellery | Citrine Jewellery
Citrine, our birthstone for November, is known as ‘the healing quartz’ as it is said to support vitality and health, and encourage and guide hope, energy and warmth within its wearer. Citrine is one of the less expensive gemstones, and it comes in a variety of shades from yellow to dark orange.
Citrine is most often found in Brazil, and the name is derived from the Latin ‘citrina’ which means yellow. The alternative birthstone for November is the topaz and we offer both topaz and citrine birthstone jewellery.
December Birthstone Jewellery | Blue Topaz Jewellery
Although there are other December birthstone options, including turquoise and tanzanite, we like to use blue topaz as this pretty glittering blue stone suits everyone and is one of our most popular stones.
The name topaz comes from the Sanskrit, ‘tapas’ which means fire and it is a symbol of love and fidelity. Pure topaz is colourless but it is frequently tinted by impurities, and natural topaz is most often yellow, pale grey, a brownish blue and wine colour. Topaz is treated to become the gorgeous clear shades of blue, pink and green that you see today.
Folklore has it that topaz has healing powers, and will protect from sadness and anger. It is to be found all over the world, from Australia to Brazil, Europe and the US.