Birthstones have been used for many hundreds of years as a means of associating a specific stone with the date of one's birth. The exact relationships between a stone and a calendar date is lost in the mists of time. There are many enjoyable guides available to you to research and for you to choose which stone is most appealing or appropriate for you. A World Made by Hand...
Garnet: The name Garnet is from the Latin granatum, meaning pomegranate and refers to its deep red coloured seeds. Garnet has been used in jewelry since ancient times and is believed to have great curative powers, protecting the wearer from harm. Garnet strengthens the emotions, building confidence and strength of character.
Rose Quartz: Rose Quartz is believed to be a fertility crystal. It is known as the "love stone" and is thought to attract and strengthen love as well as heal emotional wounds. Most rose quartz is mined in Brazil.
Amethyst: Amethyst is the stone of contentment and is believed to bring stability, serenity and peace. It belongs to the quartz family and its variation in colour is largely due to the traces of iron it contains. Amethyst has been highly prized in antiquity for its calming effect and the name derived from the Greek amethustos or 'non inebriated'. Amethyst is often used as a meditation stone to help bring peace to the mind and as an aid to finding inner peace.
Onyx: Onyx is prized for its colour and has been used in jewelery since pre-historic times. It is a form of chalcedony and is coloured black through the presence of iron and carbon. Wearing Onyx is thought to bring self-mastery, confidence and assertiveness.
Aquamarine: Aquamarine is a form of beryl and has been valued as a gemstone for thousands of years. It and even appears in the Bible. The double reference to water in the name, which is a compound of the Latin words aqua, for water, and marina, "of the sea" suggests that the ancients connected the stone closely with water.
In addition to appearing in settings with other, more precious gems, aquamarine was also highly valued by sailors, who considered it to be a lucky stone. Aquamarine is the birthstone for March and the stone for the zodiac sign Scorpio. In the Middle Ages it was thought that aquamarine would reduce the effect of poisons
Diamond: Diamonds are formed many miles beneath the Earth's crust and, as pure carbon, is the hardest mineral known to man. The name diamond is derived from the Greek adamas meaning "invincible". For many hundreds of years diamonds have represented strength and invulnerability. Highly prized due to its rarity and purity, the characteristic fire and brilliance of the diamond has made it one of the most desirable of gemstones in jewellery.
Chryophase: Chrysoprase is the most valuable stone in the chalcedony group. The name Chrysoprase has been derived from a Greek word "chrysos prason," which mean gold leek. It is said to be a "Victory Stone." California has a good deposit of Chrysoprase.
Pearls: In ancient mythology pearls were thought to be heavenly dewdrops caught by shells rising from the sea bed. Pearls were believed to be sacred to the Roman moon goddess Diana. Pearls are thought to symbolize peace, beauty and friendship.
Moonstone: Moonstone is associated with the moon and was the stone of the goddess Diana. The most powerful time to use the moonstone is in a full moon. It is said to bring good fortune to the wearer as well as success in love and business issues.
Carnelian: Carnelian is a stone from the quartz family. Carnelian is found all over the world but it is widely held that the best stones come from India. The name is derived from the Latin word for horn. Carnelian is said to help the wearer "live in the moment" as well as restoring the natural energy flow of the body.
Peridot: The name Peridot is thought to have been derived from the Arabic faridat, meaning gem. Peridot was used in ancient Egypt as a stone for jewellery. It is said to alleviate anxiety and fear and to relieve insomnia. Peridot is thought to bring joy and good fortune
Lapis Lazuli: Lapis lazuli was popular thousands of years ago among the people of Mesopotamia, Egypt, Persia, Greece and Rome. It is said that the legendary city of Ur on the Euphrates plied a keen lapis lazuli trade as long ago as the fourth millennium B.C., the material coming to the land of the two great rivers from the famous deposits in Afghanistan. In other cultures, Lapis lazuli was regarded as a holy stone. Lapis lazuli is said to dispel melancholy and depression, and to cure recurring fevers. It is also said to impart ancient knowledge, and the wisdom to use it.
Opal: Opal is often described as "Nature's fireworks" due to its iridescent rainbow flashes through the white gemstone. It's popularly thought that the name derives from the Sanskrit word for precious stone: upala. Most opal is more than 60 million years old and generally dates back to when dinosaurs roamed the earth. Opal is considered a stone of happy dreams and good changes. Opal is thought to be the most powerful of healing stones.
Topaz: The name Topaz is derived from the Sanskrit word tapas. In ancient cultures topaz was considered to be the stone of Jupiter, representing rule over one's own life, self-realization and wisdom. When heated, yellow topaz often becomes reddish-pink. Topaz is said to promote peaceful and calm emotions.
Turquoise: Turquoise is believed to have been named after Turkey where European crusaders first came into contact with the stone in medieval times. In many cultures, turquoise was valued as a protection against evil spirits and was worn as an amulet for strength and prosperity. It is particularly valued in the Native American community and made into beautiful jewelry, often combined with silver.