Gemstones have fascinated mankind since time immemorial. The many myths, legends and folklore associated with these precious and semi-precious stones captivate and confound in equal measure.
An integral part of ancient civilizations, the history of the Babylonians, Greeks, Romans, and the Egyptians are replete with references to these precious stones. The ancients believed these stones to have special properties and healing powers while the array of colors dispersed upon interaction with light makes gemstones mesmerizing to date.
Some of the myths and beliefs bordered on the bizarre, such as the belief among the Gypsy people of Romania that possessing a chrysoprase gave the owner the ability to understand the language of reptiles.
One regular practice, which has evolved over the years, is the association of a stone with a particular month. Most months have one stone associated with it, although there are certain months with more than one. Each stone has its own unique properties and attributes, and it is widely believed that an individual’s personality and character is reflected in his/her Birthstone. Certain gemologists believe wearing your Birthstone greatly enhances your personality.
Listed below are the Birthstones for each month along with the attributes and myths associated with each stone.
January – Garnet
Garnet is a symbol of faith, love and constancy. It is believed to prevent nightmares and snakebites. It also provides guidance in times of darkness.
Wearing garnet can also help increase self-image, will-power, and the individual’s capacity to work. The perfect solution to nervy jitters, it has a soothing effect on the person wearing it.
February – Amethyst
Associated with peace, temperance, and serenity; the purple amethyst was for long considered a stone only fit for royalty. The ancient Greeks believed it guarded against intoxication.
It also helps with self-control and moderation. With its calming influence, it is pivotal in bringing emotional and mental stability.
March – Aquamarine
Good health, youth, love, and hope are attributed with the aquamarine, specifically pale blue aquamarine. According to lore, sailors believed that aquamarine amulets, with the image of the Greek sea god Neptune etched across its surface, provided protection against storms and other oceanic disasters.
It also helps rekindle married love, enhance courage, and bring happiness. Wearing aquamarine can help you escape from negative energy, and generate creative ideas.
April – Diamonds
The symbol of eternal love and invincibility, they are also essential in warding off insanity. It also symbolizes purity and innocence, as nothing is purer than a diamond. It is also the hardest substance known to man, and this attribute reflects on the one wearing it.
Along with mental clarity, emotional stability, and creative perception, diamonds are associated with true and eternal love, strength and romance.
May – Green Emeralds
Emeralds are associated with fertility, rebirth, and love. According to lore, it was one of Cleopatra’s favorite gems and ancient Romans apparently dedicated it to Venus, the goddess of love and beauty.
Along with its potency as a source of fecundity, emeralds are also associated with good health, strong eyesight, wisdom, growth, and patience.
June – Pearls or Moonstones
Reflecting the milky whiteness of most pearls, these gemstones are associated with chastity, modesty, humility, and stability in relationships. The stone has long been synonymous with purity, the ancient lore suggesting that those who are pure like the gemstone would be bathed in a halo of white upon wearing it. According to ancient Greeks, pearls were the hardened tear of joy of Aphrodite, the goddess of love.
Pearls are supposed to help control anger and bring serenity and tranquility to a raging mind. They also spur creative output and facilitate successful married life.
July – Red Rubies
Signifying peace and harmony, rubies help in resolving problems and enable the wearer to steer clear of unnecessary conflict. It is also associated with strength and nobility of character. In the Hindu culture, rubies are considered ‘King of Gems’ and believed to ward off the evil eye.
Among the many attributes associated with ruby is good luck. Those who wear ruby tend to attract good fortune and even better company. The red color of the stone signifies love and passion.
August – Peridot
The birthstone for the month of August, this sparkling gemstone is synonymous with strength. The wearer is blessed with a singularity of vision and action, enabling him/her to achieve the greater goals.
According to tradition, wearing a peridot provides protection from enchantments and spells, and even self-induced negativity like depression. It was once believed that the green peridot crystals found in volcanic ashes were the tears of the volcanic goddess, Pele.
September – Sapphire
One of the most popular gemstones, sapphire has given rise to a host of legends and beliefs. The attributes most commonly associated with this stone are dignity, loyalty, serenity, faith, purity and wisdom.
It is also considered a strong deterrent against evil and poisoning. One of the beliefs associated with sapphire is that a venomous snake would die if placed in a vessel made of sapphire. Extremely popular among priests and royals, it inspires loyalty and enhances charisma.
October – Opal & Tourmaline
A token of faithfulness and confidence, opal has long dazzled with its sparkle and splendor. It helps maintain good relations and an environment that is amicable and conducive to growth. A person wearing opal is also safe from evil intent, keeping the scheming ones at a distance.
Opal is considered to be extremely effective in repelling evil. It is also a protector of eyesight.
November – Yellow Topaz & Citrine
Both these gemstones are associated with strength and healing – both physiological and psychological. They are also a favorite amulet of the travelers, ensuring accident-free journeys.
The yellow topaz signifies love and affection. Another aspect of this much-loved gemstone is that it provides the wearer greater analytical skill through focused thinking. It also imbues the wearer with a sense of forgiveness and keeps negative, disturbing thoughts at bay.
December – Turquoise, Blue Topaz & Tanzanite
These three gemstones are signifiers of a happy life and good fortune. Their healing power includes relieving headaches. Among ancient practitioners of medicine, it was widely believed that turquoise would change color when the wearer was either ill or in peril.
Turquoise is also referred to as a love charm. The rings made of this stone are known to keep evil spirits at bay. It also soothes the mind and keeps the person wearing it upbeat and full of happy and positive thoughts.