The Birthstone Guide: Gems and Significance

Each month has a corresponding gemstone or multiple gemstones that signifies something special about those who wear it. Even if you don't believe in any spiritual benefits from a stone, you can still enjoy reading about yours or picking out the birthstone of a loved one. If you're running short on gift ideas or just want to do something special for your significant other, look through this guide for their birthstone and see which gems to choose.

January: Garnet

The garnet is usually associated with January and signifies friendship and trust. The traditional birthstone is deep red, but garnets can come in various tones. 

February: Amethyst

Amethysts are a variety of violet hues and connote ideas of serenity and royalty. Some believe it strengthens relationships and gives bravery to the wearer.

March: Bloodstone / Aquamarine

Traditional listings name bloodstone — a green piece of chalcedony with irregular red and orange markings — as representative of March.

Aquamarine has taken over in more modern taxonomies and associates with youth, health, hope, and love.

April: Diamond

April gets the valuable diamond as its birthstone in both modern and traditional lists. Diamonds are the stylish choice for engagement and wedding rings, symbolizing love and courage.

May: Emerald

As a member of the beryl family, emeralds have the honor of representing the month of May. Symbols and traditions associate it with everything from faithfulness to life and rebirth, and its history reaches back even as far or further than the days of Cleopatra.

June: Pearl / Alexandrite

Those with June birthdays may choose between the classic pearl and modern alexandrite, both beautiful and unique in their ways. Pearls are associated with purity and love, while alexandrite has connotations of intuition and pleasure.

July: Ruby

The ruby has a variety of positive meanings, including love, wealth, peace, and passion. Each likely derives from the deep shades of red that define it; any other colors are categorized as sapphires. 

August: Sardonyx / Peridot 

Another variety of chalcedony, the sardonyx stone, has given its spotlight to the peridot, which symbolizes strength and a guard against evil. Both are accepted as variants of August's birthstone. 

September: Sapphire

The beautiful blue gem is the traditional and modern birthstone for September, but they come in any color except for red (see July). Symbols include faith, wisdom, and purity.

October: Opal / Tourmaline

Opals are the most versatile in color and symbolism, and no one has a definitive grasp on the meaning. Tourmaline also has vague associations, but they generally revolve around healing and protection.

November: Topaz / Citrine

Topaz and citrine are both pretty yellow gems and work well to symbolize the month of November. Topaz connects with love and affection, as well as good health.

December: Turquoise / Lapis Lazuli / Blue Zircon

December's birthstone might be any opaque blue stone, but the ones listed above are most popular. Tanzanite and blue topaz are also popular for the final month of the year.