All About Birthstones And What They Mean

While many of us are happy to own a stone honoring the month we were born, do we know what they represent?

Just about every woman (and even some men) has, at one time or another owned a piece of jewelry containing her birthstone. While many of us are happy to own a stone honoring the month we were born, do we know what each stone actually means? Read on to learn more about your own birthstone.

January -Garnets are most often a deep red (sometimes confused with a ruby) but can also be found in many other colors except blue. Garnets are said to stop hemorrhaging, cure inflammatory diseases and manage anger. The garnet symbolizes fidelity, loyalty, sincerity, grace, and faith. It is said that a red garnet guided Noah and helped him find his way through the flood.

February -The amethyst is a versatile, semi-precious gem coming in various shades of purple. The amethyst is said to protect one from drunkenness and passion. It symbolizes peace, protection, tranquility and sincerity. Medieval soldiers used to wear garnet to protect them in battle. At one time, it was also thought to encourage celibacy. It's for this reason that many Bishops still wear amethyst rings today.

March -A stone that is sky blue, dark blue or blue green in color, the aquamarine's name literally translates to "sea of water." The aquamarine symbolizes honesty, loyalty and beauty. Sailors used to wear aquamarines for bravery. The aquamarine is supposed to offer protection from evil and is sometimes called, "the stone of courage." The aquamarine is also said to bring love and affection back into a failing marriage.

April -The diamond is pure natural carbon and the hardest substance known to man. Diamonds symbolize love and for that reason, they are the stone of choice for most engagement rings. The ancient Greeks, romantics that they were, believed that diamonds were splinters that fell from stars. Most people think diamonds are white, but there are also pink and yellow diamonds.

May -The emerald is a precious green gem symbolizing constancy and true affection. It was prized by the ancient Greeks as symbolizing love and rebirth. It's said to make one more intelligent and make one's memory stronger. The emerald was Cleopatra's favorite gemstone and is known as the "gem of eternal spring."

June -The pearl is the oldest of all the gems and one of the most fashionable. It's also the only gem created by a living creature. The pearl symbolizes health as well as chastity. The women of ancient Rome used to take pearls to bed to sweeten their dreams, while knights in the Middle Ages wore pearls as protection from harm.

July -The ruby is a precious gem that is red in color. It's also the second hardest natural mineral. The ruby symbolizes success, devotion and integrity. It is sometimes known as the stone of contentment.Rubies are said to ward off illness and offer protection from the elements.

August -The peridot is a light green gem. It symbolizes fame, dignity and protection and is supposed to bring the wearer luck, success and peace. Pirates wore the peridot to drive away evil spirits and night terrors. The peridot is also known as the "Stone of Friendship."

September -The sapphire is a precious gem of many colors including blue, pink, yellow, orange and green. The sapphire symbolizes sincerity, consistency, faithfulness, commitment and loyalty. Kings used to wear the sapphire as protection against harm. The sapphire is also said to protect against envy. Princess Diana's engagement ring was a blue sapphire.

October -The opal is a semi precious stone consisting of a rainbow of colors. The Arabs used to believe that opals fell from heaven in flashes of lightning. The opal symbolizes hope, purity, foresight and prophecy. It's also associated with religious emotion and prayer. Napoleon gave Josephine an opal as a symbol of his love.

November -The topaz can be colorless, or it can come in colors such as yellow or blue. The topaz is said to symbolize long life, beauty and intelligence. It was also thought to ward off cowardice. The Egyptians believed topaz protected against hardship. It was also said to calm anger and guard against envy.

December -Turquoise ranges in color from sky blue to green and is believed to warn the wearer of impending danger by changing color. Turquoise symbolizes success and good fortune and is often worn as a love charm. Native Americans believed turquoise brings happiness and good fortune. Since they also believed it assured accuracy of aim, they would fasten turquoise to their bows when shooting an arrow.

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