Modern Birthstone Chart













Because ancient people did not always classify gemstones by mineral species in the same manner as does our current society, there is some debate about which gemstones were set in the breastplate and why. Because of this, different cultures around the world have developed different birth stone lists. The modern day list that you know is only the most recent list: some older lists still exist. Some also argue that the proper way to assign gemstones is according to astrological sign and not month. Perhaps it is more appropriate to choose the gemstone that speaks to you from all the possibilities.
Of course it is hard to keep track of all the lists, so shown below is a common, modern interpretation.


Birthstones by month

January-BirthstoneJanuary Birthstone – GARNET

January Birthstone is Garnet; its colour is usually Red, but it could be also green, blue, brown and even yellow. The birthstone of January and the gem for the second anniversary, garnet is one of the most widely used stones throughout human history. With varieties spanning the entire colour spectrum, red garnets are the most common while blue garnets are the rarest, not to mention one of the rarest gemstones. The name garnet is derived from the Latin word granum (“grain” or “seed), which came from the Phoenician word for pomegranate, punica granatum. Found in metamorphic rocks, red garnets have been used in jewellery for thousands of years, adorning both Egyptian Pharaohs and ancient Romans alike. In antiquity, garnets served a number of functions, from accompanying mummified corpses as prized possessions of ancient Egypt to being the carved centre stones of signet rings used to stamp the wax that secured important documents in Ancient Rome and during the Middle Ages.

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February-BirthstoneFebruary Birthstone – AMETHYST

February Birthstone is Amethyst; its colour is Purple or Violet. Amethyst is considered to be the best amulet to fight addictions, therefore, Amethyst is a stone of health from the ancient times. Amethyst, amongst all birthstones, is often common in ancient Greek mythology. What makes the amethyst particularly fitting as February’s birthstone is its close association with Saint Valentine, who is said to have always worn it. A long-favoured gemstone from as far back as the ancient Egyptians, the amethyst continues to endure as the popular purple gemstone. For centuries, people have believed this mystical stone possesses healing power: the Greeks believed it to prevent intoxication while Europeans wore their amethyst amulets for protection and to keep them cool-headed. Even the word amethyst derives from the Greek word “amethystos,” which translates to “not drunken.

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March-BirthstoneMarch Birthstone – AQUAMARINE

March birthstone is Aquamarine; it is a transparent gem with a greenish-blue tint, but often pale-blue. As the watery blue variety of beryl, aquamarine is the cool cousin of the mineral family. Aquamarine is both the birthstone for March and the gem given on the 19th wedding anniversary. During Medieval times, the aquamarine rekindled the love of married couples and was thus a popular gift to give on certain milestone wedding anniversaries.
The most valuable aquamarines come from Brazil, but it is also mined in Kenya, Nigeria, Madagascar, Zambia, Tanzania, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Russia.

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April-BirthstoneApril Birthstone – DIAMOND

April Birthstone is Diamond. The diamond cutters of India call a rough diamond «Labora», because its beauty can’t be developed except by skillful and patient work. The art of cutting a diamond was not brought into Europe from the East until 1295. For those who were born in the month of April the Diamond is the traditional birthstone. The April birthstone poem reflects some of the properties with which the Diamond is associated – enhancing relationships and increasing inner strength. The Traditional Metaphysical Properties for the April Birthstone Diamond are balance, clarity and abundance. The healing properties of the April birthstone are reputed to be effective for health problems relating to brain diseases, pituitary glands. The Diamond is also used to draw out toxins and therefore was used as a remedy for poison. Diamond has an index of 10/10 by Mohs Scale of Hardness, so it is the hardest amongst all birthstones. Diamonds are loved for the luxurious shine, refraction and influence in the world of fashion. Diamonds occur in nearly all colours; the three shades most in demand being blue white, steel white, and pure white. The steel white has no perceptible colour, but their lustre resembles that of polished steel.

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May-BirthstoneMay Birthstone – EMERALD

May Birthstone is Emerald and its colour is Green. The bulk of an emerald is large in proportion to its weight, one of equal weight with a sapphire, for instance, being nearly twice as large. A rich, soft, deep, velvety shade of green is the colour demanded for a perfect emerald, but the birthstone occurs in every tint from a greenish blue to a pinkish brown. Considered one the three most precious of gemstones, the emerald remains a cherished jewel around the world. The finest emeralds come from Peru, the next in quality are found in the Tyrolean Alps, in Bavaria, where they are cut from the steep rocks in which they are embedded, by miners who are held by ropes over the frightful abyss. The ancients thought it a good omen to dream of an emerald and that to own one of unusual perfection was sure to bring renown and success.

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June-BirthstoneJune Birthstone – ALEXANDRITE

June Birthstone is Alexandrite. Alexandrite is considered by astrologers to be a stone of good luck and is supposed to sharpen the intuition and creativity of its wearer. Alexandrite is a form of chrysoberyl, which forms in the earth’s crust due to the action of magma. It’s unique in that, unlike other chrysoberyls, Alexandrite contains not only impurities of iron and titanium, but chromium, which is crucial to its value. Pure chrysoberyl is clear and colourless or very pale yellow. The name of this gem comes from the Russian Tsar Alexander. Alexandrite is the rarest of all birthstones and is at present in great demand, fashion having stamped it with approval. has a hardness on the Mohs scale of 8.5, which means it’s the hardest gemstone behind diamond and corundums like ruby and sapphire. One amazing thing about Alexandrite is that it changes colour. The gem is green or green blue in natural daylight and then turns a dazzling red-violet or purplish red when placed under artificial light. It can do this because of chromium. It is found in Siberia.

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July-BirthstoneJuly Birthstone – RUBY

July Birthstone is Ruby and its colour is Red. According to ancient Hindu myth, the glowing hue of the ruby originates from an inextinguishable internal fire. The rich history and passion for the ruby awards it status as the most precious gemstones behind the diamond, commanding the highest per-carat price of any coloured stone. As the boldest of colours, the ruby’s fiery red hue epitomises our most intense emotions and values: desire, passion, love, anger and power. Just like sapphire, ruby is a variety of the mineral corundum, the red colour being caused mainly by the presence of the element chromium. There are four kinds of rubies: The oriental ruby, blood red in colour and but little inferior to the diamond in hardness or the power to receive by polishing a brilliant vitreous lustre ; the spinel ruby, rose red in colour the balas-ruby, pale in colour and of but little value; and the rubicelle, which is an inferior variety of the spinel, and yellowish red in colour. The ruby stands among birthstones next in rank to the diamond, and often, when of the same size and perfect in every respect, exceeds it in price. According to folklore, the lucky owner of a fine ruby was said to be assured of a life lived in peace and concord with all men; ruby was thought to preserve the health of the owner as it removed evil thoughts. Many medieval Europeans wore rubies to guarantee health, wealth, wisdom, and success in love.

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August-BirthstoneAugust Birthstone – PERIDOT

August Birthstone is Peridot; its colour is pale-green. The best and most perfect crystals of Peridot come from Egypt, Vatolia and Brazil. The birthstone is olive green in colour and has vitreous lustre. The dark coloured birthstones are the favourites, as they are capable of receiving a high polish. They are cut in rose or brilliant form generally. Louis XIII brought them into fashion in France and they are favourite jewels yet in Paris. The earliest known source of peridot is a tiny island in the Red Sea located about 35 miles off the Egyptian coastal port of Berenica. Known today as Zabargad, the remote island, which has produced peridot for over 3,500 years, goes by several names: Island of St. John, Island of Serpents and, as the Greeks called it, Island of Topaz. Although the ancient Greeks mistakenly thought the green volcanic crystal on the island was topaz, what they found in abundance was actually peridot. A peculiar stone with a storied past, peridot’s value today is a mere shadow of its former glory in the eyes of the ancients. Early records indicate that the ancient Egyptians mined peridot on Zabargad, fondly calling the stone the “gem of the sun”. In Greece, peridot was believed to confer the energy of royalty to the wearer, often worn as protection against evil spirits. For centuries, peridot has been known as “the evening emerald” since it appears to glow at dusk. Some historians even suspect that at least some of the “emeralds” worn by Cleopatra were actually peridot. Peridot comes from the most abundant material in the earth’s mantle, olivine, and is the only gemstone along with diamonds to form below the crust, reaching the surface via volcanic eruption. The strong green of peridot is caused by its high iron content, making up at least ten percent of its mass. Unlike beryls, corundums, and diamonds, which come in a variety of colours, peridots are only ever green. The colour range for peridot is narrow, from a brown-green colour to yellowish green to pure green. Yellowish green is the most common peridot colour seen in jewellery.

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September-BirthstoneSeptember Birthstone – SAPPHIRE

September Birthstone is Sapphire; its colour is Deep-Blue. For those who were born in the month of September the Sapphire is the traditional birthstone. Some of the properties with which the Sapphire is associated are truth, sincerity and constancy. The Traditional Metaphysical Properties for the Sapphire are clairvoyance, insight and interpretation. The healing properties are reputed to be effective for health problems relating to lowering fevers and inflammation, hearing problems, cancer and burns. The Sapphire is also used to enhance the influences of Venus and and banish evil thoughts. Sapphires come from Ceylon almost exclusively. They are found in other parts of the world, but never in sufficient quantity or perfection to form a market for their sale. The value of a sapphire does not increase in proportion to size as enormously as the ruby. In trade it is known by four names: The male sapphire, which is the perfect stone of a rich, clear, soft blue shade; the female sapphire, whose colour is speckled with white; the very pale blue birthstones called a water sapphires; and the cat sapphire, which is of a blackish or greenish blue tint and not often transparent. The remarkable coldness of the sapphire to the touch, due to its density, gave rise to the superstition that it would extinguish fire and keep its wearer chaste in thought and deed, losing its beauty if worn by an evil minded person. For this supposed virtue it was chosen for the birthstone to be set in the ring worn after their installation by the Bishops of the Roman Church. The largest known sapphire is called the «Wooden Spoon Seller», from the trade of the man who was lucky enough to find it. It was also named the «Respoli».

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October-BirthstoneOctober Birthstone – OPAL

October Birthstone is Opal and it is multi-coloured gem. Of all the precious gemstones, opal is perhaps the most alluring. A unique mixture of silica and varying amounts of water, opal’s brilliant play of colour is the result of tiny silicon spheres measuring several hundred nanometres in diameter; the same width as the wavelength of visible light. What makes an opal precious and another non-precious is how those spheres are organised. Pliny, the famous Roman author, called opal a gemstone which combines the best possible characteristics of the most beautiful of gemstones: the fine sparkle of Almandine, the shining purple of Amethyst, the golden yellow of Topaz, and the deep blue of Sapphire, so that all colours shine and sparkle together in a beautiful combination. Once considered the most prized precious stones by European royals, opals were traditionally given as favours in the 1800s. Even Napoleon adored the stone, giving his wife, Josephine, a vivid red opal weighing roughly 140 grams. The first opal to be named, “The Burning of Troy” was aptly labelled since Napoleon had said that he gave her this stone because she was his Helen. Today, roughly 97% of opals come from Australia, and of all the opal produced in the world 60% is white opal, 30% is crystal opal, 8% black opal and 2% boulder opal. It is cut in a semi-circle, lens, or oval shape, very rarely with facets. The best specimens must be large and display a brilliant play of colour, with the lustre described by the Grecian poet «like the delicate complexion of lovely youth». The opal cannot be imitated. It defies all attempts made to counterfeit its beauty in paste or by using thin plates of mother-of-pearl with inferior stones. These false opals do not deceive the most ignorant admirer of gems.

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November-Birthstone-topaz-citrineNovember Birthstone – TOPAZ (or CITRINE)

November Birthstone is Topaz (alternative birthstone − Citrine). Topaz, November’s primary birthstone, has one of the most confusing histories of any popular gem. Though topaz has been known since antiquity, it has suffered from considerable misidentification since ancient times, most often being confused with citrine, the alternative November birthstone. Both topaz and citrine were found on an island in the Mediterranean called Topazios in ancient times. Since the two gems were alike in colour, though not in size or form, they were often mixed up. The most common topaz colours are brown, yellow, yellow-gold, and orange, all very similar to the shades of citrine. Blue topaz is the fourth anniversary gemstone, and Imperial Topaz is the gemstone for 23rd wedding anniversaries. Topaz is the zodiacal stone for Sagittarius. The finest reddish orange topaz, called Imperial Topaz, can resemble exceptional Padparadscha Sapphire. Orange, reds and pinks are the rarest topaz colours, and the light green, purple-red, and colourless varieties of topaz are easily mistaken for other gemstones. Even with this confusion, topaz accumulated an impressive body of alleged healing properties. Topaz is reputed to increase understanding, strengthen breathing, prevent colds, enhance creativity, bring relaxation, control angry passions, restore energy, and aid in tissue regeneration. The topaz has, when perfect, a beautiful clear wine yellow. It is generally cut as a brilliant and is used for all kinds of jewellery. It is found in almost every part of the world. In the «French Imperial Bibliotheque» are several engraved topazes, and a very large and beautiful one is in the Vatican, cut with an Indian Bacchus. Its name means «the search» from the Greek «topazos».

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December-BirthstoneDecember Birthstone – TURQUOISE (or TANZANITE)

December Birthstone is Turquoise or Tanzanite, and its colour ranges from Sapphire-Blue to the Amethyst-Violet. The name turquoise means “Turkish stone,” because the trade route that brought the gem to Europe came through Turkey. The first known deposits were found in ancient Turkey, then later in Egypt. Turquoise, with its robin’s egg blue hue, has graced the necks of Egyptian Pharaohs and adorned early native Americans in their ceremonial dress. Turquoise is as beautiful, popular and affordable as it was 5,000 years ago. With new sources being found in China and Australia, as well as the established mines in the U.S., Mexico and Chile, turquoise will continue to be a gem that is as easy on the budget as it is on the eye. Tanzanite is very young gem in birthstone jewellery, it was discovered in 1967 in Masai tribe in Africa at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. One of the warriors of the Masai tribe brought Tanzanite, weighing 10 carats (2 kg) in the office of Manuel De Douša. Tanzanite has a beautiful, intense blue colour. It varies from ultramarine blue to light violet-blue. In sizes over 10 carats, the effect is impressive. Some tanzanite crystals need to be treated at 500 degrees Celsius to enhance their colour and resistance. Tanzanite is so popular today not only because of its fascinating colour but also because of its rarity, the only known deposits being in Tanzania, at Merelani. Without a long history like that of the other birthstones, tanzanite does not have any powerful, mysterious powers associated to it. But what it lacks in history, it compensates with beauty.

Read more about Blue Zircon →

Birthstone information sourced from


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