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Your Ultimate Guide to Birthstones

Updated: May 3

Are you looking for a meaningful gift for a birthday or anniversary, or perhaps a treat for yourself? Birthstones are not only a unique and personal choice, but they also carry historical significance and are believed to offer protection and luck.

Our experts at Sennen Jewellery have researched and crafted this guide to explore each month's birthstones, their meanings, and their histories, helping you find the perfect birthstone that resonates with you and your loved ones.


Key Points Summary: Birthstones by Month

  • January Birthstone, Garnet: Deep red; symbolizes trust and eternal friendship; enhances positive emotions.

  • February Birthstone, Amethyst: Vibrant purple; represents balance and courage; fosters stability and inner strength.

  • March Birthstones, Aquamarine and Bloodstone: Aquamarine: Light blue, calming; symbolizes loyalty and health. Bloodstone: Dark green with red spots, robust; offers courage and resilience.

  • April Birthstones: Diamond, Cubic Zirconia, and White Topaz Diamond: Brilliant and durable; signifies everlasting love. Cubic Zirconia: Affordable, clear; provides grounding. White Topaz: Clear; enhances honesty and emotional clarity.

  • May Birthstone: Emerald: Rich green; associated with rebirth and love; promotes emotional well-being.

  • June Birthstones: Pearl, Moonstone, and Alexandrite Pearl: Classic and pure; brings protection and wealth. Moonstone: Milky with a blue sheen; soothes emotional instability. Alexandrite: Color-changing; balances physical and spiritual energies.

  • July Birthstone: Ruby: Vivid red; symbol of passion and success; boosts energy and confidence.

  • August Birthstones: Peridot, Spinel and Sardonyx. Peridot: Lime green; attracts abundance and fosters happiness. Spinel: Available in various colors; revitalizes and aids in overcoming challenges. Sardonyx: a banded variety of the mineral chalcedony, typically featuring alternating layers of sard (a reddish-brown variety of chalcedony) and white onyx.

  • September Birthstones: Sapphire and Lapis Lazuli: Sapphires are typically blue; and signify wisdom and virtue; promotes spiritual truth. Lapis Lazuli is a deep blue rock, often containing gold coloured pyrite.

  • October Birthstones: Opal and Tourmaline Opal: Displays a play of colors; symbolizes hope and creativity. Tourmaline: Comes in many colors; fosters artistic expression and understanding.

  • November Birthstones: Topaz and Citrine Topaz: Often golden orange; balances emotions and thoughts. Citrine: Sunny yellow; energizes and inspires creativity.

  • December Birthstones: Turquoise, Zircon, and Tanzanite Turquoise: Bright blue to green; traditional, protective. Zircon: Sparkling and diverse in color; promotes prosperity and wisdom. Tanzanite: Blue-violet; transforms negative energies and connects the mind with the heart.

birthstones

January's Birthstone: Garnet

Garnet, January's birthstone, not only enhances the warmth of winter with its deep red glow but also symbolises trust and eternal friendship. It is also a perfect gift for the 2nd wedding anniversary and offers a rich history along with protective qualities.

January Birthstone Key Details:

  • Colour Varieties: Although most commonly red, garnets can be found in an array of colors including green, orange, yellow, purple, and even colorless.

  • Mohs Hardness: 6.5 to 7.5, making it durable enough for everyday wear.

  • Origins: Major sources of garnet include India, Brazil, Madagascar, and the United States.

Historical Significance:

  • Ancient Uses: Garnets have been used since the Bronze Age as gemstones and abrasives.

  • Cultural Importance: In medieval times, garnets were believed to cure depression, protect against bad dreams, and relieve diseases of the liver.

Emotional and Spiritual Influence:

  • Healing Properties: Garnets are said to revitalize the body, boosting energy and strength.

  • Emotional Resonance: This gem is often associated with the prevention of nightmares and the provision of directional guidance in darkness.

Practical Considerations:

  • Care Instructions: Garnets should be cleaned with warm soapy water and a soft brush. Although relatively hard, they can be scratched by harder substances, so they should be stored carefully.

  • Styling Tips: Garnet’s rich color makes it a stunning choice for both day and evening wear. In our opinion it pairs beautifully with both silver and gold, enhancing its versatility.


January's birthstone, Garnet, with its deep red colour and historical richness, is a symbol of a rich past and protective qualities. Whether set in a ring, pendant, or bracelet, garnet makes a heartfelt and meaningful gift.

 

Find out more about the garnet here: January's Birthstone - Garnet (sennenjewellery.com) 


February's Birthstone: Amethyst

The vibrant purple February birthstone, Amethyst, is renowned for its striking beauty and spiritual qualities. This gemstone symbolizes peace, stability, and courage, making it an ideal gift for people seeking tranquility and balance in their lives.

Key Details:

  • Colour Varieties: Ranges from light lavender to deep violet.

  • Mohs Hardness: 7, indicating good durability for jewellery.

  • Origins: Primarily sourced from Brazil, Uruguay, and parts of Africa.

Historical Significance:

  • Royal Favour: Historically favored by royalty for its rich coloration and supposed protective powers.

  • Mythological Lore: According to Greek mythology, the February birthstone amethyst was created by Dionysus, the god of wine, to prevent drunkenness and foster clear-headedness.

Emotional and Spiritual Influence:

  • Healing Properties: Believed to purify the mind and clear it of negative thoughts, including the stress and anxiety of daily concerns.

  • Emotional Resonance: Associated with stability, peace, balance, courage, and inner strength.

Practical Considerations:

  • Care Instructions: Amethyst can be cleaned using soapy water and a soft brush, but should be protected from prolonged exposure to direct sunlight which can fade the color.

  • Styling Tips: Due to its royal purple hue, we think amethyst looks particularly striking when set in white gold or silver, which accentuates its cool tones.

As a birthstone, as well as looking beautiful, amethyst brings with it a legacy of calm, clarity, and protection. Its rich purple hues provide a touch of regal elegance to any jewellery collection, making it a perfect birthday gift for February-born people or anyone seeking tranquility.


Find out more about Amethysts here: February's Birthstone - Amethyst (sennenjewellery.com)


March's Birthstones: Aquamarine and Bloodstone

March celebrates two contrasting birthstones, aquamarine and bloodstone, each offering unique aesthetic and metaphysical properties. Aquamarine, with its serene blue color, evokes the calm of the ocean, while bloodstone, typically dark green with speckles of red, offers a more robust energy. We offer a wide selection of aquamarine jewellery at Sennen Jewellery, whereas bloodstone is more suited to decorative items.

Key Details:

Colour Varieties:

  • Aquamarine: Light blue to deep azure.

  • Bloodstone: Dark green with red spots. Mohs Hardness:

  • Aquamarine: 7.5 to 8, making it quite durable.

  • Bloodstone: 6.5 to 7, reasonably durable but with more care required. Origins:

  • Aquamarine: Mainly found in Brazil, Nigeria, Madagascar, Zambia, and Pakistan.

  • Bloodstone: Primarily sourced from India and Brazil.

Historical Significance:

  • Aquamarine: Historically used by sailors as a talisman for good luck and protection on voyages.

  • Bloodstone: Known in the Middle Ages for its healing powers and ability to staunch wounds.

Emotional and Spiritual Influence:

  • Aquamarine:

  • Healing Properties: Known for soothing tempers and allowing the wearer to remain calm and level-headed.

  • Emotional Resonance: Linked with purity, love, and happiness, fostering long-lasting relationships.

  • Bloodstone:

  • Healing Properties: Thought to enhance physical strength and resilience.

  • Emotional Resonance: Offers grounding and protective properties, boosting courage and self-esteem.

Practical Considerations:

  • Care Instructions:

  • Aquamarine: Clean with lukewarm water and a gentle soap. Avoid exposure to extreme heat or light.

  • Bloodstone: Best cleaned with a soft cloth and soapy water; avoid harsh chemicals.

  • Styling Tips: Aquamarine complements silver, white gold and Cornish tin which enhance its cool tones.




Find out more about the birthstones for March here: The Birthstones for March – Aquamarine or Blue Topaz (sennenjewellery.com)


April's Birthstones: Diamond, Cubic Zirconia, and White Topaz

April’s primary birthstone, the diamond, is the epitome of brilliance and durability, symbolizing everlasting love and invincibility. Diamonds come in a variety of hues; the term 'fancy colored diamond' is used to explain that any diamond other than white, including yellow, blue, and pink diamonds.

Alternatives like cubic zirconia and white topaz offer affordability while still providing elegance and sparkle suitable for all occasions.

birthstones

Colour Varieties:

  • Diamond: Typically clear, though available in a range of hues including yellow, blue, and pink.

  • Cubic Zirconia: Often colorless but can be made in various colors.

  • White Topaz: Clear to white.

Mohs Hardness:

  • Diamond: 10, the highest on the scale.

  • Cubic Zirconia: 8 to 8.5.

  • White Topaz: 8.

Origins:

  • Diamond: Major producers include South Africa, Russia, and Australia.

  • Cubic Zirconia: Synthetically produced.

  • White Topaz: Commonly found in Brazil, Nigeria, and China.

Historical Significance:

  • Diamond: Known since ancient times, diamonds have been used in religious icons and were believed to bring courage and strength.

  • Cubic Zirconia and White Topaz: More modern alternatives, they offer the look of diamonds at a more accessible price point.

Emotional and Spiritual Influence:

  • Diamond: Promotes clarity, strength, and abundance. It is believed to amplify energy and never requires recharging.

  • Cubic Zirconia: Often used as a grounding stone that helps reduce ego and promote spiritual development.

  • White Topaz: Said to enhance forgiveness and honesty, bringing true joy.

Care Instructions:

  • Diamond: Can be cleaned with almost any method, but steam and ultrasonic cleaners are most effective.

  • Cubic Zirconia and White Topaz: Best cleaned with mild soap and water; avoid harsh chemicals and extreme temperatures.

Styling Tips:

  • Diamond: Complements all settings and metals, enhancing any jewellery design.

  • Cubic Zirconia and White Topaz: In our opinion both look great set in either silver or gold, with Cubic Zirconia more suited to silver settings. White Topaz allows the use of a larger gemstone in a jewellery design, with the look of diamond jewellery, and looks great in both gold and silver.

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April’s birthstones offer choices that suit every taste and budget, from the unmatched hardness and brilliance of diamonds to the practical beauty of cubic zirconia and white topaz. Whether for engagement rings, anniversary gifts, or for yourself, these precious gems provide timeless beauty with significant emotional resonance.


Wondering which to choose? take a look at our guide here: April Birthstones: Diamond, White Topaz or Cubic Zirconia (sennenjewellery.com)


May's Birthstone: Emerald

Emerald, the birthstone of May, is cherished for its rich green hue and association with rebirth, fertility, and love. This precious gemstone has been a feature of the crowns and jewellery of royalty throughout history and is considered a symbol of truth and love.


Key Details:

  • Colour: Deep vibrant green.

  • Mohs Hardness: 7.5 to 8, relatively hard but requires care to avoid scratching.

  • Origins: Primarily found in Colombia, Brazil, and Zambia.

Historical Significance:

  • Ancient Lore: The ancient Egyptians mined emeralds as early as 330 BC, and Cleopatra was known for her passion for these gemstones.

  • Royal Connections: In the Middle Ages, emeralds were believed to protect against spells and enchantments, and so often used in Royal jewellery.

Emotional and Spiritual Influence:

  • Healing Properties: Known for healing emotional wounds and helping to foresee future events when placed under the tongue.

  • Emotional Resonance: Encourages growth, reflection, peace, and balance.

Practical Considerations:

  • Care Instructions: Best cleaned with warm soapy water. Avoid exposure to heat and sudden temperature changes which can cause fractures.

  • Styling Tips: Emeralds are often set in gold to highlight their warmth and depth of color, making them a classic choice for both modern and vintage-inspired designs.

Emeralds offer a unique blend of historical richness and vibrant beauty, making them a sought-after gemstone for jewellery that signifies important life milestones. Their fabulous colour and mystique make them a perfect choice for May birthdays or anyone wishing to add a touch of classic elegance to their collection.


June Birthstones: Pearl, Moonstone, and Alexandrite

There are three June birthstones: pearl, moonstone, and alexandrite, with each of these stunning three June birthstones offering unique qualities and aesthetics. Pearls symbolize purity and new beginnings, moonstones are revered for their calming energies and mystical appearance, and alexandrite is celebrated for its remarkable color-changing ability.

The Three June Birthstones, Key Details:

Colour Varieties:

  • Pearl: Classic white, though available in pink, black, and golden shades.

  • Moonstone: Typically milky white with a blue or rainbow sheen.

  • Alexandrite: Green in daylight and red to purplish-red in incandescent light.

Mohs Hardness:

  • Pearl: 2.5, quite soft.

  • Moonstone: 6 to 6.5.

  • Alexandrite: 8.5.

Origins:

  • Pearl: Primarily sourced from Japan, Australia, and the South Pacific.

  • Moonstone: Commonly found in Sri Lanka, India, and Madagascar.

  • Alexandrite: Rare and mostly found in Russia and Brazil.

Historical Significance:

  • Pearl: Used in jewellery for thousands of years, pearls were considered a symbol of status and were one of the favorite gems of the Roman Empire.

  • Moonstone: Used in Roman jewellery for nearly two thousand years, often associated with lunar gods. Moonstones are strongly associated with the moon, with people in ancient times believing the stone was created from moonbeams!

  • Alexandrite: Discovered in Russia in the 1830s and named after Tsar Alexander II.

Emotional and Spiritual Influence:

  • Pearl: Believed to offer protection, as well as attract good luck and wealth.

  • Moonstone: Encourages inner growth and strength, soothes emotional instability.

  • Alexandrite: Thought to bring balance between physical and spiritual worlds, bringing joy and insight.

Care Instructions:

  • Pearl: Should be kept away from cosmetics and cleaned gently with a soft cloth.

  • Moonstone: Clean with mild soap water and a soft brush; avoid harsh chemicals.

  • Alexandrite: Can be cleaned with most jewellery cleaners but should be handled carefully to avoid scratches.

The Three June Birthstones Styling Tips:

  • Pearl: Best worn in classic settings such as necklaces and earrings.

  • Moonstone: Suitable for more mystical and bohemian designs.

  • Alexandrite: Ideal for unique, color-changing jewellery pieces that are sure to be conversation starters.

June’s birthstones offer an array of choices from the elegant simplicity of pearls to the enchanting color play of alexandrite. Each stone holds a deep cultural and historical significance, making them a perfect gift.


July's Birthstone: Ruby

The July birthstone, Ruby, is one of the four precious gemstones, known for its vibrant red color and its status as a symbol of passion, protection, and prosperity.


Ruby is also the traditional gift for 15th and 40th wedding anniversaries.


Ruby has traditionally been regarded as a stone of royalty in many cultures and there are many links between power and money in ruby symbolism and lore. Owning a ruby was said to facilitate wealth accumulation, and even to help the owner to acquire more gemstones!



Key Details:

  • Colour: Deep, vivid red.

  • Mohs Hardness: 9, making it very durable and suitable for daily wear.

  • Origins: The most prized rubies are from Myanmar (Burma), though significant deposits are also found in Thailand, India, and Vietnam.

Historical Significance:

  • Ancient Lore: Rubies have been treasured as symbols of wealth and success throughout history.

  • Cultural Impact: In medieval Europe, rubies were seen as stones of prophecy, believed to guarantee health, wealth, wisdom, and success in love.

Emotional and Spiritual Influence:

  • Healing Properties: Rubies are said to stimulate the heart chakra and encourage a passion for life, but they are also protective against psychic attacks and negativity.

  • Emotional Resonance: The stone of courage, it can boost your energy levels and promote dynamic leadership.

Practical Considerations:

  • Care Instructions: Due to its hardness, ruby is easy to care for; it can be cleaned with most commercial jewellery cleaner or with soap and water.

  • Styling Tips: Rubies are striking when set in platinum or white gold, which accentuates their rich red color, making them ideal for both modern and traditional jewellery designs.

Rubies are not only beautiful but also carry a rich legacy of lore and luxury, making them a favoured choice for July birthstone jewellery. They offer not only a timeless aesthetic but also promise to add a touch of warmth and vitality to any jewellery collection.


August's Birthstones: Peridot, Spinel and Sardonyx.

August celebrates three distinct gemstones: peridot, spinel and sardonyx. Peridot, the most well known August birthstone, is lime green in color, and symbolises strength and vitality, while the alternative August birthstone, spinel is available in a rainbow of colors and is often mistaken for other gemstones due to its brilliance.

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August’s Birthstone: Key Details:

  • Colour Varieties:

  • Peridot: Vibrant lime green.

  • Spinel: Available in a wide range of colors, including red, pink, blue, and black.

  • August’s Birthstone Mohs Hardness:

  • Peridot: 6.5 to 7.

  • Spinel: 8.

Origins:

  • Peridot: Mainly found in China, Myanmar, Pakistan, and the United States.

  • Spinel: Sourced from Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Tajikistan.

August’s Birthstone History:

  • Peridot: Known as the “gem of the sun” in ancient Egypt, it was believed to ward off nightmares when set in gold.

  • Spinel: Historically mistaken for ruby, it has decorated many royal crowns and regalia. Care Instructions:

  • Peridot: Thought to cleanse and activate the heart and solar plexus chakras, fostering abundance, prosperity, and happiness. Peridot is said to protect against negative emotion. This pretty green gemstone encourages wearers to follow their passions and stay loyal to their inner selves.

  • Spinel: Associated with revitalization, offering the energy to persist in endeavors and the resilience to overcome challenges.


Styling Tips:

  • Peridot: We think peridot looks stunning set in gold or gold plated silver, which complements its green tones.

  • Spinel: Versatile enough to be set in various metals, making it suitable for vibrant, colorful jewellery pieces.

Sardonyx; an Alternative Birthstone for August

Sardonyx, a banded variety of chalcedony, is a lesser-known birthstone for August. While historically significant and valued for its distinctive banded appearance, sardonyx is not as commonly used in contemporary jewellery. Also, the availability of sardonyx in large, uniform pieces suitable for jewellery making can be limited, further contributing to its lesser prominence in the market. Despite these factors, sardonyx remains appreciated for its unique appearance and historical significance in decorative art and cameo carving.

August’s birthstones offer a choice between peridot’s bright, summery vibe and spinel’s luxurious diversity. Both stones provide a unique blend of beauty and historical intrigue, making them perfect for personal jewellery or as a meaningful gift.


The September Birthstones: Sapphire and Lapis Lazuli

The September birthstone, Sapphire, is treasured for its deep, oceanic blue hues that symbolize wisdom, virtue, and good fortune. Historically, this gemstone has been associated with royalty and divinity, reflecting its status among kings and clergy. Accompanying Sapphire as a September birthstone, Lapis Lazuli is celebrated for its rich, celestial blue color, sometimes with golden specks that resemble stars.

September Birthstone Key Details:


Color Varieties of the September Birthstone

  • Sapphire Colors:

  • Blue Sapphire: The most renowned, symbolizing honesty and loyalty.

  • Pink Sapphire: Offers a softer tone, symbolizing compassion and love.

  • Yellow Sapphire: Radiates optimistic energy and prosperity.

  • Green Sapphire: Represents tranquility and integrity.

  • White Sapphire: Stands for clarity and consistency.

  • Lapis Lazuli:

  • Renowned for its deep blue color with golden inclusions of pyrite.

Origins and Physical Properties

  • Sapphire:

  • Hardness: Rated at 9 on the Mohs scale, making it highly durable for all types of jewelry.

  • Origins: Prominent sources include Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and Kashmir.

  • Lapis Lazuli:

  • Hardness: Softer than sapphire, rated at about 5-5.5 on the Mohs scale.

  • Texture: Often has a smooth, matte finish that is tactile and inviting.

Historical Significance of the September Birthstone

  • Royal Affinity: Both sapphire and lapis lazuli were cherished by royalty for their beauty and supposed protective qualities.

  • Cultural Impact: Sapphires have historically been thought to guard against evil and poisoning, while lapis lazuli was viewed as a stone of protection and enlightenment.

Emotional and Spiritual Influence

  • Sapphire:

  • Healing Properties: Known for calming the mind and fostering peace.

  • Emotional Resonance: Encourages spiritual truth and psychic awareness.

  • Lapis Lazuli:

  • Emotional Clarity: Supports emotional clarity and self-awareness.

  • Spiritual Influence: Aids in deep, reflective insight and enhances self-expression.


Care Instructions for September Birthstones

  • Sapphire:

  • Can be cleaned with most commercial cleaners or with soap and water at home.

  • Lapis Lazuli:

  • Should be cleaned gently to avoid scratching its softer surface.

Styling Tips for September Birthstones

  • Sapphire:

  • Blue sapphires are striking when set in yellow gold, which highlights their vibrant blue tones.

  • Lapis Lazuli:

  • Works well in silver or platinum settings, which complement its deep blue shade and golden flecks.

The September birthstone, whether sapphire with its array of colors or the mystical lapis lazuli, offers a range of options for anyone looking to add a touch of elegance and meaning to their jewelry collection. Each stone, with its unique properties and historical significance, provides endless possibilities for creative and personalized jewellery designs.

October's Birthstones: Opal and Tourmaline

October is represented by two gemstones, opal and tourmaline, each known for their array of colors and captivating beauty. Opal is particularly valued for its ability to display all the colors of the rainbow, whereas tourmaline is prized for its vast color spectrum.

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October's Birthstone Key Details:

  • Colour Varieties:

  • Opal: Displays a kaleidoscope of colors.

  • Tourmaline: Available in pink, green, blue, and multicolored forms.

  • Mohs Hardness:

  • Opal: 5.5 to 6.5.

  • Tourmaline: 7 to 7.5.


Origins:

  • Opal: Mainly sourced from Australia, which produces 95% of the world’s supply.

  • Tourmaline: Commonly found in Brazil, Africa, and the USA.

October's Birthstone Historical Significance:

  • Opal: Considered a stone of hope, brilliance, and creativity, it has been revered since ancient times.

  • Tourmaline: Known as the “rainbow gemstone” because it can be found in so many colors, believed to foster artistic expression and inspiration.

October's Birthstone Emotional and Spiritual Influence:

  • Opal: Enhances self-worth, confidence, and self-esteem, and helps its wearer understand their full potential.

  • Tourmaline: Promotes healing and strength, aids in understanding oneself and others, which fosters compassion and tolerance.

Care Instructions:

  • Opal: Must be protected from heat and harsh chemicals and stored in water to avoid drying out.

  • Tourmaline: Durable and easy to care for with general cleaning methods.

Styling Tips:

  • Opal: Best showcased in cabochon settings that protect it from scratches and bumps.

  • Tourmaline: Highly versatile for modern jewellery designs due to its color diversity.

October’s birthstones offer vibrant, eye-catching choices that bring color and creativity to any jewellery collection. Whether you choose the mesmerizing opal or the colorful tourmaline, both gems provide unique options for personalization and style.


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November's Birthstones: Topaz and Citrine

There are two November birthstones: topaz and citrine. Both birthstones are celebrated for their calming energies and warm colors that range from the fiery orange of topaz to the sunny yellow of citrine, representing friendship, strength, and vitality.

November Birthstone, Key Details:

  • Colour Varieties:

  • Topaz: Available in a variety of colors, including blue topaz, clear, and the prized imperial topaz with its golden orange hue.

  • Citrine: Shades vary from pale yellow to brownish orange.

  • Mohs Hardness:

  • Topaz: 8.

  • Citrine: 7.

Origins:

  • Topaz: Often sourced from Brazil, Pakistan, and Russia.

  • Citrine: Primarily found in Brazil and Spain.

November Birthstone History:

  • Topaz: Known in ancient times as a stone of strength, giving courage and wisdom.

  • Citrine: Called the "merchant's stone" for its properties of wealth and prosperity.

November Birthstone Emotional and Spiritual Influence:

  • Topaz: Believed to balance emotions and thoughts for a harmonious lifestyle.

  • Citrine: Thought to carry the power of the sun, this gem energizes, inspires creativity, and brings joy.

The Two November Birthstones; Practical Tips

  • Topaz: Should be protected from hard knocks to avoid cleaving or fracturing. Clean with mild soap water and a soft brush.

  • Citrine: Can fade in direct sunlight, so storage away from prolonged exposure to light is recommended. Cleans easily with standard jewelry cleaning methods.

Styling Tips:

  • Topaz: Works beautifully in both gold and silver settings that accentuate its color variety.

  • Citrine: Often set in gold to enhance its warm tones, perfect for both modern and antique-inspired designs.

The two November birthstones, topaz and citrine, bring warmth and brightness to the colder months, offering a slice of sunshine with their vibrant colors and positive energies.


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December Birthstones: Turquoise, Zircon, and Tanzanite

Three strikingly beautiful gemstones are used as December birthstones: turquoise, zircon, and tanzanite. Each of these gems carries unique shades and meanings, from the traditional and protective turquoise to the sparkling zircon and the exotic tanzanite.

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December Birthstone Key Details:

Colour Varieties:

  • Turquoise: Known for its iconic bright blue to green colors.

  • Zircon: Available in a range of colors, including blue, clear, and multicolored.

  • Tanzanite: Exotic blue-violet gem only found in Tanzania.

Mohs Hardness:

  • Turquoise: 5 to 6.

  • Zircon: 6.5 to 7.5.

  • Tanzanite: 6.5 to 7, requiring careful handling.

Origins:

  • Turquoise: Historically mined in Iran, currently most comes from the southwestern USA.

  • Zircon: Found in Australia, which produces a significant portion of the world’s supply.

  • Tanzanite: Exclusively sourced from a small area in Tanzania, East Africa.

Historical Significance:

  • Turquoise: One of the oldest protection amulets, and was once thought to ward off all evil.

  • Zircon: The oldest mineral on earth, dating back more than 4.4 billion years.

  • Tanzanite: Discovered in the 1960s and quickly became popular due to its brilliant blue hues and rarity.

December Birthstone Emotional and Spiritual Influence:

  • Turquoise: Promotes healing and brings peace to the home.

  • Zircon: Enhances clear thinking and promotes both prosperity and wisdom.

  • Tanzanite: Known for its ability to transform negative energies into positive ones and to connect the mind with the heart.

December's Birthstone Practical Considerations:


  • Turquoise: Very porous, should avoid oils, cosmetics, and household chemicals. Clean with a soft cloth.

  • Zircon: Though durable, it should be protected from wear and abrasion. Clean with mild soap and water.

  • Tanzanite: Should be handled with care due to its brittleness. Avoid sharp blows and high temperatures.

The December birthstones offer a variety of options, each with its own distinct beauty and rich history. Whether it's the protective turquoise, the ancient zircon, or the transformative tanzanite.


Traditional Vs. Modern Birthstones

The concept of a birthstone - gems associated with each month of the year - has a rich history, rooted in ancient cultures but adapted over time to reflect changing tastes and available resources.

Traditional birthstones often stem from historical lists originating from various cultural and religious backgrounds, such as the breastplate of Aaron in the Bible, which contained twelve gemstones representing the tribes of Israel. These stones were linked to the zodiac and believed to possess specific powers, particularly when worn during their corresponding month.

These traditional birthstones carry several key characteristics. They are historically rich, each stone deeply intertwined with cultural and mythical significance.

For example, January's garnet symbolizes protection, while September's sapphire embodies wisdom and purity. Additionally, some months offer multiple traditional options, reflecting historical availability and regional variations.

In contrast, modern birthstones emerged with the standardization of a list by the National Association of Jewelers in the USA in 1912. This modern list aimed to fill gaps where no traditional stone existed and to promote gems readily available in the market.

Widely adopted, the modern list is frequently utilized in contemporary jewellery marketing and design, offering clear and consistent choices for each month.

The decision between a traditional or a modern birthstone often hinges on personal preference or the specific qualities one wishes to emphasize. While traditional stones carry the weight of history and legend, modern options provide greater availability, variety, and sometimes, affordability.

Whether one leans towards the timeless appeal of traditional birthstones or the choices of modern alternatives, each type of birthstone offers unique ways to celebrate personal significance or commemorate a special occasion.

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Precious Gems for Every Milestone

Whether you are choosing a birthstone based on its traditional significance, its colour, or its emotional resonance, each birthstone offers a unique connection to your personal story or that of a loved one. Birthstone pendants are perfect for gifting and can be combined with an initial charm for a really personal gift.

At Sennen Jewellery, we provide  custom jewellery commissions  services to incorporate these precious gems into a piece that truly reflects your individual style and sentiment.


custom birthstone jewellery

FAQs: Birthstone Guide

Can I combine multiple birthstones in one piece of jewellery? 

Yes, combining multiple birthstones in one piece of jewellery is a popular choice, especially for representing family members or special events throughout the year. This approach not only personalizes the piece but also makes it visually unique. When creating a piece using multiple birthstones, it's important to consider the compatibility of the birthstone in terms of hardness and care requirements to ensure the piece lasts.


What is the rarest birthstone?

Alexandrite is often considered the rarest birthstone. Known for its color-changing properties, alexandrite can appear green in daylight and red in incandescent light. Its rarity, along with its fascinating optical properties, makes it highly prized and relatively more expensive than many other gemstones.


What is the most expensive birthstone?

Typically, the diamond, which is April's birthstone, is considered the most expensive birthstone due to its widespread desirability, brilliant lustre, and hardness. However, the value can vary greatly depending on the gemstone's quality, rarity, and current market demand. Emeralds, Alexandrite, Rubies, and Sapphires (May birthstone, June birthstone, July birthstone, and September birthstones, respectively) also fetch high prices, particularly for high-quality specimens.


Are there any synthetic alternatives to natural birthstones?

Yes, there are synthetic alternatives available for nearly all natural birthstones. These lab-created stones have the same chemical, physical, and optical properties as their natural counterparts but are generally more affordable and environmentally friendly. Examples include synthetic diamonds, lab-grown rubies, sapphires, and emeralds. These alternatives are perfect for those who seek the aesthetic and emotional appeal of a birthstone without the higher cost or environmental impact of mining.


Which modern birthstones are less expensive than the traditional stone?

When comparing modern birthstones to their traditional counterparts, some modern options tend to be more budget-friendly. Here are a few examples:

  1. Amethyst (February Birthstone) vs. Diamond: Amethyst, a modern birthstone for February, is generally more affordable than diamonds, the traditional birthstone for the same month. While diamonds are known for their brilliance and durability, amethyst offers a striking purple hue at a lower price point.

  2. Aquamarine (March Birthstone) vs. Bloodstone: Aquamarine, a modern March birthstone, is often less expensive than bloodstone, the traditional birthstone. Bloodstone, with its dark green color and red spots, can be rarer and thus pricier compared to aquamarine, which typically exhibits a serene blue hue.

  3. Peridot (August Birthstone) vs. Spinel: Peridot, a modern birthstone for August, is generally more affordable than spinel, the traditional August birthstone. While spinel comes in various colors and can be valuable, peridot's distinctive lime green hue is often more accessible in terms of price.

  4. Citrine (November Birthstone) vs. Topaz: Citrine, a modern November birthstone, is often a more budget-friendly option compared to topaz, its traditional counterpart. While both gems come in various colors, citrine's warm yellow to amber tones are typically more affordable than certain varieties of topaz.

  5. Turquoise (December Birthstone) vs. Tanzanite: Turquoise, a modern December birthstone, is generally less expensive than tanzanite, its traditional counterpart. Tanzanite, with its rare blue-violet color, can command higher prices compared to turquoise, which is more commonly available.

While these modern birthstone choices offer more budget-friendly alternatives to traditional birthstones, it's essential to consider factors such as quality, size, and cut when making a purchase decision.



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