... ... A bit of the History and properties of Birth Stones - Gem Set Love

A bit of the History and properties of Birth Stones

Birthstones by Month and Sign.

 One of the things I enjoy collecting are books related to the magical properties and myths of Gems and Jewels. So when I decided to do a blog post about Birthstones I naturally felt it important to include some of the mystical origins and history of the tradition of Birthstones. I could really geek out here, but I’ll attempt to stay in the last 200 years or so.

One of my Favorite books “The Power of Gems and Charms” by George Bratley, published in 1907, has proved quite helpful in this research.

Birthstones have not always been associated with a Month. In earlier times they were associated with each sign of the Zodiac. The assigned Gems have also changed over time.

Aquarius: The Water Bearer - January 21st to February 18th - Garnet

Pisces: The Fishes – February 19th to March 20thAmethyst

Aries: The Ram - March 21st to April 20th - Bloodstone

Taurus: The Bull – April 21st to May 21stSapphire

Gemini: The Twins – May 22nd to June 21stEmerald

Cancer: The Crab – June 22nd to July 23rdAgate

Leo: The Lion – July 24th to August 23rdRuby

Virgo: The Virgin – August 24th to September 23rdSardonyx

Libra: The Balance – September 24th to October 23rdChrysolite

Scorpio: The Scorpion – October 24th to November 22rdOpal

Sagittarius: The Archer – November 23rd to December 22ndTopaz

Capricorn: The Goat – December 23rd to January 20thTurquoise

 At some point prior to the Victorian period Birthstones became associated with the months of the year rather than the Zodiac signs. All of the traditional 19th century birthstones featured prominently in the fashionable jewelry of the time.

 The modern birthstone for each month dates back to 1912, some months have 2 options.

January: Garnet – It is thought to promote romantic love and passion. It is also considered the gemstone of patience, calm and stability.

MOHS HARDNESS: 6.5-7.5

February: Amethyst - It is considered the gemstone of meditation, peace, balance, courage, and inner strength.

MOHS HARDNESS: 6.5-7.5

March: Aquamarine - It is considered the gemstone of compassion, clarity, and gentle courage.

MOHS HARDNESS: 7.5 to 8.0

April: Diamond - It is considered the gemstone of harmony, imagination, and strength. Diamonds are the hardest material on earth: 58 times harder than anything else in nature.

MOHS HARDNESS: 10

May: Emerald – It is considered a symbol of rebirth, and is believed to grant the owner foresight, good fortune, and youth.

MOHS HARDNESS: 7.5 to 8

June: Pearl – In many cultures the Pearl is associated with the moon. They are considered a symbol of innocence, modesty, and purity.

July: Ruby – It is thought to increase integrity, and promote gentle nurturing and understanding.

MOHS HARDNESS: 9

August: Peridot – It is thought to lessen anger and jealousy, and promote abundance and prosperity.

MOHS HARDNESS: 6.5 to 7

September: Sapphire – It is considered the gemstone of nobility, truth, sincerity, and faithfulness. It is also said to aid in creative expression and inner peace.

MOHS HARDNESS: 9

October: Opal – It is considered to be a gemstone to inspire creativity and imagination. Some people think it’s unlucky for anyone born in another month to wear an opal. But that particular superstition comes from a novel written in the 1800s (Anne of Geierstein by Sir Walter Scott), and not from any ancient belief or experience. In fact, throughout most of history, opal has been regarded as the luckiest and most magical of all gems because it can show all colors.

MOHS HARDNESS: 5 to 6.5

Tourmaline – Also an accepted birthstone for October, Tourmalines come in a rainbow of colors.

MOHS HARDNESS: 7 to 7.5

November: Topaz – It is believed to aid in strength, joy and success. It is also thought that wearing it above the heart assures long life, beauty and intelligence.

MOHS HARDNESS: 8

Citrine – Also an accepted birthstone for November, Citrine is considered to promote success, abundance, and clear thinking.

MOHS HARDNESS: 7

December: Zircon - In the Middle Ages, this gem was thought to induce sound sleep, drive away evil spirits, and promote riches, honor, and wisdom. It is also considered to be grounding and inspire confidence.

MOHS HARDNESS: 6 to 7.5

Turquoise – Also an accepted birthstone for December, Turquoise is thought to aid in communication, creativity, and balance.

MOHS HARDNESS: 5 to 6

 Developed by Friedrich Mohs a German mineralogist in 1812, The Mohs Hardness scale begins with 1 being the softest mineral, talc, to 10 being the hardest, Diamond.

 




Paula Bixel
Paula Bixel

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