Monthly Archives: March 2010

The TRUTH About Birthstones

With Mother’s Day getting closer I start getting a lot of questions about birthstones…specifically: which stone is the RIGHT one for a particular birthday.
The crazy thing is, if you try googling the answer you’ll come up with all sorts of DIFFERENT variations of which stone is used for which month – including weird classifications like “modern”, “mystical” “Ayurvedic”(!!!)…etc.

Sooo, I have graciously decided to give you the definitive list of proper birthstone usage…according to me.
You’re welcome.

First of all, let me start by correcting a common misconception; it doesn’t matter what DAY of the month you were born on – birthstones are not like Zodiac signs…they are the same for the entire month in question. So no matter if you were born on September 1st or the 30th, your birthstone is still Sapphire. Got that?

Now, on to the months:

JANUARY
Garnet. Usually deep red in color. Easy.

FEBRUARY
Also easy – Amethyst. Purple.

MARCH
Aquamarine. Pale blue – and I do mean pale – many genuine Aquamarines can be VERY light in color.
I have also occasionally seen Bloodstone mentioned. Ummm, no. Do you really want to wear a stone with the word ‘blood’ in it?

APRIL
Diamond. It’s funny, women who were born in April usually always manage to know what their birthstone is. Here’s the thing though; basically any clear gemstone – white sapphire, white topaz, CZ…etc – can be used for April. Just saying.

MAY
Emerald. Green.

JUNE
NOW we’re talking! Probably the most contested birth month of them all.
The most widely accepted gemstone for June is Alexandrite. The alternate stone most associated with June is Pearl. There are problems with BOTH of these, however.
First of all, genuine Alexandrites are pretty rare, and gem-quality ones can be extremely expensive. Alexandrite is also a color changing stone, which means it can appear different colors depending on the type of light they are under. They can range anywhere from green to bluish-green under natural light to purple/red/lavender/brown under incandescent light, candle light…etc. They make synthetic Alexandrites that are similar to genuine ones and that also have some color changing properties, and oftentime other genuine stones such as Moonstone or Smoky Quartz are used.
The main problem with the pearl is that it’s a usually round, opaque white stone which doesn’t really work well with other gemstones in a traditional birthstone type piece of jewelry.
And before you accuse me of ‘hatin on June’, both me and my younger daughter were born in June. So there.

JULY
Ruby. Red, to Pinkish-Red.
What a difference a month makes.

AUGUST
Peridot. The OTHER green stone. It’s a light green.
If Peridot and Emerald were Baldwin Brothers, Emerald would be Alec and Peridot would be Daniel.


SEPTEMBER
Sapphire. Deep Blue.

OCTOBER
The OTHER problem birthstone. Basically, there are two birthstones associated with October: Pink Tourmaline & Opal. A lot of October women love their Opals – which are smooth and usually opaque white with bluish-green streaks of color – but generally if you’re making a piece with a few different birthstones you would use Pink Tourmaline for October because as a faceted stone it would blend in better.

NOVEMBER
Sometimes a problem. It’s basically Yellow Topaz, but over the years Citrine has been used in it’s place as Yellow Topaz has become rarer and more costly. Either way, it’s YELLOW.
Once in awhile, someone will insist that it’s Blue Topaz because they saw the word Topaz mentioned and like the color blue. You can use Blue Topaz for November if you want, but everyone is going to assume you were born in…

DECEMBER
Blue Topaz. See how that worked?
I have also seen Turquoise mentioned, but I’m a firm believer that Turquoise should only be used in giant Sterling Silver & Turquoise pieces worn by that great-aunt you see once a year.