What is a Birthstone?
A birthstone is a gemstone made of precious material that symbolizes the month of birth in the Gregorian calendar. They are also referred to as anniversary gemstones and birthday gemstones.
Many countries have their own list of birthstones, so many lists are inconsistent. However, the American National Retail Jewelers Association, American Gem Society, and the National Jewelers Association established an official list of birthstones in 1952. There are a total of twelve birth stones, one for each month of the year.
List of Birthstones
Following is a list of the twelve birthstones, one for each month of the year:
- January – Garnet – The word Garnet is derived from the Latin word “granatum”, which means seed (in this case it is referring to the seed of a pomegranate, which is deep red in color).
- February – Amethyst – An Amethyst is purple quartz and is a blend of violet and red colors. The word Amethyst is derived from the Greek word methustos, meaning “intoxicated”. The Greeks believed that the precious stone could protect a person from becoming drunk
- March – Hematite or Aquamarine –
- April – Diamond
- May – Emerald
- June – Pearl or Moonstone
- July – Ruby
- August – Carnelian or Peridot
- September – Sapphire
- October – Opal or Tourmaline
- November – Topaz or Citrine
- December – Turquoise or Zircon
In addition to associated a birthstone with each year of the month, some associate a stone with more specific time periods. The stones have been associated with the year of anniversary, the day of the week and even the hour of the day.
Questions and Comments
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