birthstone guide

Birthstones can add personalized beauty to a broad range of jewelry pieces, from rings and bracelets to necklaces and earrings. Traditionally associated with specific months of the year, these colorful month stones carry unique attributes and lore and offer compelling aesthetic with charm that elevates the look of any fine jewelry piece. Find your stone below and learn more about the meaning and properties of each gem.

Note: We've included the rating for each birthstone according to the Mohs Scale of Mineral Hardness, which rates gemstones in terms of scratch-resistance. Gems are rated from 1-10, with one being the softest and 10 the hardest.

where do birthstones originate from?

While no one knows for sure, the origin of birthstones is thought to trace back to the Bible, which describes the breastplate of Aaron as having a dozen gemstones representing the twelve tribes of Israel. That said, the idea of the birthstone has a place in many different customs, traditions and belief systems.

january birthstone: garnet

Garnet is the earthy gem of January thought to ignite passion, joy and energy when you're feeling tired. Available in a variety of settings, these bold gems look especially lovely when paired with diamonds or yellow gold.

garnet properties

Garnets are known for their deep red hue but can come in a wide range of colors, with the rarest color being blue. Rating 6.5 to 7.5 on the Mohs Scale, garnet gems are durable and timeless yet affordable stones that add a dash of drama to any collection.

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february birthstone: amethyst

Amethyst is a beautiful violet-purple or green gemstone that is believed to repel negativity and reduce stress and anxiety. This richly hued stone looks regal in a ring or other piece of fine jewelry.

amethyst properties

A type of quartz, amethyst is a resilient and durable gemstone that makes for long-lasting jewelry. With a 7 on the Mohs Scale, amethyst gems will last for years to come if properly cared for.

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march birthstone: aquamarine

Named for its vivid blue-green color, aquamarine comes from the Latin word for seawater. It is thought to lift the spirit, renew vitality and energize the mind.

aquamarine properties

Aquamarine gems are from the same family as emeralds and are found mainly in granite rocks. With a Mohs Scale rating of 7.5 to 8, this gorgeous green-blue stone will usually last a lifetime with good care.

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april birthstone: diamond

The ultimate gemstone (but we're a little biased!), diamonds have been treasured for their unparalleled sparkle and power to impress. Traditionally, diamonds symbolize purity and love, which is why they are often chosen for engagement rings. April's alternative birthstone is white sapphire, which is a beautiful, cost-effective option for April birthdays.

diamond properties

There are two types of diamonds to choose from: natural diamonds and lab grown diamonds. Composed of carbon that has been compressed under high pressure and heat in the earth's crust, natural diamonds are coveted for their rarity. Lab grown diamonds are created above ground, and possess the same chemical, physical and visual properties as natural diamonds, including their gorgeous sparkle. No matter which type of diamond you choose, their fire and brilliance are legendary. With a Mohs Scale rating of 10, diamonds are exceptionally durable in virtually any jewelry piece.

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may birthstone: emerald

Emeralds are stunning gemstones with a deep green hue. They are believed to represent love, abundance and success, and are also believed to ward off negativity and improve relationships.

emerald properties

An emerald's incredible color is due to trace amounts of chromium and sometimes vanadium. With a Mohs Scale rating of 7.5 to 8, emerald is relatively scratch-resistant. Its bold green color makes an eye-catching statement, especially when paired with sterling silver, white gold and yellow gold.

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june birthstone: pearl

Formed within the soft tissue of a living shelled mollusk or other similar animals, pearls are one of nature's miracles. In addition to their beauty and rarity, pearls are thought to heal the heart of the person who wears them. Alternatives to pearls for those born in June include alexandrite and pink sapphire.

pearl properties

A classic beauty, pearls come in four different varieties: Tahitian, South Sea, Akoya and freshwater. Pearls rank 2.5 on the Mohs Scale, meaning it is very soft and easily scratched. With reasonable care, however, pearl jewelry can be a lasting treasure.

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july birthstone: ruby

With their deep fiery color, it's easy to imagine why rubies are thought of as the stone of passion and desire. Known as the “king of precious stones” in ancient India, ruby is most often a deep pink or blood red color and is a symbol of health, wealth and love.

ruby properties

Rubies are a variation of the mineral corundum with their vivid scarlet hue produced by trace amounts of the element chromium. With a 9 rating on the Mohs Scale, rubies are nearly as strong as diamonds, making them an excellent, head-turning gem for every day wear and beyond.

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august birthstone: peridot

Peridot is a light yellow-green gemstone that is believed to help you move forward in life, leaving behind the past and unhinging from any negative energies that hold you back.

peridot properties

Formed by fire in the earth's mantle, peridot is brought to the surface by volcanic explosions. Unlike most other gemstones that can be formed in a wide range of colors, peridot is only formed in one color. The gem has a Mohs Scale rating of 6.5 to 7, meaning they are resilient stones that will last for years with proper care and cleaning.

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september birthstone: sapphire

>Beautiful and popular, sapphires are often used in non-traditional engagement rings and wedding bands. The lore surrounding sapphires runs deep through many cultures, with many associating the gemstones with joy and fulfillment. Blue sapphire in particular is the most popular choice for September birthdays. From the ancient Greeks and Romans to the present-day British monarchy, blue sapphires have symbolized royalty and divine power for centuries.

sapphires properties

Before diamonds became the engagement stone of choice, sapphires were near the top of the list. Sapphires boast a Mohs Scale rating of 9, giving them impressive durability and scratch-resistance for a lifetime of beauty and enjoyment.

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october birthstone: opal

Opals are a lovely semi-precious stone used in jewelry for many centuries. Some cultures have thought of opals as an auspicious stone, but today they are associated with good fortune. The alternative gemstone for October birthdays is tourmaline.

opal properties

Opal is most often a white or green stone, but can also come in red or even black, which is the rarest opal. Most opals have a multi-color attribute that diffracts white light, giving them a particularly dazzling, almost ethereal effect when worn. Ranking 5.5 to 6 on the Mohs Scale, opals aren't as hard as other gems. Though they require a little more love and care, this birthstone's beauty is well worth the TLC.

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november birthstone: citrine

Citrine is a beautiful semi-precious stone used in jewelry since at least 300 B.C. Thought to block negative energies and to clear the way to success, this warm and lively gem pairs well with many types of metal. The alternative birthstone for November birthdays is yellow topaz.

citrine properties

A bright golden-yellow colored quartz, citrine gets its name from the French word for lemon. Citrine rates a 7 on the Mohs Scale, giving it a toughness that makes it suitable for all jewelry types.

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december birthstone: blue topaz

Available in varying shades of beautiful blue, topaz is thought to bring about peacefulness and an overall sense of calm. One alternative for December's birthstone is tanzanite.

blue topaz properties

Although it is generally blue, topaz can also be colorless. It is one of the hardest naturally occurring minerals, making it ideal for everyday wear in jewelry pieces. Topaz ranks an 8 on the Mohs Scale, making it harder than quartz but not as hard as sapphire and ruby.

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