What are birthstones?
Birthstones are a mixture of precious and semi-precious gemstones that each correspond to a different month of the year. Each birthstone holds a unique meaning and significance, and are commonly used within jewellery pieces such as necklaces, rings, earrings and bracelets. Wearing birthstone jewellery is a valuable, sentimental way to honour an important date, and celebrate a birth month all year round. These pieces are often given as birthday, anniversary, and graduation presents, and are the perfect opportunity to give a loved one a personalised, meaningful gift.
As well as each individual birthstone having their own connotations and meaning, they also each have a fascinating and deep history, symbolising various characteristics that hold true to their wearer. Although birthstone and gemstone jewellery can be dated back to ancient times, it has become increasingly popular within the modern jewellery market, and it is believed that wearing your birthstone is a symbol of wellness, bringing good luck, health and protection.
Where do birthstones originate from?
The origins of birthstones can be traced back to biblical times, but the traditional list of gemstones for each month was established between the 16th and 18th Century. During this time period, it became very popular for women to wear the stone that applied to their month of birth, as well as for birthstone jewellery to be gifted to loved ones, much like today. Since this original list was formed, there have been some changes, still in keeping with the rich history of these stones, meaning that they are a relatively modern trend.
What are the birthstones and their meanings?
As well as being thought to improve the health and well-being of wearers born in their respective months, a birthstone's unique and symbolic qualities are also linked to their colour. This creates an element of personal meaning, and whilst some stones have just one specific meaning, others have multiple, leaving themselves open for interpretation.
Here at Bensons Jewellers, we have a wide selection of birthstone jewellery, such as coloured stone necklaces, bracelets, rings, earrings and more. Browse our range online, or feel free to visit us in our Ludlow store to discover our range in-person. We hope that this guide to the birthstones and their meanings will help you to gain a better understanding of what you are looking for. However, if you feel as if you would benefit from more guidance, then get in touch with a member of our team at Bensons. We will be happy to answer any questions that you may have!
January - Garnet
Garnet is the birthstone for January, and is taken from the Latin word, ‘granatus’, which means ‘seed’. This is because the garnet stone resembles the deep red colour of a vibrant pomegranate seed. The exquisite colouring of these red gemstones symbolises faith, love and courage, but they can also come in other colours such as orange, green, black, and honey brown. January's birthstone, the garnet, is thought to provide protection to its wearer, and keep them safe during travel and exploration.
February - Amethyst
Amethyst, the birthstone of February, is known to have been used within many world-renowned pieces dating all the way back to Ancient Egyptian times. Remaining highly sought after today, Amethysts are known for their intense, deep, violet colour and mesmerising crystal structure. As members of the quartz family, the amethyst birthstones are believed to strengthen relationships, and give their wearers courage, calming their spirit and providing a clear focus. The February gemstone also represents passion, hope and loyalty, making for truly meaningful garnet birthstone gifts. Shop amethyst birthstone and gemstone jewellery at Ludlow Jewellers Bensons here.
March - Aquamarine
Aquamarine is of a beautiful blue or cyan colour that is known for promoting peace and serenity. The birthstone for March, aquamarine, is said to boost love, youth, good health, and overall happiness. Inspiring harmony within family and marriage, aquamarine jewellery makes the perfect gifting idea, especially for a bride’s, ‘something blue’. What makes the aquamarine birthstone so special is its heritage, when early sailors would use them as a protection against danger whilst out at sea, as well as a way to clearly remember their loved ones whenever they were away.
April - Diamond
The birthstone for the month of April is diamond. The diamond is the strongest known natural substance on the Earth, so therefore, it is thought that this gemstone creates a sense of clarity and resilience within its wearer. Diamond is derived from the Greek word, ‘adamas’, meaning, ‘invincible’, so they are also known for promoting great courage. In addition, diamonds become a symbol of everlasting love, faithfulness and innocence when used within engagement rings. Shop diamond engagement rings at Bensons Ludlow Jewellers. To discover more about diamonds and the 4C’s, read the Bensons diamond education guide.
May - Emerald
An emerald is a beautiful and contemporary stone, with a dark green colouring that relates to the shades of Spring-time. As the birthstone of May, the emerald promotes thoughts of the renewal of the seasons, signifying growth, patience and hope. Many also believe that emeralds are linked to various other life cycles, such as fertility, rebirth and love. Their association with Venus, the Green Goddess of love and beauty, is something that makes the emerald stand out from the other birthstones, and is yet another reason as to why emerald jewellery is treasured by so many!
June - Pearl
June is the month of the pearl, and according to ancient history and myths, these stones are symbolic of the wisdom gained through experience. Pearls are thought to offer protection and have calming effects against nervous and anxious thoughts, as well as diffusing any anger that the wearer may have. The off-white, iridescent hue of pearls denotes their representation of purity, innocence and modesty, which is why they are often gifted at weddings. Discover the pearl bridal jewellery collection at Bensons of Ludlow.
July - Ruby
As the birthstone of July, rubies are known for their deep and rich red colour. A ruby can mean something different to each person. As the blood-red colouring of the stone comes from the mineral Chromium, some believe that the ruby promotes vitality, protection and physical strength. For others, the ruby birthstone jewellery is a symbol of love and commitment, and if often gifted between couples. Rubies have a variety of undertones, such as pink, orange, purple and brown, making for distinctive pieces of jewellery.
August - Peridot
Peridot stones are known for their unique, olive green colour that produces a warm, comforting glow. The August birthstone is considered a very joyful, friendly, and mellow gem that can ease feelings of anger and jealousy, as well as encourage open-heartedness. The peridot also symbolises strength, and its ability to glow has led to the belief that they will protect their wearer from nightmares. As well as these desirable qualities, peridots are the epitome of timeless beauty, and have been used within fashionable jewellery pieces for many years.
September - Sapphire
For September, the birthstone is Sapphire, a gemstone that has long been associated with royalty. Sapphire jewellery is worn by many in the hope that it will bring abundance, blessings and gifts to their life. Most commonly seen in blue, sapphires are also said to bring wisdom and success to all who wear them. However, sapphires are also becoming increasingly popular in different colours too, which offers a great variety of choice for September birthstone jewellery.
October - Opal
The symbolism of the Opal stone dates back to Roman times, where people believed that it was the most powerful, noble gem and symbol of love, referring to it as the ‘cupid stone’. Opals display a wide array of rainbow colours due to their ability to simultaneously diffract light, creating a subtle, but stunning glow. This colouring denotes a sense of hope, purity and truth, with some even believing that the October birthstone holds the power to create romance and passion.
November - Topaz/Citrine
Those born in November are fortunate to have two birthstones; topaz and citrine. Topaz is one of the most popular coloured gemstones, available in a golden yellow colour, as well as more recently, pale blue. Citrine complements the Autumnal tones with its shades of brown, orange and yellow. It has also become the second most popular variety of Quartz in jewellery.
Topaz is said to bring success and prosperity to those born in November, protecting them from negative influences by improving intelligence. It is also associated with soothing, healing and rejuvenating, and is known as the gemstone of good fortune and love. Due to its sunshine energy and bright yellow hue, citrine is thought to be a joyous stone that brightens up the life of those who wear it.
December - Turquoise
Turquoise is the December birthstone, and in many places, the gift of a turquoise ring means ‘forget me not’. As a gemstone, turquoise has been loved in many cultures for thousands of years, regarded as a love charm that promotes the values of friendship. The calming, opaque blue and green colouring of turquoise relaxes the mind, relieving any stress that the wearer may undergo.
Birthstone Jewellery at Bensons of Ludlow
Here at Bensons Jewellers, we have a great range of birthstone necklaces, rings, earrings, bracelets and more. Discover the Bensons Originals collection, handcrafted in our workshop with gemstone choices for everyone. Browse online today or feel free to visit us at our Ludlow store to discover your options in-person. Find the perfect birthstone jewellery gift today!