Birthstones: their Origin and Qualities
There are 12 birthstones representing each of the months in a year. Their origin can probably be attributed back to the biblical times, during the time of Moses, where twelve colors comprised the Breast Plate of the High Priest, which represents Israel’s twelve tribes.
After several centuries, the number “12” took on symbolic meaning such as the twelve apostles, the twelve months of the year, the twelve signs of the zodiac, the twelve foundations of the Holy City and many others.
The assignment of the gemstones to each calendar year can be traced to the Gregorian birthstone poem where each month has its own gem:
January – Garnet, February – Amethyst, March – Aquamarine, April – Diamond
May –Emerald, June – Pearl, July – Ruby, August – Peridot, September – Sapphire, October – Opal, November – Topaz. December – Tanzanite
Birthstone Jewelry makes for a perfect birthday gift. Here are some interesting facts about some of the birthstones:
1. Garnet – (January) This birthstone is also designated to be given on the second and sixth anniversaries. Deep red in color, this gemstone is made of neosilicates. It was the fourth stone in the High Priest’s Breast Plate during Moses’ time. It is known as an amulet for travelers to guard them against harm while on a journey.
2. Ruby – (July) This birthstone was known for its curative powers during the Middle Ages. Blood-red in color, this gem is made up of stable aluminum oxide. It is also known as the “rarest gem” or the “king of all gems” by Jewelers in America. It is believed to be true that owners of rubies are to have good fortune, peace and good health.
3. Aquamarine – (March) The symbol of everlasting youth and happiness, the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans have regarded this gemstone as one that is of high value. It has the color of the blue sea, or blue green, having the composition of beryl, the same element present in emeralds. It is said to be an amulet for restoring lost love, increasing patience and healing laziness.
4. Amethyst – (February) According to legends, Amethyst is a beautiful young maiden turned by Goddess Diana into a pillar of quartz to protect her from Bacchus’ wrath. Bacchus is known to be the “God of Wine.” After repenting, Bacchus poured red wine into Amethyst, which gave this valuable quartz its purple color. It is known to be an amulet to prevent drunkenness and remain sober while drinking liquor. It is also known to make the owner smart and successful in business.
5. Peridot – (August) This gemstone is known for its utmost simplicity. It does not have any color variation except olive green. It is used as a talisman to ward off bad spirits and other night creatures, enhances the mood of the owner and gives them the power to have convincing speech.
6. Topaz – (November) Known as a symbol of friendship. When used as an amulet, it is believed to relieve the owner from sadness and help them with intellect and courage. It has color variations and the most common is the yellow one. Blue topaz is the birthstone for December.
Garnet and some of its properties.
Garnets give a spectrum of colour akin to that of a fireworks explosion on New Year’s Eve. This gemstone group, “garnet”, contains more than ten different gemstones with a similar chemical structure.
The main difference in the physical properties of the garnet group are slight variations in colour, density and refractive index. The name “garnet” comes from the Latin granatus meaning seed, because it often resembles small round seeds when it is found. (like a pomegranate seed).
Garnets as a group are relatively common in highly metamorphic and some igneous rocks. They form under high temperatures and pressure. This gemstone can be used by geologists as an indication of the temperature and pressure at which the rock was formed.
This gemstone supposedly has the powers to illuminate even the darkest room. It is written that Noah used the gem to light the inside of the Ark.
There are many other legends that involve its mystical powers for lighting and brightening capabilities. It has been suggested that eastern Indians rubbed Garnets gemstones on themselves in belief that the gems’ glowing qualities would be transmitted into their “glowing wellbeing”.
Christian Names and their Gemstones.
For the next few months I will be publishing a monthly list of Christian names and the gemstone that are associated with each name.
G F Kunz, one of the most famous gemologist once wrote ” There is a very strong custom of assigning to the various male and female Christian Names their own particular gemstone”.
Belief in the magical powers of gems goes back to ancient history. The ancient Babylonians used gems in Talismans and believed in their healing properties.
These ancient traditions continued through the Middle Ages. In Medieval Europe a book described the symbolism and association of gemstones, and the properties they were believed to have together with the supposed benefits of wearing them.
The blue of Sapphire, for example, was considered to raise the thoughts to heavenly things, and so was suitable wear for clerics.
So why do so many people still wear gemstones for their crystal healing and talisman powers? Probably this is because many people feel the positive effects from gems as a direct result in the belief of their powers.
It is believed by many to be a very strong talisman when the correct Christian name gem is worn and the effect is believed even stronger when the gem is set alongside the birthstone of that person. For thousands of years man has worn gemstones to bring good luck, fortune and good health. i.e. Ruby is associated with Rose and with Roland.
Many people wear gemstones for their crystal healing powers and talisman powers.
Below is a list of some Female names with the gemstone that is associated with that name.
Gemstones Astrology and Auras
Going deep into the details of this concept, the negative or positive effects of the Aura present around a person puts its signatures on the things touched by that persons and the people known and met by him. For example, if Mercury is the planet that rules the house of government in the horoscope of a particular person, it would affect him positively or negatively depending upon the good or bad, weak or strong effect of Mercury registered at the time of birth of that person and some other factors like planetary period and transits. If Mercury is acting good for this person, then as he fills the papers say an application for some Contract with some government department, he would be influenced by Mercury to fill up a very suitable application, and then the good impact and the strength of Mercury is registered with those papers also. And this impact would influence the concerned authority positively with the strength of the impact registered as and when the concerned authority goes through those papers.
So in case some other application belonging to some other person having the good impact of a planet on his papers and which is stronger than the impact registered on the papers of the first person is not received, the authority would be convinced by Mercury to assign this contract to the first person and the person would get that contract. And if Mercury is acting bad for him, the same Mercury would influence the authority adversely and his application would most likely be rejected.
I know it seems hard to believe that the impact of a planet can be registered on a paper, but that’s how it is. After all if an impact can be recorded on a volcanic rock and it can survive for a billion years, then why can’t an impact registered on some other thing survive. Yes it can surely survive and it does survive for a very very long time. This is the reason why people having religious and spiritual knowledge tend to visit the holy places more and more as they know that the impacts of a long lasted presence of some very powerful saint or some very good deeds were recorded there, which are still capable of influencing everyone who visits those places in a strongly positive way. That is why the places where an incarnation of the God Almighty or some powerful saint used to stay or meditate or preach are considered most sacred as very powerful and positive signatures of these spiritual powers have been registered there and people visiting these places are still benefiting from them.
Getting back to the Aura once again, if a planet is good in nature for a person but weak in strength, it would be radiating positive energies with weak strengths which would simply mean that it would lead to the start of some good things which are not likely to be accomplished as the planet as well as radiations emitted by the planet are weak and they can’t get the person through, though they can get him started.
So in this case the person concerned would be putting a lots of efforts into so many things at different times of his life but most of them would not click for him as the planet ruling those fields is weak and not able to give its proper results. This is where the Gemstones would come handy.
Aquamarine, March’s Birthstone.
Aquamarine is the Birthstone of March.
Aquamarine derives from the Latin “aqua” for water and “mare” for sea. Many superstitions have associations with this gemstone. Believed to be the treasure of mermaids it is said to be especially strong when in water. When its powers began to dwindle, the gem would be placed in water on the night of a full moon.
It is part of the beryl family and gets its delicate blue colour from the presence of iron within the stone.
This gemstone is often credited with bringing harmony to married couples as it is thought to bring peace and clarity to all who wear it.
In past times, as a last resort, sailors caught in a bad storm are believed to have thrown their Aquamarine overboard to calm the Gods. They were said to have taken it to sea as a lucky charm to protect against shipwreck. Many people today wear it to prevent travel sickness.
Although the name refers to its beautiful blue colouring, the stone is actually dichroic, appearing blue in some lights and colourless in others.
The major source of aquamarine is the state of Minas Gerais, southeast Brazil, especially the mines around Aracuai. The Brazilian mines produce stones of characteristic colour with distinctive inclusions. Gemmologists can often determine the mine it came from just by a visual inspection.
The deepest and rarest of Aquamarine blues is the Santa Maria Aquamarine. The intensity of the Santa Maria will leave you immersed in a world of tropical beaches and mythical sea legends for it is now so rare that it has almost, itself, become a legend of the sea. If you ever see a Santa Maria it will capture your heart for ever.
Padparadscha Sapphire and its Properties.
Padparadscha is a very rare variety of Sapphire with a delicate pinkish-orange colour. This is caused by tiny amounts of chromium, iron and vanadium being present. The word comes from the Sinhalese word meaning “lotus -blossom colour“, the name of the colour used to describe the Sri Lankan lotus flower.
It is one of the world’s most expensive gems with prices similar to those fetched by fine Ruby or Emerald. The most pricey stones display uniformity and purity of colour.
These gems are among the rarest gems on the planet. They are strikingly beautiful and no other gemstone compares to this unique mix of pink and orange.
Unlike most other Sapphires, the finest colour of this gem is not a function of intensity. The most valuable display a delicate mixture of pink and orange.
Today many stones are enhanced by heat-treatment.
Oval and Cushion cuts are the most common for this gem.
People argue that Sri Lanka is the only legitimate source of this gemstone. However pinkish-orange Sapphires have been found in Vietnam, north east Tanzania and in Madagascar. The Tanzanian gems are more brownish orange and are sometimes named “African Padparadscha” to distinguish the difference between them and the Ceylon gems.
ZODIAC GEMSTONES AND THEIR MEANINGS
CAPRICORN December 21-January 19 RUBY
No other gemstone shares it’s attachment to the feelings of love and passion. In the ancient world people believed that Rubies could help them predict the future. They have been worn as talismans to protect from illness or misfortune. It is also said that the wearer of a Ruby would enjoy romance, friendship, energy, courage and peace. Capricorn Zodiac Birthstone.
AQUARIUS January 20 – February 18 GARNET
Garnet is the ultimate gift of love. Today the gemstone continues to be a symbol of love, passion, eternity and warmth
Aquarius Zodiac birthstone
PICES February 19 – March 20 AMETHYST
Amethyst is considered a symbol of peace of mind, modesty and piety. Some believe that Amethyst gemstone holds power to change anger to tranquillity and is used by crystal healers to revert negative energy into positive. Pices Zodiac Birthstone.
ARIES March 21 – April 20 DIAMOND AND BLOODSTONE
Diamonds, said to be ” a girls best friend” the name derives from the ancient Greek word “adamas” meaning invincible. Some Diamonds were formed as long ago as 3.5 billion years. The youngest Diamonds are believed to have been formed over 100 million years ago.
Bloodstone was once referred to as the martyr’s gemstone. Medieval Christians often carved scenes of the crucifixion in Bloodstone. According to legend this gemstone formed when Christ’s blood fell to the floor. The virtues ascribed to this gem are that it is good for circulation of both energy and blood in the body, it is said to remove energy blocks. Aries Zodiac Birthstones.
TAURUS April 21 – May 20 SAPPHIRE
A gemstone with opulence and regality fit for a king. Sapphires are revered the world over for their beauty and mystery. In ancient times this gem has been admired for the good luck and magic associated with it. It has long been the traditional gem of choice to set along side Diamonds for a man wishing to express his love and commitment to someone special. For over a thousand years it has enjoyed a close association with royalty. Taurus Zodiac Birthstone.
Anniversary 1 Any Stone Set In Gold
Many people feel that Gold is a good investment because when times are good it can be worn and when times are hard , prices are normally at their highest.
Gold is a gift of love.
Anniversary 2 Garnet
In Greek mythology this gemstone was regarded as a gift of love and is said to symbolise eternity.
Some healers use it today as a cure for nightmares. Popular anniversary gemstones.
Anniversary 3 Pearl
This gemstone is normally uncut and therefore is purely the beautiful work of nature.
Anniversary 4 Blue Topaz
The gorgeous brilliance and crystal clarity makes it a wonderful gift for all occasions. Known throughout the ages as a gemstone that attracts love and fortune.
Citrine and its properties.
Natural bright yellow Citrine is the rarest of the Quartz varieties. It is named from the old French word citrin, meaning yellow. The ancient Romans used it for jewellery and intaglio work and was very popular for jewellery in the 19th century.
It is the birthstone of November and is also recognised as the gemstone to celebrate the 17th wedding anniversary.
By far the largest supplier of Citrine is Rio Grande do Sol State in southern Brazil, although other mines are located in the USA in Carolina, Colorado and California. The most valuable stones are the darkest, sometimes known as Madeira citrine for their resemblance to the colour of fortified wine. In nature , citrine’s colour is due to tiny impurities of ferrous oxide.
Citrine is sometimes confused with TOPAZ, which is much more precious and expensive. Be wary of stones called “Topaz Quartz” or “Citrine Topaz” or the like. They often signal the fact that the less costly citrine is being passed off as something more valuable.
In its golden form, the ancients revered the gemstone as a gift of the sun and they considered it a powerful antidote to the viper’s venom.
The gemstone is thought to posses the power to disperse depression and manage anger.
If a man wears the gemstone he is thought to become more striking and intellectual. For a woman, it is said to make her fertile, happy and contented.
Lapis Lazuli and its properties.
Lapis Lazuli is a beautiful blue opaque gemstone. It has been considered as a holy stone, a friendship stone and a stone of truth throughout its lifetime of use, Lapis Lazuli encourages the wearer to speak their mind and create harmonious relationships.
Lapis, historically, was ground and the pigments used for paint by artists. It provided a bright blue colour that was extremely rare. Hence it was always used sparingly. When found in artwork it was a sign that the person commissioning the piece had spent a great deal of money.
Lapis Lazuli was mentioned in 2650 BC in the Sumerian epic of Gilgamesh. The ancient Egyptians used it extensively in religious ceremonies, and Lapis Luzuli items were found in the tomb of Tutankhamen.
Lapis Luzuli is cut and polished to make gemstones for jewellery and is also used as a decorative stone. Because it is slightly soft, it is normally cut as cabochons and used for beads, inlay material and small carved items.
The value of this gemstone is largely determined by the abundance and colour of the dark intense blue lazurite. The colours range from greenish-blue to purple-blue. The flecks of gold pyrite and white calcite can often increase the value. However, when these are too numerous or too large, they can decrease the value.