We’re starting off this month with a spotlight on March’s lovely birthstone, the aquamarine. Aquamarine’s name translates quite literally as “sea water” from Latin and due to its bright blue-green color, it’s easy to see why this gem is named so.
Warm up your winter wardrobe with this month’s birthstone spotlight, the amethyst! This violet-colored quartz has long been a prized gemstone among many civilizations and kingdoms. The amethyst’s hue can vary from pale violet to darker hues, the vivid purple amethysts have the most coveted color in history.
Happy 2013 to everyone! Especially to all of those who get to start off the new year with their birthday and the dark red garnet. This juicy gem’s name comes from the Latin “garanatus,” meaning the color is reminiscent of the seeds of the pomegranate, although garnets can be found in orange, yellow, pink, and even blue. Though not as popular as some gems, the garnet has a solid place in history as being a beloved gem.
The days have been flying by and December is already upon us! It’s time to turn our spotlight on the beloved blue topaz, the perfect gemstone for this time of year. It’s the official state gem of Texas and Utah, as well as the anniversary gem for 4th, 19th, or 23rd year of marriage. Although the topaz comes in a rainbow of colors, the sparkling blue topaz is the only color for December.
Now that November has rolled around, it’s time we turn our spotlight on the autumnal-colored citrine. The citrine is a form of quartz whose colors range from a pale yellow to a golden orange. It is the latter color that comes to mind when we talk about November’s birthstone.
Have trouble deciding on which colors to wear? October’s birthstone has it all for you. This milky gemstone is a virtual rainbow of red, green , blue, yellow, and orange flecks caused by reflections of light within the gemstone. Even the name opal is derived from the Greek word “Opallios,” which means “to see a change of color.” This “Queen of gems,” as it was called by Shakespeare, hails mostly from Australia, where the country is responsible for 97% of the world’s supply of opals.
Although sapphires come in a range of colors, the one the sapphire is best known for is that striking royal blue. Sapphire, derivative of the Greek word for “blue,” is a variety of the mineral Corundum. This gem is prominent among the British Crown Jewels, and is considered to be symbolic of wisdom and purity. Sapphires are second only to diamonds in hardness, and because of their lustrous blue color they have enjoyed a certain level of import throughout history.
The vivid green peridot is a gemstone shrouded in mystery. There are debates over where it was first used, how early gemstones were classified (often confused with emeralds or topazes), and even how to pronounce the name (pear-ih-doe). Nonetheless this is a stunning birthstone choice for the month of August with its soft green hues.
As we roll into July, we’re already hitting temperatures over 100 degrees, which makes July’s birthstone with its lustrous red the perfect choice! The ruby’s bright red color, caused by the presence of chromium, is its most valued feature and the more intense the color, the more the ruby is worth. Rubies can range from a soft pink to a blood red, although depending on the shade of pink the ruby can be classified as a pink sapphire. Today Burma is the world’s largest provider of high-quality rubies.
The pearl has long been a favorite gemstone because of its soft luster, its glowing iridescence, and its rich associations with purity. In Latin, the pearl’s name means “unique” because there are no two pearls alike. Pearls have a 4000 year history of being treasured as decoration and at one time Rome and other parts of Europe passed a number of laws regarding who could wear this esteemed jewel. The oldest surviving pearl necklace is dated back as far as 2000 years and it was located in a sarcophagus of a Persian Princess.