What is a birthstone? Birthstone Calendar
What if we told you that each month of the year is associated with a stone? That each stone echoes a symbol, virtue, or character trait? Stones, precious or fine, have attracted attention since the dawn of time; it is said that they are what give soul to a jewel by their color, their shine, or their reflections. Intimately linked to our personal stories, birthstones offer a great opportunity to inscribe our most beautiful moments in time... and to associate a memory or a person with the symbolism of this precious talisman. Can't wait to find out which birthstone is right for you? Or which stone could correspond to your child or someone close to you? Follow our guide.
SummaryBefore getting to the heart of the matter, let's go back together on some definitions.
What is a birthstone?A birthstone, also called a month stone, refers to a stone associated with a specific month of the year. So we all have a stone associated with our month of birth and this stone is itself associated with a number of virtues. Finally, it's quite close to astrology :) How is the stone associated with each month determined? Well, this is not due to chance but to a precise list drawn up in 1912 by the American Gemstone Society.
Birthstone HistoryPublished by the American Gemstone Society, the list of birthstones as we know it dates back to 1912, although some modifications are made up to 2016. In 1913, in a book entitled The Curious History of Precious Stones, Georges Frederick Kunz - a famous mineralogist and mineral collector - undertook to revisit the history of this thousand-year-old tradition. Yes, millennial! We explain it to you. Without speaking explicitly of birthstones yet, the texts of the Old and New Testaments constitute the first elements of an answer. The first text evokes an armor - that of the high priest Aaron - made up of 4 rows of stones engraved with the names of the 12 sons of Israel. The second describes 12 stones decorated with the 12 names of the apostles as being the foundations of the wall of the Heavenly Jerusalem. During Antiquity, two authors, Flavius Josephus and Saint Jerome established an analogy between the 12 stones mentioned in the sacred texts and their correspondence with the 12 months of the year. Did the men and women of this period already wear birthstones or - as the jeweler Jean-Henri-Prosper Poujet and Georges Frédérick Kunz assert - was this custom born later, between the 17th and 18th centuries? century? One thing is certain: the belief in the virtues of gems dates back to Antiquity. Evidenced by the many treatises on mineralogy, in vogue until the beginning of the Renaissance. Commonly called “lapidaries”, these treatises not only describe the physical qualities of the stones, such as their provenance but also their therapeutic and potential symbolic properties. Now that we have talked about the history of birthstones, it is essential to better understand this concept to talk in more detail about the symbolism around the stones.
The symbolism of stonesThe stones are highly symbolic and - as we have just seen - this is not new. To be convinced of the importance of stones in history and different cultures, it suffices to admire the famous jewels of the crown of England as a symbol of power, to think of jade as a symbol of eternal life in the Chinese culture or even the sapphire venerated by the Egyptians as a symbol of justice. Since the dawn of time, man has naturally associated a stone with its own meaning, a symbol, or even a protective power for the person who wears it. From these beliefs was born - during the 1970s - lithotherapy. From the Greek lithos which means stone and therapeia which means to treat, lithotherapy is literally the treatment by stones. It is considered alternative medicine. The dogmas of this belief are based on the fact that stones have certain healing and beneficial properties because the natural energies they release can, for example, ease tensions, strengthen trust or solidify a relationship.
The reflection of your uniquenessCreativity, serenity, strength, wisdom... the benefits expected from a birthstone are numerous. In this belief - more than any other associated with jewelry - the stone is at the center of all attention and justifies the entire piece of jewelry that sets it. Associated with the 12 months of the year, birthstones evoke the past: that of the formation of precious stones, the queens and kings who wore them, or even the magical powers with which they are associated.
A jewel that makes senseAt this stage, it is impossible not to make the parallel with astrology and in the same way, all the beliefs around the powers of the stones remain beliefs. Of course, we are all free to believe it or not. We have all surprised ourselves when approaching a window of a great jewelry house to marvel... even for a few moments. Stones are undoubtedly a source of fantasies, imaginations, and dreams, they symbolize wealth and power, and have captivated humanity since the first civilizations. Forced to note that we have always been attracted by what shines, precious metals are also a sincere proof of this. Is this attraction for stones only linked to their value? Certainly, but not only. Even if it may seem completely abstract, it must be recognized that these beliefs bring certain poetry to a jewel. The stones evoke something very personal to us and come to support what a jewel represents in our eyes: an object carrying our history. Now that you are unbeatable on the notion of birthstone, we can now discover them together through a calendar!
The month of January - Garnet & TsavoriteOnce called carbuncles, a name taken from the Latin meaning little ember, garnet and tsavorite are an ideal gift for Valentine's Day or your wedding anniversary. Birthstones for the month of January, give those who wear them strength and serenity.
- Virtues: Joy, vitality, passion.
The month of February - The AmethystAs its etymology suggests, amethyst, from the Greek a, privative, and methustês, intoxication, prevents the wearer from getting drunk. Stone of balance and fullness, also promotes your determination. Associated with the month of February, this grape-hued birthstone reveals your elegant uniqueness.
- Virtues: Creativity, clairvoyance, serenity.
The month of March - AquamarineNo other stone lives up to its name as well as aquamarine. Of an aquatic blue-green, this stone has attributed the gift of making navigation happy for those who wear it. A symbol of fidelity, it accompanies lovers throughout their life together. Aquamarine adorns an engagement ring perfectly.
- Virtues: Loyalty, gentleness, protection.
The month of April - The DiamondBirthstone of April, the diamond is the most resistant and the purest of minerals. In Greek, a diamond means indomitable force. Symbol of perfection, it sublimates the most important moments of your history. The diamond gives you strength and wisdom, foolproof!
- Virtues: Purity, strength, commitment.
The month of May - The EmeraldIn his Natural History, Pliny the Elder suggests that the joy one experiences when observing an emerald is comparable to that one feels when observing nature itself. A favorite stone of Queen Cleopatra, the emerald reveals the beauty of the wearer and guarantees that this quality will never fade. A birthstone symbol of eternal spring, for all the happy events of May.
- Virtues: Benevolence, protection, honesty.
The month of June - The PearlDuring antiquity, pearls were called Tears of Aphrodite, named after the goddess of love. Birthstone of June, the pearl is a perfect declaration of love without being considered as a commitment. Did you know that Roman families offered two pearls each year to their daughters so that they would have a complete necklace when they came of age?
- Virtues: Wisdom, altruism, relaxation.
The month of July - The RubyStone of the month for July, the ruby immediately displays the color: the color of fire! The very symbol of passion, it is an ideal gift for an engagement ring or a wedding anniversary. This birthstone is ideal for strong personalities.
- Virtues: Happiness, courage, love.
The month of August - PeridotCupid's arrows were cut from peridot, which is why this luminous stone is associated with the thunderbolt. Birthstone of August, the peridot is delicate attention to those who wish to declare their budding feelings. An ideal gift for Valentine's Day.
- Virtues: Joy, peace, love.
The month of September - SapphireStone of the month for September, the sapphire is suitable for both women and men. A symbol of truth, this stone gives those who wear it strength and loyalty. Sapphire tints your daily life with an authentic and precious radiance. In your image.
- Virtues: Loyalty, ambition, wisdom.
The month of October - The TourmalineLove pastel colors? You can't help but be seduced by the birthstone for October: a light pink tourmaline with deliciously tangy notes. Stone of the heart , tourmaline is synonymous with creativity.
- Virtues: Hope, pleasure, protection.
The month of November - The CitrineStone of the month for November, citrine is the perfect match for people in a happy mood. Offering shades ranging from yellow to brown, this stone illuminates all facets of your personality. Radiant!
- Virtues: Balance, abundance, prosperity.
The month of December - TanzaniteLovers of beautiful gems, tanzanite is made for you! The December birthstone is known for its rarity, there is only one deposit, in Tanzania, and the intensity of its blue and purple reflections. An exceptional stone promotes luck in your life. The celebration of an important event can be a unique opportunity to appreciate its most beautiful effects.
- Virtues: Imagination, accomplishment, soothing.
Frequently asked Questions
Is a birthstone only given to celebrate a birth?The term birthstone is not exclusively related to a birth of a child, you can of course give it any meaning you wish. Thus, a birthday, the celebration of a particular day to keep in memory of a specific month: these are all events of our life that can be symbolized by a birthstone.
Did you know?Like a birthstone, which symbolizes each month of the year, wedding anniversaries also have their own stone! Here are some examples (which may vary by country):
- The 2nd wedding anniversary is associated with garnet.
- The 5th wedding anniversary is associated with sapphire.
- The 10th and 60th wedding anniversaries are associated with the diamond.