Nobody seems to know for sure exactly where the concept of birthstones for each month came from or how they were chosen.
Really, I’m not too worried about the who, what, why, or where. I’ll take any excuse to wear more sparkly stones!
Birthstones are a perfect way to commemorate a birthday, making them a thoughtful gift for a loved one.
Best of all, every birthstone has powerful metaphysical properties, adding a deeper purpose to each gem.
Below you’ll find a description of each gemstone and its meaning – allowing you to choose by month or by function.
Keep in mind that birthstones often have multiple meanings and they’re somewhat open to interpretation. While this list is based on my own research and intuitions, I’m a firm believer that the greatest power lies in intention.
If you’re getting a particular vibe or feeling from a stone, trust your gut!
Browse by Month or Meaning:
Garnet gets its name from the Latin word granatum for pomegranate – thanks to its luscious deep red tone. While garnet actually occurs in colours as varied as green, orange and purple, red garnets are the most commonly recognized.
Garnet is a symbol of friendship that brings health, wealth and success to the wearer.
It provides a protective and calming influence – boosting the courage, hope and self-confidence necessary to achieve great things.
Considered a lucky stone that represents prosperity and abundance, garnet supports accomplishments in all facets of life.
Amethyst gets its name from the ancient Greek amethystos meaning “not drunk” as it was believed that amethyst would protect its owner from intoxication.
The purple colour is a traditional symbol of Royalty and amethyst was prized by the nobility in the Middle Ages. The rarity of the gem at the time added to its preciousness but now that more sources of amethyst have been found, it is no longer reserved only for the rich and royal.
Amethyst contains the dual forces of fiery energy and restrained logic.
This stone is able to still the mind and create a sense of mental peace and tranquility where creative thinking thrives.
Used for focus and imagination, amethyst fans the spark of new ideas into flames of passion to bring them to life.
Aquamarine is named for the latin aqua marina (meaning sea water) and anybody who sees this soft blue stone can understand why.
Like the cool, flowing waters of the ocean it’s named for, aquamarine inspires the calm, rational flow of communication.
It is a stone of cleansing, trust and inner release.
Aquamarine’s soothing, compassionate energy fosters truthfulness and reason, encouraging harmonious interactions with even those with the most confrontational of natures.
Quartz is also known as Rock Crystal or Ice Crystal, from the Greek word krystallos, meaning “ice”. Quartz is the second most abundant mineral on earth, found all over the world.
Quartz is used for many different scientific and mechanical purposes, partly because it’s easily sourced but also for its unique properties. Quartz is able to translate electrical current into precise vibrational frequencies. So precise that you can keep time by it – which is exactly how a quartz watch mechanism works.
Quartz resonates with the individual needs of the wearer.
It has the innate ability to focus, amplify, store and transform any energies channeled through it – holding the energy long enough to help in the manifestation of a chosen goal.
It brings a sense of purpose and clarity – filtering out distractions that may divert the wearer from their chosen path.
The Emerald stone gets its name from the vulgar Latin esmaralda which derives from the ancient Greek smaragdos meaning “green gem”.
Emeralds have always been prized for their beauty and rarity. Ancient Egyptians used these beautiful stones for jewelry and to accompany royalty into the afterlife – placing the stones in tombs with fallen monarchs.
Like the spring, green Emerald brings a renewed freshness and vitality to the spirit, encompassing the life energy of rebirth and creation.
It fosters hope for the future and sparks personal growth and well-being.
Emerald’s invigorating intensity enhances mental clarity and creativity and attracts abundance in all of life’s experiences.
June’s birthstone is, well, not a stone at all. Pearl is composed of calcium carbonate in minute crystalline form, formed within the folds of an oyster.
A pearl is the beautiful result of an oyster’s response to stress. An irritating piece of grit coated in layer after layer of nacre until it can no longer harm its host.
Just like its nacre protects the oyster, pearl calms and soothes negative emotions bringing positive, uplifting feelings.
Pearl is a beacon of light during difficult times, illuminating the true self to rise above misfortunes
Slightly pinker than January’s deep red garnets, rubies are named for the Latin ruber, meaning “red”.
Ruby is a talisman of passion, protection, and prosperity.
Its fiery red flame banishes sadness and increases vitality both in the physical body and the spirit.
Ruby’s energy overcomes exhaustion and fills the wearer with a sense of power that sharpens the mind and brings heightened awareness and concentration.
Peridot is the gem quality of the common mineral olivine and is often called “poor man’s emerald” due to its green shade and relative abundance.
In Hawaii, tiny chips of peridot wash up on the shores and are called the tears of Pele, goddess of the elements and volcanoes, “she who shapes the sacred land”. Ancient Egyptians called these stones the “gems of the sun” – believing that they could harness the power of nature and protect the wearer from nightmares and evil spirits.
Associated with the sun, Peridot drives away darkness – both from outside forces and within.
Born of fire and brought to light by the tremendous forces of earthquakes or volcanoes, this explosive energy removes inner blockages and negative patterns, opening the heart and mind to the possibilities of great success.
Peridot brings inner radiance, helping the wearer recognize their own destiny.
Though sapphires get their name from the Latin sapphirus meaning “blue”, sapphires come in a rainbow of shades (with the notable exception of red sapphires which are classed as rubies).
In the Middle Ages, sapphires were prized for their blue colour, which symbolized the heavens or the divine. Buddhists also bestowed spiritual meaning on sapphires, believing that they brought enlightenment.
Sapphire calms and focuses the mind, allowing instinct to take the lead.
Releasing tensions and unwanted thoughts leaves more room for lightness and joy – restoring balance within the body.
Sapphire’s radiant energy heightens spiritual power, enhancing self-discipline and intuition, augmenting subconscious action towards goals and desires.
October birthstones are most commonly represented as being pink so you may be surprised to know that tourmaline comes in several shades – even mixed varieties. Tourmaline gets its name from the Sinhalese tura mali meaning “stone of mixed colours.”
Tourmaline is notable for its pyroelectric & piezoelectric properties – it can become electrically charged through heat and pressure. This trait means that tourmalines have many varied scientific and technological uses beyond jewelry.
The symbolic uses of tourmaline are as varied as its many colours.
Pink Tourmaline clears away old wounds and destructive patterns, building new pathways towards self-love and acceptance.
This stone releases a myriad of negative emotions such as stress, self-doubt, anxiety, and guilt, leaving in their place an open and trusting heart.
Pink tourmaline stimulates spiritual healing, fostering the growth of gentleness, compassion, and understanding towards oneself.
Citrine is a variety of quartz that varies in colour from soft yellow to deeper yellow or even brown. It got its name from the Latin word citrina which means “yellow.”
This bright, sunny yellow colour explains why it is symbolic of positivity and joy.
Citrine encompasses the energizing and life-giving power of the sun.
It’s bright yellow energy clears the mind and stirs the soul into action. Citrine emanates positivity and light.
Useful during fresh beginnings and new pursuits, Citrine’s powers of manifestation and imagination help to transform hopes and dreams into reality.
Though it has been known by many names throughout history, the name turquoise derives from the French turquois meaning “Turkish” because the mineral first came to Europe through Turkey.
Turquoise is a symbol of power, wisdom, and immortality.
Wearing this stone helps with recognition of our own limiting thoughts, uncovering wholeness and truth within and without.
Turquoise stimulates compassion and forgiveness, allowing those who wear it to look beyond their own experiences and widen their understanding to another point of view.