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Stone of the Month

Birthstones have been used since at least the first century as a way to give good luck on ones birthday. Gemstones are associated with each month and each precious stone has designated qualities associated with it. These gemstones corresponded to the zodiac signs of the time.

The Modern Birthstone list is the official birthstone list from the American National Association of Jewelers, Jewelers of America. These gemstones were officially adopted in 1912. In the US, this is the accepted list. Tanzanite was added as an additional birthstone for December by the American Gem Trade Association in October 2002.

Birthstone Chart

Birth Month Modern Birthstones Traditional Birthstones 15th-20th Century Birthstones
January Garnet Garnet Garnet
February Amethyst Amethyst Amethyst, Hyacinth, Pearl
March Aquamarine Bloodstone Bloodstone, Jasper
April Diamond Diamond Diamond, Sapphire
May Emerald Emerald Emerald, Agate
June Pearl, Moonstone Alexandrite Agate, Cat's Eye, Turquoise
July Ruby Ruby Onyx, Turquoise
August Peridot Sardonyx Carnelian, Sardonyx, Topaz
September Sapphire Sapphire Chrsolite
October Opal, Tourmaline Tourmaline Beryl, Opal
November Yellow Topaz, Citrine Citrine Pearl, Topaz
December Blue Topaz, Turquoise, Tanzanite Turquoise, Zircon, Lapis Lazuli Bloodstone, Ruby
 

February Birthstone

Amethyst is the purple variety of the mineral quartz and is a popular gemstone. If it were not for its widespread availability, amethyst would be very expensive. The name "amethyst" comes from the Greek and means "not drunken." This was perhaps due to a belief that amethyst would ward off the effects of alcohol, but most likely the Greeks were referring to the almost wine-like color of some stones that they may have encountered. Its color is unparalleled, and even other, more expensive purple gemstones are often compared to its color and beauty. Although it must always be purple to be amethyst, it can and does have a wide range of purple shades.

According to legend, amethyst originated when Bacchus, the God of Wine, grew angry at mortals. He vowed the next mortal that crossed his path would be eaten by tigers. At that time, a beautiful young maiden named Amethyst was on her way to worship the Goddess Diana. Diana, knowing of Bacchus vow, turned Amethyst into a pillar of colorless quartz to protect her from the tigers. Bacchus, witnessing the miracle, repented and poured wine over Amethyst, staining her purple.

Amethyst is a variety of quartz which occurs in transparent light to dark purple. The darker more intense colors are more valuable than the lighter smoky or lavender color. Dark rich, royal colors of amethyst have been treasured by kings and queens for centuries and can be traced back to the Minoan period in Greece (c. 2500 B.C.). During the 15th century the French fleur-de-lis brooch could only be worn by the Royal family on ceremonial occasions. The two main sources of amethyst are Brazil and Zambia although it is also found in Uruguay, Russia, Sri Lanka, Mexico, and the US state of Arizona.

 

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