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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
 

May Birthstone

The Emerald is the green variety of the mineral beril.  Emerald is both the May birthstone and the Zodiac stone for the constellation of Cancer. Emerald gemstones are associated with patience, understanding, and foresight.

The wonderful green color of emerald is unparalleled in the gem kingdom. Emerald's precious green color is caused by small amounts of chromium and enhanced by traces of iron. Unlike other beryls, emeralds usually contain inclusions and other flaws. These flaws are not looked on as negative aspects for emerald like they would be for other gemstones. Indeed, these flaws are considered part of the character of the stone and are used to assure the purchaser of a natural stone. The Egyptians were known to engrave Emeralds with the symbol for foliage to represent eternal youth, and to bury these jewels with their dead.  The ancient Romans associated this gemstone with fertility and rebirth, and dedicated it to Venus, the goddess of love and beauty.

In the sixteenth century, the Spanish Conquistadors were amazed to find the native people wearing Emeralds larger and more magnificent than any they had ever seen. Although the natives attempted to hide their Emerald mines, the Spaniards soon discovered and conquered most of them.  But it took twenty years before they found the abundant mining operation held by the Muzo Indians, and another thirty years to overtake this aggressive tribe.  The Muzo mine was in the area known today as Colombia, and it remains the source of the most prized Emerald specimens.  Other sources of Emeralds are Brazil, Zimbabwe, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Madagascar, Nigeria, and Russia.

Some people believe that wearing an Emerald brings wisdom, growth, and patience. And as any couple in a long-term relationship would agree, all of these qualities are essential for a successful and lasting love.  This may explain why a gift of Emerald for an anniversary -- or anytime -- is considered symbolic of love and fidelity.

 

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