The Symbolism & Meaning Behind Birthstones

As the new year begins, it brings a fresh start, and new hope for the days and months ahead. With January now here, there is now an opportunity to appreciate and understand the birthstones associated with the months ahead and to learn their meanings. Are you a Crimson Garnet, with passion? Or are you a cool and calming Aquamarine, that is said to represent loyalty?  

Regardless of which birthstone is championing your month, they all have special meanings, and today we will take a brief look at each, and what they mean for you. 

 - editor note: photos are just for the colour profiles for the birthstones, not the actual stone themselves :)

January – Garnet 

Those of us, me included, born in the month of January have the deep scarlet Garnet as our birthstone. Earliest seen used in Ancient Egyptian jewelry over 5000 years ago – its name is derived from a term meaning “seed” for its likeness in shape. The garnet is a symbol of passion, friendship, health, love and strong feelings and emotions. It also offers success in business and relationships, so maybe take that leap this year to start a new venture! 


February – Amethyst  

Beautiful hues of dark purple and violet are seen most commonly in February’s birthstone, the Amethyst. Derived from the Greek word, “amethystos”, Amethysts are said to protect the wearer from intoxication of any kind. This stone, which was for many years, exclusively only worn by royalty, is said to strengthen relationships and offer the wearer courage. It also represents sincerity, security, and true happiness.  


March – Aquamarine 

A stone that is as clear and cool as the ocean waters it is supposed to represent.  Derived from the Latin words “Aqua” meaning “water” and “Mare” meaning “sea”, Aquamarine was seen as a protective stone that sailors would wear to give them safe travel during their long sea voyages. Also believed to be able to cure heart, liver and stomach diseases, one just needs to drink water from where the stone was soaking to cure all ailments. Aquamarine symbolizes health, honesty, loyalty, hope and youth.  


April – Diamond 

Formed over 3 billion years ago in the deep crusts of the earth, the birthstone of April is the everlasting Diamond. Seen as a symbol of everlasting love, the diamond is synonymous with expressions of affection. In Sanskrit, the diamond is called Vajra, which also means lightning. Vajra was the weapon used by the king of Gods, Indra in Hindu mythology. Diamonds symbolize purity, openheartedness, and unity.  


May – Emerald  

A gemstone most loved by the most famous Queen of Egypt, Cleopatra, the Emerald is the birthstone of May. For millennia, the stone was associated with fertility, rebirth and love. So much so that the Ancient Romans dedicated the stone to Venus, their Goddess of love and beauty. The gem, ranging from light to deep hues of green, represents wisdom, growth, and good fortune in modern times. 


June – Pearl & Moonstone 

Rather than another gemstone, one of June’s birthstones is one of the wonders of nature – the Pearl. Associated with purity, the name “Pearl” comes from the Old French word “Perle” meaning “leg”, which was the shape of the shells fishermen found them in. Seen to represent success, happiness and love. The pearl was also associated to Aphrodite, the Goddess of love, by the Ancient Greeks. 

The other birthstone associated with June is the Moonstone. Associated with both the Greek and Roman Lunar deities, additionally, Hindu mythology believes it is made from pure moonbeams. A gem that is said to symbolize love, passion, and fertility, Moonstones are said to bring the wearer immense good fortune.  


July – Ruby  

Considered as the “King of Gems” by the Ancient Hindus, the Ruby is the birthstone of July. Believed to protect the wearers from evil, the stone was used in many ceremonies. Deep red in color and called the most precious of the 12 gemstones by God, the Ruby represents wisdom, health and love. Its lush red color also can signify wealth and success. 


August – Peridot 

Sometimes called the “Evening Emerald” for its light green colour, August’s birthstone is the Peridot gem. Believed to be derived from the Greek word, “peridona”, meaning “give plenty”, the Peridot is seen as a stone that brings good fortune and great power to those who wear it. Also believed to reduce anxiety, soothe frustrations, and protect the wearer from pessimism, it is believed wearing this stone will help with one's mental health. 


September – Sapphire 

A hypnotizing stone most famously known for its deep blue tones; the birthstone of September is Sapphire. A stone synonymous with purity, loyalty, wisdom, faith, and trust, the Sapphire was a favorite for both kings and priests, and often used as a symbol of protection and faith in teachings. In modern times, the Sapphire represents the ideas of serenity, peace, and calmness of oneself. 


October – Opal & Tourmaline 

A stone with as many colors, as that of a rainbow. The stone that derives its name from the Greek word, “opallios” meaning, “many colours” is the birthstone of October – the Opal. Each opal stone has its own pattern of colours making each one as unique and one-of-a-kind as a snowflake. The opal is said to represent good luck, which is further enhanced for those who are born in October. 


Originating from the Sinhalese word, “toramalli” meaning, “stone with mixed colors” Tourmaline is the newest addition to October’s birthstones. Available in an abundance of different colors, it is believed this birthstone offers inspiration for artistic expression. Each colour of Tourmaline is said to have its own healing properties; black offers self-confidence, pink is associated with gentleness, and green offers strength and stamina to name a few. 


November – Topaz 

Named after the island it was first found on, Topazos, the Topaz is the birthstone for the month of November. First found by the ancient Romans, the gemstone is said to represent wisdom, friendship and longevity. In ancient times, this stone was worn above the heart as it was believed to offer the wearer’s body protection. For this reason, today the Topaz is believed to offer the wearer increased strength. 


December – Turquoise & Tanzanite  

December’s birthstone has been used and adored by royalty for millennia. The ancient Egyptians had the pharaohs and rulers adorned with Turquoise, while ancient Chinese artisans carved into this stone to create intricate statues. Also having many important meanings to the Indigenous peoples, Turquoise was believed to offer an archer improved aim if attached to their bow, and that its color came from the sky. A symbol of good fortune and success, turquoise is said to ward off evil and bad luck. 

Lastly, originating from Tanzania, Tanzanite is the last of the birthstones. Described as “velvety” for its deep and intense color, Tanzanite ranges from hues of deep blue to violet in color. Known for having vibrant colors and clarity, Tanzanite is known as the gemstone for the 24th wedding anniversary.