Birthstones are more than just a fashion statement. While these exquisitely carved gemstones certainly provide a lot of artistic expressions, they are also known to bring the wearer incredible benefits such as protection from injuries or illnesses, financial and romantic prospects and can help redefine and rebuild who you are as a person by bolstering your mental stability and emotions.
Sri Lanka is also blessed with a rich assortment of gemstones being readily found in native soils that are of the highest quality, which makes finding your ideal birthstone a walk in the park.
The term birthstone is commonly used to refer to a precious gem that is worn according to the wearer's birth month. Each birthstone holds a unique symbolic meaning and it’s believed that wearing the birthstone of your month will bless you with good health and fortune.
In the past, birthstones were decided by the associated astrological symbol of the wearer; however, a modernized approach was established in 1912 by the Jewelers of America in order to provide a more standardized list. Today both the astrological and modern lists of birthstones are used when deciding on the kind of birthstone to wear.
The present list of Birthstones by zodiac sign and date of birth
|December||Sagittarius, Capricorn||Turquoise, Zircon and Tanzanite|
The Garnet is the Birthstone for the month of January. The stone draws its name from the Latin word "Garantum", which means seed as the gem's deep red colours bear similarity to that of pomegranate seeds.
Sri Lanka is home to various sources of red garnets such as Rhodolite, Almandite, Grossularite and Spessartite. The stone has been prominent throughout history for its powers to cure diseases and replenish the wearer's vitality. Garnets are also known for their ability to deepen the wearer's bonds and relationships with others. The stone is one that symbolizes love, friendship and devotion as it is also the gemstone for the second anniversary of marriage.
There are many tales of the garnet's abilities as an antidepressant with curative properties. The stone's red colours indicate that it is effective against haemorrhages, inflammatory diseases and regulating the heart and blood. The garnet was known to have the ability to ward off incoming dangers and, as a result, was popular in talismans and amulets for travellers throughout history age-old symbol of courage and strength, Garnets are typically worn by the Aquarius.
The birthstone for the month of February is the quartz stone of many purple hues, the Amethyst. The Amethyst is one of the most recognized gems in some parts of the world; its name deriving from the Greek Amethystos sober as the stone was believed to protect the wearer from drunkenness.
Amethyst is one of the many stones that can be found in Sri Lanka, and is one of the most important gems in the Island's culture known most notably for its calming effects that are said to greatly improve the wearer's mental state. The stone's ability to balance the mind and emotions of the wearer and achieve a sense of serenity and tranquillity make it an ideal option for people that suffer from work stress.
The Amethyst was used in the past to represent the Zodiac sign of the goat tying into the belief of the stone's properties as an antidote of wine as goats were considered the natural enemy of vineyards.
The stone’s ability to induce calmness and control anger was believed to be a product of its ability to bring out the wearer's heightened senses and purest aspirations while other tales tell of its ability to guide the wearer towards better fortune and bring forth the ability to succeed.
Being the birthstone for February, Amethysts are the best choice for those born under the star sign of Aquarius.
A stone filled with the colours of the tranquil ocean, Aquamarine takes its name from the Latin word for seawater. True to its name, Aquamarine was often considered to be imbued with protective properties that would keep sailors safe during their passage across the waters.
Aquamarine is also considered a symbol of healthy marriage and helps mend the wrinkles in a relationship and reawaken any lost love between a couple. In the past, Aquamarine was worn by soldiers and warriors who believed the stone would protect them. The tranquil Aquamarine goes hand in hand with the compassionate and kind Pisces.
In the 13th Century, Aquamarine enjoyed a popularity in European regions as an antidote against poisoning which was plaguing the royal families during that era. A piece of Aquamarine worn would effectively neutralise the effects of any poison. Aquamarine was also used as a substitute for oracle crystals by diviners in the Middle East who would use the stone to yield answers for questions about the future.
The hardest material on earth, diamond is the birthstone associated with the month of April. Also known as the King of gems, diamond is said to symbolize the deep everlasting strength of love in a relationship, which is why the stone assumes a special position in the celebrations of the 10th and 60th anniversary of marriage.
The Greeks called diamond ‘Adamas’ naming it after its incredible sturdiness and as it was worn by warriors believing in its ability to harden the muscle and increase the wearer's strength. This highly sought out gem has been prominently featured in the history of countless civilizations as a symbol of strength, good luck, innocence and purity.
Throughout history, diamonds were considered to be ripe with mystical properties. Wearing diamonds is said to heavily bolster your mental state and awaken yourself spiritually. The stone instils a feeling of clarity that greatly assists in achieving a healthy lifestyle.
In addition to mental fortitude, a diamond was also believed to bring physical protection against dangers and contain healing powers against life-threatening illnesses serving as an antidote for poisons thereby extending the wearer's longevity. Diamonds nowadays are considered a woman's best friend and a symbol of power among men and is the ideal birthstone for the confident and energetic Aries Zodiac.
The birthstone of the 5th Month, Emeralds have been a prized fascination across thousands of cultures throughout history. Its name originated from the ancient Greek: smaragdos - "Green gem" which was later adapted to the French "esmeraude". Emeralds, being the birthstone of May are worn by those born under the Taurus.
Emeralds primarily originate from Columbia and are not native to Sri Lanka; however, the precious stone is adored by the Island's locals for its shimmering green beauty, and is considered a symbol of serenity, wealth and happiness.
Famous Roman author Pliny, the Elder once described Emeralds as "Nothing greens greener" in his book Naturalis Historia in expressing his adoration for the intense green colour present in these precious stones.
Emeralds have widely been regarded for possessing mystical healing powers. The beautiful green gem symbolizes good health and would revitalize the body and protect the wearers against eyesores, insomnia and other ailments.
Emeralds have been mined and used as far back as 2,000 BC in Ancient Egypt where it was a favourite of Cleopatra; after the Greeks conquered Egypt, the stone was considered the symbol of the goddess of love Venus and was considered to assist in expressing the wearer's love and devotion to their significant other.
A unique gemstone, that is known for its ability to change its colour in different lighting, the Alexandrite is a rare and modern gemstone that was discovered in the 19th Century near Emerald mines by the Tokovaya river in Russia. The name Alexandrite comes from its ability to shine green or red depending on the lighting conditions which mirrored the colours of the Russian Imperial Military. The Alexandrite in Russia was all but exhausted by the 19th Century, and as the stone grew scarce, a new source was found in Sri Lanka and later in Brazil.
The Alexandrite is believed to be an omen of good fortune and love. The stone is said to encourage the romantic prospects of the wearer. The stone’s changing colours symbolize the changing cycles of life and bolster self-esteem and promote the coming of new hope when it all seems dark.
Due to Alexandrite's recent discovery and addition to the list of birthstones, those born in June and under the Gemini are also blessed with the option of the shimmering blue moonstones and pearl, the Queen of gems.
Imbued with the burning colours of passion, Ruby is one of the most adored gems in the whole world. In Sanskrit, Ruby is referred to as the "Ratnaraj" meaning the King of precious stones. The name Ruby comes from the Latin word for red "ruber" named after its obvious crimson tones.
Rubies were originally found in Burma; but its sourcing roots have since been extended to other regions such as Vietnam, Pakistan, Madagascar and Sri Lanka. The south-west region of Sri Lanka is home to a variety of Ruby gemstones. Sri Lankan Rubies are notable for their pink hues as opposed to a deep red which nonetheless instils a bright and colourful beauty to the gemstone.
The Ruby is primarily considered the ideal birthstone for people born under the Cancer as the birthstone that covers the time period of this particular zodiac sign.
The coveted Ruby has allured the eyes of many for both its beauty and its mystical properties. The stone is commonly associated with the royalty and power. Its deep red colours represent strength in battle and are believed to protect warriors from danger. The stone also serves as a curative item that would heal liver and inflammatory diseases.
The month of August is claimed by the Peridot, a stone with a storied history that continues to enjoy the same popularity today as it did thousands of years ago. Peridot is believed to draw its name from the Arabian "Faridat" meaning gem. Peridot boasts an everlasting green elegance, due to which it was mistaken for Emerald and Topaz in the past.
Peridot is most commonly found in China, Myanmar, Pakistan and Tanzania. The stone has also been mined from the Ratnapura region in Sri Lanka. Peridots found in Sri Lanka are known for either their rich olive green colour or the still rarer nearly colourless variant.
The national gem of Egypt, Peridot is referred to as the "Gem of the Sun" The stones were mined for the royal treasuries and the mining was conducted after dark hours as the stones were easily found at night as a result of their shimmering radiance, which made them difficult to be spotted under the Sun.
Locally, Peridot is believed to contain the ability to ward off evil spirits and bring about prosperity and good health. The stone's mystical powers are said to be even more potent when set into gold and is worn even today for general healing purposes.
Peridot's green brilliance also aligns the stone with significant curative applications as an antidepressant to deal with psychological trauma and depression or as a physical detoxifier against kidney or liver problems. The stone balances the wearer’s mental state and tones down emotions of anger and resentment and instils confidence and tranquillity.
Peridot is typically regarded as the Birthstone for August and for those born under the Leo, but the stone can also be substituted by both Spinel and Sardonyx if preferred.
Sapphire is one of the most popular and decorated stones around the world for its exquisite appearance. The name Sapphire comes from Greek origin "Sappheiros" meaning blue. Sapphire truly lives up to its name as the precious stone is famous for its vibrant shades of blue that have charmed countless civilizations dotted throughout history.
Sri Lanka is one of the largest suppliers of Sapphire to the global market as Ceylon Sapphires are highly demanded for the clear blue beauty. Sri Lanka is also home to the famous star sapphires that shine in a unique star-shaped effect. The most famous Star Sapphire from Sri Lanka is currently exhibited in the Museum of Natural History in New York.
In addition to Blue Sapphires, Sri Lanka is also home to the unique Padparadscha or "Lotus flower". This variety of Sapphire instead displays a range of hues from pink to orange which is redolent of the flower it is named after. The Padparadscha is the only variety of Sapphire that has received a name of its own in recognition of its unique and rare beauty.
Regarded as the Gem of Destiny, Sapphires have been considered to possess a variety of mystical properties that would benefit the wearer. It has a curative history as an antidote and medicine for natural ailments while also being a symbol of the heavens. Wearing a Sapphire would bring out the best of your personality and bring you good fortune in achieving your dreams or romantic quests. The stone was also commonly used in the middle ages to ward off spirits and safeguard against sorcery.
It is considered the birthstone for the month of September and for those born under the time period of the Virgo. The stone is also reckoned as a gift for the 5th, 45th and 70th anniversary of a wedding.
The month of October is home to not one but two birthstones, that is, Opal and Tourmaline. Opal is a smooth polished gemstone that is known as the Eve of the Gods and is a gemstone that is often associated with the envoy of love - Cupid. Opal is named after the Sanskrit term "Upala" which meant precious stone while Tourmaline is a much more recent addition to the list of birthstones. Tourmaline is an incredibly rare stone with the ability to display different shades in a single stone. Its name is derived from this ability as the name Tourmaline is akin to the Sinhalese word "Turmali" which translates to "Stone of many colours".
Tourmaline like Alexandrite is one of the rarest stones in the world. Sri Lanka is one of the few locations in the world that the elusive stone can be found in. The stone's rarity and plentiful range of colours have established its popularity in the international market.
The different colours of Tourmaline are said to possess unique mystical properties. Shades of pink are associated with romance and compassion. Black Tourmaline instils protection and self-esteem while Green tourmalines are reckoned to be a source of vitality. Meanwhile the dream stone of every maiden, Opal originated from India and is well known for the kaleidoscopic display of colours that dance across its smooth and polished surface that can be likened to that of a shifting rainbow.
In the past, Opals were believed to be bearers of bad luck in the West. But, nowadays, Opals are instead revered for their beauty and protective properties. Wearing an Opal is said to ward off nightmares, evil and stimulates recovery. In Asia, Opal has always been considered a symbol of hope and positivity. As Opals are often made up of a brilliant composition of colours it is said that an Opal would be imbued with the mystical properties of other stones that it shares the colours with.
The Libra is truly one of the luckiest zodiac signs to be able to pick either of these wonderful gemstones as their birthstone of choice.
The November Birthstone is Topaz, a colourful stone that is available in a variety of hues ranging from yellow, orange to red, pink and blue. It’s also available as a colourless one. Topaz is named after the Sanskrit word Tapas meaning fire. Imperial Topaz is a title given to the most refined pieces of pink-orange Topaz that are highly coveted around the world for its aristocratic beauty.
The Ancient Greeks and Romans believed Topaz to be a source of strength while European legends talk about the stone's ability to dispel sorcery and black magic or make the wearer invisible against incoming danger.
Topaz is also worn as a protective amulet to assure longevity and control the wearer’s stress while dispelling all negative emotions. Powdered Topaz was consumed with wine as an antidote for poison and as a cure for diseases such as Asthma, burns or haemorrhages.
The prime sourcing destination for colourless or yellow-pink topaz is Brazil; but among the world's blue Topaz sourcing locations, Sri Lanka is one of the most notable for its supply of exquisite blue Topaz.
The month of November is associated with the Scorpio making Topaz the ideal birthstone for this zodiac sign. However, the similarly coloured Citrine which is often mistaken for the Topaz is also believed to contain the same properties making it a suitable replacement.
The last month of the year is one that is plentiful in its choices for a birthstone: the brilliant Zircon, vibrant Turquoise and rare Tanzanite are all suitable choices for anyone born in December or under the Capricorn.
Turquoise is an opaque gemstone that is primarily found in a gentle sky blue or pale green. Turquoise that is webbed with manganese oxide leading to black veins spreading through its surface is referred to as Spiderweb Turquoise. The gem is one of the oldest precious stones ever found with its origins being situated in Iran.
Turquoise is a long-established symbol of hope and protection from evil. The stone was worn in order to draw streams of wealth and prosperity to the wearer. Turquoise is also said to be the ideal stone for ensuring success when making decisions towards new prospects.
Zircon is a gemstone with a reputation for having incredible durability and high refractive index. The stone is one of the oldest minerals that is dug up from the Earth's crust. Zircon is available as a colourless stone or in a wide colour palette that ranges from reds and yellows to blues and greens. Colourless Zircon is one of the most popular varieties of Zircon that is often mistaken for a diamond, an equally brilliant and durable stone.Sri Lanka is one of the leading destinations for Zircon sourcing in the world with the Elahera region being the most prominent location for mining this rare stone with the wealth of mountainous locations available.
Zircon is a stone that bears the fruit of wisdom and prosperity and brings the wearer a degree of self-esteem and opens the heart for a more compassionate person. The durability of Zircon is said to be reflected in the wearer's financial stability and provide guidance when making important decisions in life. Lastly, Tanzanite, a new addition to the family of birthstones was discovered in the 1960s in the mountainous slopes of Tanzania The stone is named after its country of origin and is currently the only sourcing location for this rare gemstone.
Tanzanite quickly became one of the most demanded gems in the global market as onlookers were captivated by its deep vivid colours and refined qualities. Tanzanite is said to be beneficial for the wearer's health as it purifies negative energies and helps achieve spiritual comfort. The stone evokes creativity and breathes change by breaking free of the past shackles and inspiring the wearer to take a new approach to life.
Tanzanite is said to imbue its wearer with the same durability as the stone contains by reinforcing the body against physical harm and illnesses especially when it makes direct contact with the wearer's skin.