Gemstones

Gemstones

Garnet
Garnet (January)
Garnet encompasses a group of more than 10 different gemstones of similar chemical composition, in a range of colors that includes red, green yellow, orange and color-change varieties. They are most often red, and the name garnet is thought to be a reference to the Punica granatum (pomegranate), a plant with red seeds. Noah, it is said, used a garnet lantern to help him steer the ark through the dark night. The common varieties of garnet are pyrope, almandine, spessartite, grossular (including tsavorite), demantoid, rhodolite and andradite.
Amethyst
Amethyst (February)
Amethyst is a purple variety of quartz. It’s name is derived from the Greek a (not) and methustos (intoxicated), stemming from the ancient belief that the gem protected its owner from drunkenness. A related myth has it that drinking vessels made of amethyst allowed shrewd negotiators to pretend to be drinking wine while their opponents became weakened by alcohol. Amethyst is associated with the astrological signs Pisces and Aries. It is also thought to be a symbol of spiritual understanding.
Aquamarine
Aquamarine (March)
Aquamarine is a variety of beryl that occurs in light-blue colors, suggestive of sea water. Aquamarine is associated with the Nineteenth wedding anniversary. Ancient sailors are said to have traveled with aquamarine crystals in order to ensure safe passage. Aquamarine is also said to promise a happy marriage. Green beryl is called emerald, while rose pink beryl is called morganite.

White Zircon
White Zircon (April)
White zircon, which is actually colorless, looks more like diamond than any other natural colorless stone because of its brilliance and dispersion (light refraction). White zircon, like all colorless natural gemstones, including diamond, is considered the birthstone for April. Zircon can also be found in yellow, red, brown and green colors.
Emerald
Emerald (May)
Emerald is a variety of the mineral beryl and, at its best, is an intense, bright green. It is the traditional gemstone for the astrological signs of Taurus and Cancer. Although most emeralds are highly included, their beauty and rarity (in the top color ranges) makes them highly prized and valuable. Top quality emeralds can be more valuable than diamonds. Most emeralds are oiled, a standard practice that is permanent as long as they are not cleaned in an ultrasonic bath. The Incas and Aztecs of South America regarded the emerald as a holy gemstone. The color green itself has, for centuries, been associated with beauty and fidelity.
Pink Tourmaline
Pink Tourmaline (June)
No other gemstone covers the full spectrum of colors as well as tourmaline. The word itself is Singhalese for “stone with many colors.” Although green, intense blue and red are attractive and highly sought after, nothing compares to the vibrant glow of gorgeous pink tourmaline. Tourmaline is the gemstone of longlasting love and friendship. Summery fresh pink tourmaline is the birthstone for June.

Ruby
Ruby (July)
Ruby is a light pink to blood red variety of the mineral corundum. Other varieties of corundum are called sapphire. Rubies are highly precious and, in top qualities, can be more expensive than diamonds. Ruby is associated with the astrological signs Leo and Cancer. It is also associated with the fortieth wedding anniversary. Ruby symbolizes love, passion, fire and power.
Peridot
Peridot (August)
Peridot is a variety of the mineral forsteritic olivine. It is one of the few gemstones that comes in only one color – a vivid yellowish to olive green, and sometimes brownish green. It is the birthstone for August, and the perfect color for a light summer wardrobe. Peridot is treasured in Hawaii as the goddess Pele’s tears. The Island of Oahu, in fact, has beaches made out of tiny grains of peridot.
Sapphire
Sapphire (September)
Sapphire is a variety of the mineral corundum which, next to diamond, is the hardest gem known to man. It appears in every color except red – red corundum is called ruby. Blue sapphire is referred to as simply sapphire, but in any other color, it is considered a fancy, and defined by its color, i.e., pink sapphire, green sapphire. The majority of sapphires are blue, which is the favorite color of some 50% of all people. Sapphire is associated with the forty-fifth wedding anniversary, as wellas with sympathy, harmony, friendship, love and loyalty. For this reason, many women desire a sapphire ring to mark their engagement.

Opal
Opal (October)
Opal is one of the most fascinating gems known to man because of the presence of a phenomenon known as color play. It shimmers with several colors at once, although one color, such as green, coral or pink, is dominant. There are many legends associated with opal. Aboriginals in Australia, where many opals are found, believed that the creator came down to Earth on a rainbow in order to bring a message of peace, and opal was formed at the spot where his foot touched the ground. Opal is said to have emotional healing powers.
Citrine
Citrine (November)
Citrine is a variety of quartz that ranges in color from pale yellow to brown. In ancient times, citrine was considered a protector against snake venom and evil thoughts. It is one of the very few yellow stones in the gemstone spectrum – diamond and sapphire both come in yellow varieties, but they are expensive and can be rare.
Blue Topaz
Blue Topaz (December)
Blue topaz is a natural gemstone that has a pale to medium blue color that is achieved by irradiation of colorless or lightly colored topaz. The darkest blue gems are referred to as London Blue, and are the most prized. Other shades include sky blue and Swiss blue. Topaz is said to dispel sadness, anger and nocturnal fears, and to warn its wearer of poisons. The ancient Romans associated aquamarine with power.