Feb 24, 2023

Gemstone Jewelry

Gemstone Guide: Everything You Need to Know About Birthstones

Precious and semi-precious gemstone jewelry is all the rage. From emeralds and sapphires to rubies and diamonds, we here at Diamonds Above love the many wonderful choices as much as you do! We have a fantastic assortment of gemstone jewelry just waiting for you to try on and add that dazzling bit of color to your ensemble!

Call us at (512) 206-4156 or click the button below to learn more about our gemstone collection.

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Not sure which gemstone to choose? We've created a quiz to help you determine the stone that best matches your personality! Answer the questions below, and we'll help you find a gemstone that is uniquely yours! After you take the quiz, read our guide to birthstone jewelry below to see if your results match the gem of your birth month, and find out what different birthstones mean!

Birthstone Guide by Month

Have you noticed a variety of jewels on the market — as well as around the necks, on the fingers and around the wrists of today’s most popular stars? Gemstone jewelry is in fashion, which is why our carefully curated selection is perfect for your personality.

If you aren't sure which gemstone best suits you, you could always go with your birthstone. Birthstones are beautiful, personalized gems that represent you and your birth month.

Not sure what birthstones mean, or which gem is your birthstone? We've compiled a birthstone guide by month so you can find out what gemstone represents your birth month and what properties it might possess. Find your birth month below to see your gem, or learn more about the birthstones of your friends and family. Birthstone jewelry does make an excellent gift, after all.

January Birthstone: Garnet

Garnet is a beautiful gemstone that most commonly appears in a deep-red color. The gem gets its name from the Latin word for "pomegranate," a reference to its red shade. Garnet can come in different colors, including:

  • Orange
  • Yellow
  • Purple
  • Green

Some varieties of the gem can appear to change color from purple to blue when the light hits it just so. Since some shades of garnet evoke royalty, it's no surprise nobility has worn the gemstone throughout history. Pharaohs of ancient Egypt wore garnet-clad necklaces. The Russian royal family of the 1800s also prized the gem. Romans used garnet with engraved designs to stamp wax when sealing important documents. Garnet carries a historical meaning of nobility, and perhaps because of that, some believe the gem can give its wearer the powers of wealth, health and happiness.

Harness the power and show off the brilliance of your January birthstone on your finger with a piece like a brilliant garnet ring.

February Birthstone: Amethyst

February's gem is the gorgeous amethyst, ranging in shades from lilac to deep purple. The gem is a variant of quartz and can be mined or human-made.

Like January's garnet, amethyst has an association with royalty. Catherine the Great and the Duchess of Windsor have worn jewelry featuring the purple gem. Other historical associations include:

Overall, amethyst evokes strength in many situations. Give yourself, a friend or loved one born in February the gift of empowerment, wit and inner strength with amethyst. Adorn yourself with an amethyst bracelet to display your February birthstone.

March Birthstone: Aquamarine

You can tell from the name that aquamarine comes in a lovely blue-green color that mimics the sea. Aquamarine is a form of beryl, the mineral that composes other gems such as emerald. This March birthstone has had a lot of significance over time, such as:

Aquamarine has ties to safety and marriage alike, but the gem suits anyone whose birth month is March. If you prefer a gem with a bit more color, March has another birthstone to choose.

March Birthstone: Bloodstone

While aquamarine is a beautiful option for a March birthstone, bloodstone is a striking gem. Flecks of red speckle the gemstone's base of dark green, creating what some see as a representation of the blood of Christ. Bloodstone's colorful properties may make the gem more appealing to some than its blue counterpart. Wear bloodstone to:

  • Increase your strength
  • Preserve your youth
  • Maintain good health
  • Receive extra luck

With its shock of red iron oxide throughout, bloodstone is a powerful-looking birthstone with equally powerful properties. Some also see the stone as a lucky charm, so if you were born in March or you know someone else who was, give the gift of luck and prosperity with bloodstone.

April Birthstone: Diamond

April's birthstone is one of the best-known gems — the diamond. Inspired by the properties of this timeless gem, April's birthstone represents clarity and strength. Along with those two properties, a diamond signifies:

  • Health
  • Longevity
  • Beauty
  • Happiness

The use of diamonds by royalty likely solidified the meanings above. The first historical record of a diamond engagement ring dates back to the 1400s, establishing a tradition that lasts to this day.

The historical popularity of diamonds fueled a race to find more. Today, diamond mines exist worldwide, throughout Africa, Russia, Canada, Australia and other locations. They can also be human-made and come in a variety of colors, though the birthstone most often uses clear versions.

Those whose birthdays fall in April are lucky to have such a versatile gem. It's possible to customize a diamond piece to fit any taste by pairing it with various metals and cutting it into countless shapes. From diamond rings, earrings, necklaces and bracelets, your options are practically endless for this April birthstone.

May Birthstone: Emerald

Another classic gemstone, emerald's vibrant green can soothe those who look upon it. Since green represents renewal and rebirth, evoking feelings of the spring season, emerald, too, takes on those meanings.

Emerald, like many other gemstones, has royal and historical significance. Among the elite figures associated with emeralds are Cleopatra and Inca's emperor, Atahualpa. Wear emerald as these nobles did if you want to become:

  • More intelligent
  • Quick-witted
  • An eloquent speaker
  • Cured of illness

Like aquamarine, this gem is the gift of wedding anniversaries, representing both the 20th and 35th. Such a brilliant gem also makes the perfect gift for anyone born in May.

Don emerald jewelry to feel the way nobility did, and take in its powerful properties.

June Birthstone: Pearl

Nothing is more elegant than a string of pearls. Individuals born in June are lucky enough to have this delicate gem as their birthstone — along with two other options, which we will describe in a moment.

Pearls can come naturally from mollusks around the world or from a cultured process that involves some human help. When you imagine this gem, you likely picture a dazzling and gentle white, which evokes their meaning of purity, but pearls come in a variety of beautiful colors. Depending on the origin of pearls, the gems can be shades of:

  • White
  • Black
  • Gray
  • Purple
  • Blue
  • Green
  • Gold

In addition to these and other pastel hues, pearls come in a variety of shapes. No matter what shape of pearl you have — oval, spherical, pear-shaped or asymmetrical — be sure to treat your pearl jewelry with care.

Unlike other gems, pearls are much softer and more delicate. Whether you have pearl jewelry for your June birthstone or you love the timeless look, care for your pearls and keep them separate from harder gemstones.

June Birthstone: Alexandrite

If you have a June birthday, you are lucky to have two other stunning birthstone options, including alexandrite — a remarkable but rare gem. Alexandrite has a reputation for changing color depending on the lighting, shifting from a green similar to emerald or something with more blue to a red with hints of purple. The gem also comes in a cat's eye variety, which typically has a thin stripe of lighter color down the middle.

Alexandrite mines are only in a few places around the world, including Brazil, East Africa and Sri Lanka. The limited quantities make the gem expensive, and over time, the color-changing variety has been mined out. While alexandrite mined today still has the effect of different appearances in different lighting, the colors are not as contrasting as they once were.

As a harder gemstone, alexandrite is suitable for daily wear, which you'll want to do if you get jewelry with this gem. Show off your extraordinary alexandrite with pieces like rings or earrings.

June Birthstone: Moonstone

A gem equally as enchanting as pearl, moonstone is another option for those born in June. Quality moonstone seems to glow, often with a blue tint. Given the name, it's not surprising this June birthstone has lunar associations. From connections to the Greek and Roman moon gods to mythologies claiming the gemstone comes from solidified moonbeams, moonstone has a mystical background. The gem also comes with meanings of:

  • Good luck
  • Fertility
  • Passion
  • Love
  • Beautiful dreams

With its strong associations with positivity, moonstone makes a radiant gift to yourself or others who were born in June.

July Birthstone: Ruby

Another mystical gem, ruby's brilliant red makes it highly coveted. The most valuable rubies possess a medium-dark color saturation with a pure red hue.

Along with its rarity, rubies come with a historical background of powers. Wear ruby and harness properties such as:

  • Wisdom
  • Good health
  • Wealth
  • Success in love

Despite red's association with anger, the gem has a reputation for soothing those unpleasant feelings — probably because whoever holds a ruby will be so delighted they'll forget what angered them.

Given the stone's hardness on the Mohs scale — second only to diamond — it can stand up to everyday wear. Give yourself or someone else born in July the lasting gift of ruby jewelry.

August Birthstone: Peridot

Like June, August has three birthstones. The first is peridot, a variant of olivine. Unsurprisingly, peridot has an olive-like green hue, mixing with yellow to create a green less pure than emerald, but equally as stunning. Because of its in-between color, peridot can be easy to mistake for topaz and emerald. If you wear peridot, expect to find prosperity and good luck. As with other gems, peridot is a traditional wedding anniversary gift — in this case, to commemorate the 15th wedding anniversary.

The grass-colored gem comes from locations all around the world, including:

  • The United States
  • China
  • Vietnam
  • Pakistan
  • Myanmar

In rare instances, people have found peridot in meteorites as well, meaning the gem also comes from locations out of this world. Despite that exotic location, some of the most sought-after peridot comes from Zabargad, Egypt.

Peridot is a gorgeous gem with intriguing color, though it is softer than other gems. We do not recommend it for everyday wear, especially in pieces such as a ring. Save peridot birthstones and jewelry for special occasions.

August Birthstone: Sardonyx

The second of August's birthstones has a striped look as a result of layers of sard and onyx. The primary color of the gemstone comes from sard, appearing as a mix of brown, red and orange. White or black onyx then layer throughout, creating a unique look with every piece of sardonyx. Wear the colorful and common gemstone for:

  • Clear thinking
  • Productive communication
  • Protection
  • Courage

Because of its abilities to protect and improve communication, sardonyx also has a reputation for bringing stability to relationships. As the gem developed this significance over time, sardonyx was often a feature of inscribed rings and signets. People also used the gemstone to stamp wax, since the substance did not stick to sardonyx. Applications of sardonyx often featured carvings and engravings to show off the birthstone's colorful layers. Give those with August birthdays the gift of a colorful gem with sardonyx.

August Birthstone: Spinel

August gained a third birthstone option in 2016, so spinel is reasonably new to the birthstone world. Because of this, many people in your life who were born in August may not have jewelry that features this gem in their birthstone collection. Get them a new and unique gift with spinel. You have plenty of options to choose from when selecting spinel pieces, since it comes in colors such as:

  • Red
  • Pink
  • Purple
  • Blue
  • Blue-green
  • Orange

The rainbow of colors come from a variety of locations throughout the world, from Australia to the United States and countless other places. Due to its color variety, spinel is easy to mistake for different gemstones, such as rubies. While the gem does come in a rainbow of colors, the most common one for August birthstones is a red shade. Given the new age of spinel as an August birthstone, you can play around with different colors and cuts, choosing what suits your taste or that of the person receiving the gift of gemstone jewelry.

September Birthstone: Sapphire

September's birthstone is widely known for its brilliant blue shade, but the gem comes in an array of other colors. The one distinction, though, is that a sapphire cannot be red. The restriction on this gem is that a red variety is a ruby.

Similar to the ruby, however, is sapphire's association with romance and nobility. The blue variety of corundum also has ties to loyalty and the soul. Perhaps for those reasons, it represents the fifth and 45th wedding anniversaries.

As you'll remember from July's ruby birthstone, this variety of gemstone is almost as tough as diamonds, making it suitable for everyday wear. If your sapphire has received treatment to enhance the blue color, you'll want to handle it with a bit more care.

October Birthstone: Opal

Many have compared this dazzling gem to fireworks and galaxies for the rainbow of color it contains. Since you can see the color of practically every other gem in opal, it supposedly possesses the properties of all other gemstones, creating quite the powerful birthstone. Opal also has these specific associations:

  • Protection from disease
  • Purity
  • Hope
  • Truth

We see these meanings in various birthstones, so it makes sense that opals feature their colors. Opals with a rainbow of color through them, called a play-of-color, are known as precious opals. Versions of the October birthstone without a play-of-color are called common opals.

There are varieties of black opal found in Australia, where miners also find other types such as boulder opal. Both of these varieties are precious opals. If you were born in October or you have a friend or family member who was, know that white opal, another precious opal, is the more popular birthstone choice.

If you're searching for even more birthstones for October, you have a second option to opal.

October Birthstone: Tourmaline

Like August's spinel, tourmaline comes in an array of colors and is easy to confuse with other gems. While pink is the more common choice for an October birthstone, other varieties feature colors such as:

  • Red
  • Emerald green
  • Bright green
  • Blueish purple
  • Black
  • Brown

Depending on the color of the gem, tourmaline has an assortment of meanings. Black tourmaline protects the wearer, while pink encourages love and gentleness. Gift a friend or loved one born in October with a gentle pink gemstone that shows your love. Despite the pink gem's frequency as an October birthstone, you could give someone a different variety of tourmaline if the meaning suits the associations you'd like them to possess.

November Birthstone: Citrine

Citrine, one of two birthstones for November, matches the changing leaves of the season with its fiery orange color. The warm color unsurprisingly brings the wearer warm feelings. A form of quartz, the yellow-orange gemstone also has the ability to:

  • Soothe anger
  • Manifest desires
  • Encourage prosperity

This November birthstone is a common and therefore affordable gem, meaning those with birthdays in November are lucky enough to have an accessible option. You may also wear citrine regularly, since it is a harder gem. If you'd like to gift someone born in November with a different color gem, the month has another birthstone with a rainbow of possibilities.

November Birthstone: Topaz

Topaz's traditional color is similar to citrine, but sometimes slightly richer in hue. A yellow-orange, almost caramel, shade means many confuse citrine and topaz for each other — luckily, they are birthstones for the same month!

Topaz possesses similar associations to citrine, since people have mistaken them for each other throughout history. In addition to soothing anger, topaz can supposedly break spells. The gem historically has sacred properties and could provide longevity and wisdom.

While citrine most often appears in one shade of the warm orange hue, topaz comes in a selection of colors, including:

  • Light blue
  • Pink
  • Violet
  • Brown
  • Red

The gem can also come in a colorless form, but the most widely recognized color is orange. Certain varieties have distinguishing names, as well, such as the pink-orange imperial topaz. Some dispute imperial topaz's historical and noble name. Many accept that this type of topaz is named for the Russian royal family who wished to keep the shade of gemstone for themselves. Others believe the Brazilian emperor's visit to a mine spurred the name after receiving the gem as a gift. No matter where the name comes from, it is a beautiful shade of topaz.

December Birthstone: Tanzanite

The rich blue and violet gemstone tanzanite may be a younger stone, having been discovered in the mid-1900s, but its deep colors make it stand out. The first of three December birthstones got its name from Tanzania, the country of its discovery.

Tanzanite's location of origin is also the only place where miners can find the gem. One section of the mines, nestled near Mount Kilimanjaro, produces around 2.7 million carats of tanzanite per year. A study indicates the area that mines this much tanzanite could deplete in less than 30 years, making this December birthstone even more valuable.

Due to tanzanite's more recent discovery, the jewelry world has not placed much meaning in this gem. Given its velvety blue and violet colors, the gem may develop associations with the spirit, intuition and calm, but only time will tell.

December Birthstone: Turquoise

While tanzanite is young in the gemstone world, turquoise has been around since ancient times. Its significance has impacted many groups of people. Native Apache tribes believed attaching turquoise to a weapon would make the bearer's aim more accurate. Other beliefs about the gemstone's powers include:

  • Protection from falling
  • Protection in battle
  • Guaranteed fortune
  • Ensured good health
  • Communicating with heaven and other spirits of the sky

Turquoise's light blue-green color with veins of rock running through often requires treatment to strengthen it and bring out its beauty. Because of the treatment, high heat and chemicals can break or discolor the gem. Wear this beautiful December birthstone carefully, saving it for special occasions.

December Birthstone: Zircon

December's other two birthstones prominently feature blue, a color appropriate for the winter birth month. Zircon is often light blue, but it also comes in alternative colors. The selection of colors — including green, red, orange, yellow and brown — has created a debate about the origins of the gemstone's name. The Arabic word meaning cinnabar or vermilion comes from the red variety of zircon, while the Persian word for gold-colored derives from the orange-yellow shade. The most common color of zircon is brown-red, which then undergoes heat treatment to turn it into more popular colors for jewelry, such as blue and even colorless.

No matter the color, zircon supposedly can:

  • Induce sleep
  • Provide prosperity
  • Ward off evil

With a wide selection of colors, you can choose whichever suits your preference or the recipient of your December birthstone gift, though the most popular birthstone color is blue. Be careful when wearing this birthstone jewelry, because zircon, while a harder gem, can easily chip or revert to its original color if you expose it to high heat or bright light.

Guide to Birthstone Jewelry: How to Get Yours

Now that we've answered the question, "What does my birthstone mean?" you're ready to gift yourself, friends and loved ones with stunning jewelry that includes their birthstone. Whether you’re looking for classic pieces with a slightly modern twist or eclectic jewelry that features your birthstone in a unique setting, you’re sure to find it at Diamonds Above. Plus, you’ll always get our full attention and total commitment to satisfaction. Unlike the big-box stores, we focus on building a great relationship with our clients, not on sales. We will take time and help you enjoy the buying process. Browse to your heart’s content and bask in our array of the best jewelry in Austin, Texas.

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