CHINESE ASTROLOGICAL GEMSTONES
TRADITIONAL vs MODERN GEMSTONES
The ancient traditions continued through the Middle ages. In Medieval Europe, a tradition developed of the “lapidary”, a book of gemlore describing the symbolism and associations of gems, the properties they were believed to have, and the supposed benefits of contemplating or wearing them. The blue of Sapphire, for example, was considered to raise the thoughts to heavenly things and so be suitable wear for clerics.
In modern times, gems and crystals are still thought by some to have healing powers. Traditionally, particular gems were believed to hold those powers through their association with particular gods, saints, heavenly bodies, or astrological signs. These traditions are often carried through to modern times, for example in traditional Hindu ayurvedic medicine. Modern healers often have other explanations for their art, usually relating to the effects of light reflected off or channeled through the stones, or to some form of vibration within the crystals.
BIRTHSTONES BY MONTH
January Birthstone - Garnet
This semi-precious gemstone’s name comes from the Latin ‘granatum’ – or pomegranate – referring to its resemblance to the fruit’s red seeds. Often associated with passion and vitality, garnets are widely symbolic of both love and friendship, making it a popular choice for romantic jewellery.
They are also available in shades of purple, pink, red, brown, and colorless. Garnet is also the traditional gift for the 18th wedding anniversary.
Mythology and Folklore:
In ancient mythology, garnets were associated with various deities and believed to have protective powers.
Some cultures believed that garnets could illuminate the night and protect the wearer from nighmares.
While not scientifically proven, some people believe that garnet has healing properties. It is said to be associated with the circulatory system, promoting good health and energy.
February Birthstone - Amethyst
Amethyst has been used in jewellery for centuries and was favoured by both ancient Egyptians and the Greeks.
Fitting for the month of romance, this gemstone is believed to have been worn as a ring – with an engraved image of Cupid – by St. Valentine himself. Today, its enchanting lilac hues are associated with the promise of a deeper romantic bond as well as devotion that lasts a lifetime.
Spiritual and Metaphysical Properties:
Amethyst is often associated with spiritual growth, meditation, and enlightenment. Some believe that it can enhance intuition, calm the mind, and provide a sense of clarity and focus.
Jewellery and Fashion:
Amethyst is a popular choice for a variety of jewellery, including rings, necklaces, earrings, and bracelets. Its vibrant colour, ranging from deep violet to pale lavender, makes it an eye-catching and versatile gemstone that complements both casual and formal attire. It is found in all shades of purple, lilac, and mauve and is popularly also known as ‘Royal gem’.
March Birthstone - Aquamarine
Aquamarine is associated with qualities such as calmness, courage, and clarity. In ancient times, it was believed that the gem would calm waves and protect sailors during their voyage.
Whether chosen for its symbolic meaning, historical significance, or simply its serene beauty, aquamarine is a versatile and elegant gemstone that adds a touch of sophistication to any jewellery piece. It’s a popular choice for those born in March and for anyone who appreciates its cool, refreshing color.
Aquamarine has a long history of use in jewelry and has been prized for its beauty since ancient times. It was once believed to have mystical properties that could enhance communication and intuition.
Aquamarine is a durable gemstone suitable for everyday wear, making it a practical choice for various types of jewelry.
Healing and Metaphysical Properties:
Some people believe that aquamarine has calming and soothing properties, promoting mental clarity and emotional balance. It is also thought to enhance communication and strengthen relationships.
April Birthstone - Diamond
Diamonds are a symbol of purity and strength and often associated with everlasting love.
Gleaming like stars in the sky, this month’s birthstone embodies elegance, inspiring us to embrace the infinite possibilities of life with clarity and brilliance.
Diamonds are not only cherished for their beauty but also for the emotions and symbolism they carry. As a birthstone, diamonds are a timeless and meaningful gift for those born in April, symbolizing strength, love, and enduring beauty.
Diamonds come in various colours, but the most prized and traditional color for diamonds is colorless or near-colorless. The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) grades diamonds on a scale from D (colourless) to Z (light yellow or brown).
Cuts and Shapes:
Diamonds are cut into various shapes, including round brilliant, princess, emerald, and more.
The cut of a diamond plays a crucial role in its brilliance and overall appearance.
Diamond jewelry, including rings, necklaces, earrings, and bracelets, is a popular choice for April birthdays and special occasions. Engagement rings featuring diamonds are particularly iconic and have been a traditional choice for expressing love and commitment.
When purchasing a diamond, it is often accompanied by a certification from gemological laboratories such as the GIA, which provides information about the diamond’s cut, color, clarity, and carat weight
May Birthstone - Emerald
Emerald symbolizes faith, wisdom in love, and domestic bliss. In various cultures, emeralds have been believed to bring good fortune and enhance the well-being of the wearer.
Basically, the name emerald originated from the Greek word “smaragdos” which means “green stone”. The most sought-after emeralds display a deep, vivid green color. The intensity and hue of the green can vary, and the finest emeralds often have a slightly bluish or yellowish undertone.
Emeralds are not only appreciated for their stunning green colour but also for the sense of luxury and elegance they bring to jewellery. As the birthstone for May, emeralds make a meaningful and cherished gift for those born in this month.
Cut and Shape:
Emeralds are cut into various shapes, including emerald cuts, ovals, rounds, and more. The emerald cut is especially popular for this gemstone.
Many emeralds contain natural inclusions, known as “jardin” (French for garden), which are often considered part of the gem’s character. However, highly transparent emeralds with minimal inclusions are particularly valuable.
Historically, some of the most famous emerald deposits have been found in Colombia. Other significant sources include Zambia, Brazil, and Zimbabwe.
Emeralds are widely used in various types of jewellery, including rings, necklaces, earrings, and bracelets.
They are often paired with diamonds or other gemstones to enhance their beauty.
Emeralds have been favoured by royalty throughout history. One of the most famous emerald jewellery pieces is the Emerald Parure, a set of emerald jewellery owned by the Swedish royal family.
June Birthstone - Pearl
Pearls symbolize purity, innocence, and integrity. Whereas, Alexandrite is associated with good luck, love, and creativity; and Moonstone is associated with love, passion, intuition, and emotional balance.
Born deep beneath the ocean’s surface, Pearls have mesmerized us for centuries with their beauty and enchantment. Today, pearls are essential to every woman’s jewellery collection, symbolizing grace and timeless elegance.
Pearls are mainly found in China, Japan, Australia, Indonesia and Philippines and come in many varieties – Akhoya, Freshwater, white, black and golden South Sea Pearls and Tahitian pearls. Pearls were also known as the tears of the moon. It is a highly valued gemstone you will ever come across.
These three June birthstones provide individuals born in June with a range of choices, each with its own distinctive charm and symbolism. Whether you choose the classic elegance of Pearls, the mesmerizing colour change of Alexandrite, or the ethereal glow of Moonstone, June’s birthstones offer a variety of options for meaningful and beautiful jewellery.
July Birthstone - Ruby
Rubies are symbols of love, passion, and vitality. They are often associated with strength, courage, and good fortune.
In some cultures, rubies are believed to protect the wearer from harm and bring prosperity.
Historically, some of the most famous ruby deposits have been found in regions such as Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Sri Lanka, and more recently, in Mozambique and Madagascar.
Rubies are widely used in various types of jewelry, including rings, necklaces, earrings, and bracelets. They are often paired with diamonds or other gemstones to create stunning and classic jewellery designs.
Whether chosen for its symbolism, historical significance, or simply its captivating beauty, the ruby is a timeless and meaningful birthstone for those born in the month of July. It is a gemstone that has been treasured throughout history for its color, durability, and the positive qualities it is believed to bring to its wearer.
August Birthstone - Peridot
Peridot is recognized for its vivid green color, ranging from yellow-green to olive green. Whereas Spinel is available in a variety of beautiful pink shades, making it a perfect accessory to adorn yourself with and showcase the latest trend in pink. Sardonyx, on the other hand, is a variety of the mineral onyx, which is a type of chalcedony. It is known for its distinctive layered bands of colors, typically displaying bands of reddish-brown (sard) and white (onyx). The bands can be straight and parallel or curved. Occasionally, sardonyx may also include additional colors, such as black, brown, or gray.
Peridot is one of the modern birthstones for the month of August and is often associated with qualities such as warmth, friendliness, and good fortune. It is believed to bring positive energy, reduce stress, and foster emotional well-being.
Peridot has a long history and has been used in jewelry for thousands of years. It was once referred to as the “gem of the sun” by the ancient Egyptians.
Cleopatra is said to have been fond of peridot, and the gemstone was mined on the Egyptian Red Sea Island of Zabargad.
Some individuals believe in the metaphysical properties of peridot. It is thought to have calming and purifying effects, promoting clarity and harmony.
September Birthstone - Sapphire
Sapphires are associated with qualities such as wisdom, loyalty, and nobility.
In some cultures, sapphires are believed to bring spiritual enlightenment and inner peace. They are thought to bring balance to the mind and enhance communication.
Some sapphires exhibit a phenomenon known as asterism, creating a star-like pattern on the surface of the gem. These are called star sapphires.
Sapphires are used in various types of jewelry, including rings, necklaces, earrings, and bracelets.
They are often set with diamonds or used as the central stone in engagement rings.
Throughout history, sapphires have been associated with royalty and nobility. They are featured in many royal and historical jewellery collections.
Choosing a sapphire as a birthstone or for special occasions represents a timeless and meaningful choice. The variety of colours available in sapphires provides individuals born in September with a wide range of options for personalized and symbolic jewellery
October Birthstone - Opal/ Tourmaline
Opals are unique gemstones known for their play-of-color, a phenomenon where the stone exhibits a vibrant spectrum of colors such as red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. The play-of-color is created by the diffraction of light within the micro-structure of the opal. Opals can come in various color varieties, including white opal, black opal, boulder opal, crystal opal, and fire opal. This gemstone is also known as the ‘Queen of Gems.’
Opals are associated with creativity, inspiration, and protection. In some cultures, opals are believed to bring good luck and enhance intuition.
Opals are often used in various types of jewelry, including rings, earrings, necklaces, and bracelets.
Due to their unique play-of-color, opals create one-of-a-kind pieces of jewellery.
Cultural and Historical Significance:
Opals have been prized for centuries. Ancient Romans believed opals were symbols of hope and purity.
In the Middle Ages, opals were thought to bring good luck and were considered highly valuable.
Tourmaline is a gemstone known for its wide range of colors and unique crystal structures.
Tourmaline is available in a broad spectrum of colors commonly including pink, green, blue, yellow, and watermelon (a combination of pink and green).
Tourmaline is associated with protection, energy, and balance. Different colors of tourmaline may have specific meanings and properties. Pink tourmaline is often associated with love and compassion, while green tourmaline is linked to healing and vitality.
Whether you choose Opal or Tourmaline, both gemstones offer a stunning array of colors and unique characteristics, making them excellent choices for those born in October. The choice between Opal and Tourmaline often comes down to personal preference and the specific qualities one seeks in a gemstone.
November Birthstone - Topaz/ Citrine
It is believed that the name “Topaz” is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Tapas’ and the Greek word ‘Topazos which means “Fire”.
Topaz comes in various colors, including shades of yellow, orange, brown, pink, blue, and more. Imperial topaz, with its reddish-orange to pinkish-orange hue, is a particularly prized variety.
While Citrine is known for its warm yellow to amber hues. It can range from pale yellow to deep golden brown.
Topaz is associated with qualities such as strength, courage, and wisdom. It is believed to bring positive energy and protection. However, Citrine is associated with energy, warmth, and abundance. It is believed to carry the energy of the sun and promote positivity.
Citrine is more readily available and affordable than some other gemstones, making it a popular choice for a variety of jewelry designs.
Topaz and Citrine are used in a variety of jewelry pieces, including rings, earrings, necklaces, and bracelets. Citrine’s warm tones complement fall and winter wardrobes, while topaz’s versatility allows for a range of colorful designs.
Whether you prefer the rich and diverse colors of Topaz or the warm and sunny hues of citrine, November’s birthstones offer a variety of options for meaningful and personalized jewellery.
Individuals born in November can choose between these two beautiful gems based on their color preferences and the qualities they resonate with.
December Birthstone - Tanzanite
Tanzanite is known for its captivating violet-blue to purplish-blue color. It can exhibit different hues, including deep blue, violet, and sometimes even burgundy or reddish flashes. The gemstone’s colour is often described as velvety or vivid, contributing to its allure.
Tanzanite is a relatively recent addition to the world of gemstones. It was first discovered in the Merelani Hills of northern Tanzania in 1967. The gemstone gained popularity due to its unique color and limited geographical occurrence.
Tanzanite is associated with spiritual growth, transformation, and deepening one’s inner vision. It is often regarded as a gemstone that promotes understanding and awareness.
Tanzanite is used in various types of jewellery, including rings, necklaces, earrings, and bracelets.
Due to its popularity and limited supply, tanzanite jewellery is often considered unique and precious. This gem has charmed celebrities and made cinematic history. Tanzanite made an iconic appearance in the movie Titanic. The ‘Heart of the Ocean’ was a stunning centrepiece of the plot, and it was rumoured to be a Tanzanite.
Some individuals believe in the metaphysical properties of tanzanite, associating it with calming energies, communication, and spiritual insight.
Tanzanite’s vivid colour and relative rarity make it a prized gemstone, especially for those born in December who have it as their birthstone. The gemstone’s unique beauty and symbolic associations contribute to its desirability in the world of jewellery.