Monday, November 15, 2010

Birthstones - The Modern List

There have been many different lists of stones that correspond with the months or signs of the zodiac. The most recent one is a list that was adopted by the American National Association of Jewelers in 1912. This is the official list of birthstones used in the United States. Not only are certain stones associated with a given month, but each month has a color associated with it. These colors have been derived from the natural color of the individual birthstones. Following is the modern list of gemstones and corresponding colors:
  • January - Garnet gemstone, deep red color. Although garnet is most often thought of as being a red stone, garnet occurs in every color except blue. Each color of garnet technically has its own name.
  • February - Amethyst gemstone, purple color. Amethyst is one of the most popular gemstones and is worn by many regardless of their birth month. Amethyst is the purple variety of quartz.
  • March - Aquamarine gemstone, pale blue color. Aquamarine is a member of the beryl family of gems, along with emerald.
  • April - Diamond gemstone, white or clear color. There is nothing else like the sparkle and fire of a good quality diamond in the world of gems.
  • May - Emerald gemstone, green color. Emeralds are found in many countries, with Columbia and Brazil producing some of the finest stones.
  • June - Pearl or Moonstone, white color. Pearls are the only gems that come from living creatures.
  • July - Ruby gemstone, red color. Ruby and Sapphire are types of the mineral corundum. The only gemstone harder than a ruby or sapphire is a diamond.
  • August - Peridot gemstone, pale green color. Peridot occurs in many areas of the world, and is also occasionally found in meteorites.
  • September - Sapphire gemstone, deep blue color. Sapphire occurs in nature in many different colors besides blue, but the blue stone is associated with September.
  • October - Opal gemstone, multi-colors or pink. There are two types of opals, precious and common. Precious opals are the stones that display the 'fire' or play of colors the stone is famous for.
  • November - Yellow topaz or Citrine gemstones, yellow color. Yellow topaz of good quality is relatively rare and expensive. Citrine is often substituted.
  • December - Blue topaz or turquoise gemstones, blue color. Blue topaz is sometimes irradiated to improve and deepen the blue color. Tanzanite was added to the December birthstone selections by the American Gem Trade Association in 2002.

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